Okay, I Own My Own Business and I Want to Go Social... Now What?
At Cusp Creative, we cannot tell you how many times we have met with clients and they have said something to the effect:
• I made a Facebook fan page and nothing has happened.
• I am on Twitter, but no one ever talks to me.
• I have yet to make a sale from Social Media; it seems like a big waste of time.
If you are not using Social Media for your business in the correct way, then it will definitely be a huge waste of time. Without an investment in creating a Social Media Marketing plan that works for your business with goals and a clear strategy to reach those goals, then you may as well not bother with Social Media for Marketing purposes at all.
Proper use of Social Media brings with it better reach to your target market, an increase in brand awareness, and better connectivity with others in your field. The key words here are “proper use.” Far too many businesses look at Social Media as yet another box to check to be considered a legitimate business. Checking boxes is for surveys, not running a business. Without a thorough, thought out plan Social Media simply will not work for you.
Business still have not realized the impact Social has on their Brand and leave their Online Reputation to the neighbor girl or their administrative assistant with a hands-off approach. Too many people use Social based on what they think they should do, how they manage their own personal accounts, or what some friend or business associate has told them to do. Now, those people may be right, but they may not as well. You would leave another aspect of your business to the neighbor girl; run it in a more casual way. Would you? Probably not, if you are going to invest in Social Media as a Marketing technique, you must commit enough time to keep a consistent presence in your community.
Here are some common questions we run into with our clients and our opinions:
Okay let’s do it, where do I start?
Contact a Social Media Manager or a firm like Cusp Creative and ask for a consultation. A good firm will, and in most cases, be more than happy to come out and talk about a way that Social Media can help build your brand. This is what they do; it’s their passion.
What should I prepare?
Have some goals set. If your Social Media Manager does not ask what exactly your goals for the campaign are, then they really do not know what they are doing. With a clear set of measurable goals you cannot measure success. Some examples of some actionable goals may include: raising number of likes or fans, driving more business to a brick and mortar location, raise awareness of your brand online, or promoting an event.
This is crucial and most often the most overlooked aspect of creating a Social Media Campaign. In order to prevent misunderstandings and conflict between your Brand and your Social Media Manager from happening inn the future a clear and concise plan of attack is key.
How many Social Media Channels should I be on?
The number of Social Networks your Brand has a presence on is not one of numbers, but of relevance. If you are an owner of a Sandwich shop or Hair Salon then you will probably want to have the 3 required ones (Facebook Page, Twitter Profile, and Google+ Page), but also location based services like Foursquare and Yelp!. Reviews, good or otherwise, are a great way to spread the word about your business. As long as your product or service is great, then the reviews should be as well.
How much should I pay?
Well, that depends. How much would you pay for a hamburger? Six bucks? Twenty? The 666 Burger Truck (follow on twitter @666burger) was a $666 dollar burger offered right now in New York. Is it worth it? Probably not. If that price is within your budget, then you might give it a go. As far as Social Media is concerned, you should decide what your budget is before you schedule your consultation, or better yet tell them upfront. They should be able to tailor your campaign to your needs. If what your thoughts for your campaign result in a price higher than your whole marketing budget, then you may need to start smaller and work your way up as you move on. There is nothing wrong with ordering the $5 burger combo.
What about contracts?
Much like any service you purchase or agreement you make with any other business contracts are going to be a part of it. Depending on the Firm’s policy and philosophy you may have no commitment after a month or you may have to sign away for ears upon years. At Cusp Creative we believe that a strong Social Campaign shows results after six months of active campaigning; we suggest at the very least a 6 month contract. Too often Brands and businesses do not give their Social Management enough time to generate traction and get rid of the service or hire on a new firm. Most often generating similar results.
The main thing to remember about Social Media is that we are all Social Media Experts. The field is one that is expanding; hourly. There is no right way to use it; there are some wrong ways. Someone that has the time and expertise to study the emerging trends in Social Media will have a better understanding of how to better take your brand on the cusp of success over the top. With a firm in tune with the trends managing your Online Presence, it will free you up to doing what you do best; selling your goods and services.