Crucial Question Number 1
Last week, I offered six crucial questions that businesses should consider before they delve into a social media presence. Question one involves figuring out what you want your presence to accomplish for your business. Which begs an even more basic question: How do you decide what those things are?
As with most marketing endeavors, it’s always sound to start with a back-to-basics mindset. Let this philosophy form the framework of your approach to social media. I have two great answers to the “What should my presence accomplish” question that apply to every business:
1. Your social presence should create greater awareness within each community of your business and brand
2. You want this presence to build trust
Seem obvious? You’d be surprised at the number of businesses that start a Facebook page and Twitter account with the intention of using each as a one way platform to broadcast specials and deals. They learn that social sites are free, and in their minds, that translates into “free advertising platform.” They view social media marketing as the latest and greatest shiny new tool to boost sales.
That’s the wrong approach entirely.
The rationale for starting with 1 and 2 above is simple: There will be people out there who do not know about your business, and social media is a great way to change that. But don’t tell them what you’ve got – Show them who you are. You do this in large measure by simply talking to people just to share info and get to know them. Over time, once they come to know and trust you, what started as conversation may result in sales. Or it may not. And that’s OK – because boosting sales is what your traditional advertising is designed to do. Sales can happen eventually as a result of a good social presence, but should not be its focus. Ever.
After all, it’s called social media, as opposed to self promotional media – for a reason.
Liz DeLoach is a Social Media Consultant, Les Mills Fitness Trainer, wife and mom of two teens (help!) in Charleston, SC. Follow her on Twitter @lizdeloach. And, be sure to stop by her page at Social Moms.