Social media in business – the pros and cons
In this age of information saturation, it can be tough to balance the needs that come with building and maintaining an income-producing clientele. Using social media can become one more balancing dilemma.
Whether you sell a service or a product, you need to attract customers to you. And you attract customers by creating a hook…
How much do you give away?
Your hook is your expertise, and social media is often the key to demonstrating that expertise. You build a lovely website with scads of free information, an active blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed and weekly video tips on how to achieve some fabulous thing that your audience would be interested in.
Now that you’ve put out all the proof that you are a reliable expert AND shown how communicative and customer oriented you are, be prepared for people to want loads of free advice.
Where will you draw the line between information based, social media teasers to draw customers to you, and giving away knowledge that you could (and should) make money from?
Pro: Social media is a great way to put yourself out there as an available expert.
Con: At some point you will have to be tough and say “no” to all the folks looking for free give-aways. You are running a business, after all.
People Crave Relationships With Real People
It’s a fact. People don’t want your business unless it comes with a real face and a real relationship. If you are someone who would rather the face of the business do all the talking for you, prepare to be disappointed. The majority of customers want you.
Social media is a great way to present the personal face that goes with your great advice. But, with a personal face and the personal communication that social media facilitates comes real relationships.
Pro: Nothing shows your individuality better than social media. And individuality is pure marketing gold.
Con: Relationships take time and energy, and often do not produce dollars in return.
What makes you stand out on the web
Social media can be a fantastic way to represent yourself and what you offer to the public. It takes you past your image, brand and top of mind awareness, and goes to the heart of what today’s consumers are looking for: Real. Quality. Real quality.
Yes, it is time consuming. Yes, it can’t be quantified into pounds returned to you. Yes, you can make money without it.
But for real, lasting success, leverage social media in creating an active and interactive consumer base that will talk about you, remember you, and come back. If your business needs relationships to thrive, social media is your key to success.