One of the questions that I get asked a lot is, “Do I have to have a Facebook page for my business?” The people who most often ask this already have a social media profile for themselves, and know that social media is a great way to market businesses, but they don’t want to commit to it unless it makes sense for their business.
The answer that I always give is: it depends.
I applaud these business owners for their awareness that social media is something they shouldn’t ignore in the modern world of marketing. But blindly building a social media presence without understanding how it is going to benefit your prospects, your clients, or your business can actually hurt your business in the long run.
An effective social media presence requires a commitment of time and energy to make it work. This type of commitment isn’t right for every business, or in every stage of business development.
Launching a social media presence for your business makes sense when:
1. Your prospects, current clients, or former clients are active on social media.
Focus your marketing on reaching your targets where they already hang out. If that isn’t on social media, you are wasting your time creating a presence there.
2. You already publish helpful advice via blogs or other online avenues.
An effective social media presence requires more than self-promotion; you have to offer non-promotional content that your followers actually want. If you aren’t already doing this via a blog or some other publishing outlet, start doing this first, and only after you have a regular publishing schedule in place, launch your social media presence.
3. Your business can afford to invest the time and effort into building your social media presence.
Only invest in building a social media presence when your business can afford to take time and resources from other business-building endeavors. The reality is that it takes quite a commitment to social media over an extended period of time before any return on that investment will be seen; social media should never be seen as a get-rich-quick way to build a business.
Although not every business should be on social media right now, that doesn’t mean that your business can afford to completely ignore social media completely. You must monitor what is going on in social media, especially how it applies to your industry. When your target market starts to join social media in high numbers, your business will likely want to as well. But there is one other place where you, as a business owner, must monitor social media: you must monitor what is being said about you online.
How does your business use social media? Please share in the comments and include a link to your business pages.