How Much Effort Should I Put Into Social Media Strategy?

If you’ve been asking this question in your business, you’re not alone. With all the hype around social media sites like Twitter®, Facebook®, and others over the past year or two, it’s hard not to wonder if it’s something your business should be pursuing more aggressively. The answer to the question depends heavily on another question: What are you hoping to get out of social media?

If you’re hoping to drive more traffic to your website or get more visitors in your store, you’ll need a very specialized strategy. The cold, hard fact of it is that with few exceptions most companies are unable to get those things out of social media.

On the other hand, if your goal is to simply be “out there”, and you have someone who’ll be maintaining your presence, social media may work for you. For example, if you can get a substantial number of people to “Like” your company’s Facebook® fan page, every time you post on that page, they’ll see it. Post useful tidbits they’ll like getting and be sure to include your company name. It’s a way of just staying on their minds long term. You may not see huge amounts of business directly attributable to your Facebook fan page, but if you want to stay in the minds of your customers, this is a good way to do it. Twitter® and others work a lot differently but the principle is the same.

Other benefits social media offer: keeping a finger on the pulse of your market, product research surveys, reputation management, and brand reinforcement. What benefits your company derives from social media comes down to fit. Some companies are uniquely suited to reap massive benefits from social media. Most companies are finding that the time and money are better spent on web marketing fundamentals like link building, search engine optimization, and paid search.

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