How Can Social Media Transform Your Business?

Being online is a crucial characteristic of any successful business. It seems easy, right? Post a few entries on a blog, share a few thoughts on Twitter, or create a Facebook fan page. Yet, so many businesses fail to gain traction using these platforms, which makes them wonder, is the cost and effort really worth it?
The answer is an enthusiastic “Yes.” However, if you are not seeing the results you are hoping for, it is probable that your strategy needs improvement. Keep these things in mind:

  1. The purpose of social media is to be “social”.  Every good sale begins with a conversation. What does the consumer want? What does the consumer need? How much is the consumer willing to pay? You want your social media presence to encourage interaction with your clients. Post ideas that are relevant to them and make sure you respond to the comments they leave.
  2. Pick the right platform. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare, YouTube, etc. all have their functions that make them particularly strong platforms for certain types of businesses. If you are an artist, leverage Facebook and Instagram. If you are a brick and mortar store, utilize Foursquare for special promotions and sales.
  3. Don’t over commit. If you are a small business owner, you likely do not have time to create videos for YouTube, blog posts, Tweets, and Facebook content for one week, let alone one month. You want your social media presence to be an extension of your brand and you don’t want potential customers to feel like you are overextended. Thus, choose one platform to make your expertise. Once you’ve mastered generating content for that, consider adding in other social media. 
    4. Measure your progress. Like in any business commitment, you want to set goals for yourself. Measuring how your social media is doing (i.e. how many visitors? How many retweets? How many new followers?) is easy with built-in platform mechanisms and tools like Google Analytics.

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