By Dave Thomas
In a day and age when many young entrepreneurs are enjoying the benefits provided by engaging in a solid social media campaign, other business owners are tripping over themselves and potentially missing out on revenue by shunning SM.
So, why would some young entrepreneurs not take the time to employ a social media program when many others appear for all the eyes to see to be succeeding with it? This question becomes even more relevant given that the majority of younger business owners come with the computer skills needed to employ as successful social media campaign.
Various studies have been produced in recent years demonstrating the importance and the results of successful social media campaigns. Still, some business owners just don’t get it.
In the event you’re a young entrepreneur who has been sitting on the fence when it comes to having a social media presence, consider a few things:
- Your return on investment (ROI) – Given that many entrepreneurs are rightfully obsessed with their ROI output, social media can play a major role in boosting those figures. Not only are you reaching out to present and potential clients, but you’re doing so in real-time. Social media platforms give you the opportunity to converse one-on-one with customers, offer them real-time specials and coupons, address concerns and questions on the spot and more;
- Social media does not have to cost great amounts of money – For some entrepreneurs, the fear is that dedicating time and effort to social media is a lost cause in the long run. Quite the contrary, social media does not cost a business tons of money, given that it can be done in-house with current marketing or public relations staff. As for the effort, yes, updating content, engaging in conversations with other social media participants are both important, but they can be handled with your in-house staff that you dedicate to the task. The bottom line is that the return will be greater 99 percent of the time than the output to get it;
- Contact with the public – Keep in mind that many of your present and potential customers are online several hours a day, so why wouldn’t you want to engage them? The idea that being active in social media is a waste of time should be easily dispelled right here and now. Estimates show that there are more than 700 million users on Facebook and around 200 million or more using Twitter alone. Think of the contact you could have with members of those audiences who are interested in your products and/or services. Why wouldn’t you want to engage them?
- Fads come and go – You will hear some entrepreneurs label social media as just a fad, pointing out that they believe it will be gone sooner rather than later. Quite the contrary, most studies point out that SM is not going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, you will see more companies ramping up their social media efforts in order to attract additional customers. Yes, some fads do come and go, but all indications are social media is here to stay for the immediate future;
- Technology and communication will only continue to grow – Remember the days when customers would order items by phone, use letters to complain about a product and scour newspapers looking for deals? Yes, they still do a little of those things here and there, but far more use their computers for such tasks. So, are you prepared to give them the real-time service they want or are you willing to let your competitor fulfill their needs? It seems like a simple question, but too many entrepreneurs still struggle with the understanding of how important being tuned in online really is;
- This traffic is a good thing – Most people cringe when they think of traffic, but the traffic you can be sitting in with social media is a good thing. With traffic coming to your company website due to your social media initiatives, your ROI is likely to go up. By using targeted keywords, credible links and more, your social media campaign will be recognized by customers;
- What are some of the sites I should direct my attention to? – There are countless social media sites out there, but some stand out above the rest. Obviously Facebook and Twitter have the most name recognition. With Facebook, entrepreneurs are encouraged to create a company fan page and provide valuable information to the public. With Twitter, entrepreneurs can tweet out press releases, pertinent company photos, etc. that would be of interest to their target audience. Other sites to keep in mind are LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and YouTube just to name a few.
No one can accurately predict where social media will be in the years to come, but it is a rather safe bet to say it will need to be something your business is actively engaging in rather than sitting on the sidelines for.
Dave Thomas, who covers among other subjects’ HR Software, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.