An interesting debate in the media lately has been the effectiveness of social media for business, especially as far as SMEs are concerned.
There are those who are for using social media extensively, and those that argue its not worth it, but the question should actually be ‘how much social media do we need?’
There is no doubt that carefully managed online marketing campaigns work. And rather than see it as an expense, business owners should view it as an investment.
Investing Time And Money
However, as with any investment, it must be managed and measured, in order to generate a healthy return. And remember, we’re talking about an investment of time, as well as money.
Some business owners refuse to pay professionals to manage their online marketing, believing they can do it themselves. There are two problems with this scenario – time and expertise.
Whilst popping up a few holiday snapshots on Facebook may be quick and easy, do you really have the industry knowledge and technical skills to properly market your business online? Do you have the tools to determine your demographic and measure the results?
Activity Doesn’t Guarantee Return
And can you really afford the time? Many business owners start out doing this themselves, and then discover that social media is actually getting in their way. A seemingly 10-minute task on Facebook can result in two hours gone from your day. This is not a good use of your time.
Even if your posts are attracting plenty of Likes, and even Shares, are these converting into sales? Activity doesn’t actually constitute a good ROI.
DIY social media marketing is often haphazard, and this can do more harm than good. The way social media works is by building trusted relationships with potential customers. And a good relationship requires regular input.
Right Tools For The Job
If people return to your site several times and there is nothing new, they may not come back. So the time you spend on social media was wasted.
It’s all about creating a balance, and using the right tools for the job. If you wish to manage your own social media, invest some time in learning how to do it effectively.
Set aside a time slot for working on your online marketing, and stick to it. Also set yourself a budget to spend on things like Facebook adverts or Google Adwords campaigns. To get the most out of your spend, learn how to target specific customer groups.
Measure The Results
Most of all, monitor and evaluate the results, and measure them against the investment. In other words, work out your hourly rate and multiply it by the number of hours you spend on social media a week.
Then work out how many sales you generated through social media. That will quickly reveal whether the ROI is worth it.
You might find it more worthwhile to pass the task to a staff member, or enlist the help of professionals.
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