Looking back at 2011, it’s easy to see that nothing has business owners more discombobulated than social media. Whether its Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, or any of the hundreds of others that seem to pop up almost daily, the question is the same – does it work?
People take strong opinions on both sides of the issue. Some people say that it absolutely does not work. In fact, they go on to say it’s a fad and will soon fizzle out. Some people even go on to say it’s a total waste of time.
On the other hand, people are claiming to have huge success with social media. They claim to have grown their brand awareness, increased their customer base, and even made significant sales. In many cases, entire companies have been built using only social media. And this isn’t just the big companies. It’s the everyday local small businesses.
Benefits of Social Media
By now, there is no question. The jury is in on whether or not social media works to help grow your business. It does. So many companies have already had so much success that by now, you really have to stick your head in the sand to say it doesn’t work.
But here’s the big caveat – it must be used correctly. Obviously the platform you choose to use must line up with your business and your customers.
The clearly evident benefits of social media include growing your brand awareness and connecting with your customer base where they already hang out. It gives you a way to reach out in a format that they’re comfortable with.
For example, maybe you’re happy as a clam getting on the phone but your customer would rather send you a direct message on Twitter. It’s not what you like, it’s what your customer likes.
Following brand awareness and customer connection leads to increased revenue. By using contests, giveaways, coupons, and generally supplying good information, and more, it’s easy to watch the bottom line get bigger.
Now, for everyone that still wants to ignore the companies already using social media successfully, no amount of talk is going to convince you. There’s a solution for that.
Why Not Track It and Find Out!
Take away any confusion by testing social media in your business by tracking it! Before dismissing it and saying it just won’t work for you, give it a try.
For example, you can implement something as simple as a company YouTube channel. Load up some great videos and start utilizing them to act as sales agents for you. Make sure your videos have a clear call to action and drive traffic to your website.
Now comes the best part for the unbelievers.
Insert your own Google Analytics code on your website and start tracking the results. You can see with your own two eyes where all of your web traffic is coming from. This includes any social media platforms that you’re experimenting with!
It’s obvious, right? If you do even one thing differently and you get increased traffic to your website or your phone starts ringing more, something worked right? Why not take the same scientific approach to social media?
Try It. Test It. Track It.
Tweak what’s working and what isn’t. If your $500 a month in yellow page ads isn’t working anymore, why not try something new? Again, it doesn’t have to be a guessing game. There are very real ways you can track the results of a social media campaign.
It’s simple marketing: in order to grow, you need to place your message in front of the right people at the right time in the right medium. Your customers are online. They’re using social media networks. You need to also be there. And now you can actually track it to see that it’s working!