Zenert’s Marketing Minute: Is Social Media Marketing For Your Business?

Date PublishedOctober 3, 2013
CompanyBeacon News
Article AuthorJack Zenert
Article TypeJune 2013 Issue
Tags, ,
PULSE Interactive

Zenert’s Marketing Minute: Is Social Media Marketing For Your Business?

Social media is the latest fad in marketing. Every business owner and marketing team is asking about social media.

  • Should we have a Facebook business page?
  • Is Twitter better than LinkedIn?
  • Should I hire a social media person?

These are all common questions – but they are the wrong questions.

Better questions would be:

  • What are the communications objectives?
  • Will social media help me to meet those objectives?
  • How will social media enable me to increase not only sales, but overall profitability of my business?

Zenert1Here are four main issues you should examine before thinking about hiring a social media specialist or joining social networks for your business.

Does your business have a marketing plan?

Do you have a working marketing plan that guides how you create and implement marketing strategies?

Your marketing plan should define your target market and your key message. It should also contain a summary of ongoing marketing activities and have a schedule or calendar of marketing events.

You can then look at social media as an add-on strategy and see how it can fit with other strategies to communicate your key message to your target market (as that is the reason for any marketing to exist).

Do I have the people in place to make social media sustainable?

Social media is not a quick fix to a sales problem. It is a long-term marketing strategy that produces results only after sustained work to build your online assets. You need people to be out in the virtual world spreading your message and you need someone to manage that process. Even more important – you need the top-level management to understand the strategy and commit to it for the long term.

Do I have the building blocks to create a company-wide social media policy?

To implement a social media strategy without having a social media policy in place can be very dangerous. Social media can be detrimental if not planned properly and executed correctly. It’s definitely not rocket science, but you need to have some clear rules as to who can post on behalf of the organization. You should also have some guidelines as to what your employees can say in regards to the company and their respective job duties.

The building blocks of a social media policy include a company privacy officer and privacy document. It also includes your website’s privacy information and terms of use and an understanding of the implications of social media at a senior management level (the last thing you want to hear is the CEO asking, “Why did you not tell me this could happen?” six months from now). Another building block is an updated HR policy manual and an understanding of social media by your human resources team.

Why am I considering social media?

Social media is not as simple as running an advertisement campaign or putting on an event. Effective use of social media involves sharing the culture of your organization with the world, and building a community that embraces that culture.

Are you ready to expose your organization in that way? Can you be authentic? If you are simply adding social media because you think you need to follow the trend – then don’t do it!

Realize that social media – despite all the proclamations that spout FREE MARKETING – is not free. Social media is an investment in the long-term marketing of your company – as well as the building of your company into a community.

Social media marketing is harder than you think! I am not suggesting that an organization should not become involved in social media. In fact, I would suggest that every organization should be involved with it in some way – but it needs to be the right way for that organization.