Monday, March 8, 2010

The True Value of Social Media - What's Most Important to You?

If you own your own business, then you know that every day is a juggling act. You are the Business Development Department, and the Billing Department, you are responsible for creating strategies, executing tactics. You are the business.

And now you're looking at Social Media as a low-cost way to market a business that you love. You want to communicate your passion about your business to other people, so they can feel how much you love what you do and how much you can help them.

But Social Media isn't as simple as an advertising campaign or a promotional special. There is no single one-to-one ratio for Social Media. And the more you read about it, the more it looks like a lot of work for nothing. So you have to ask yourself - what is the value of Social Media to your business?

To answer this question, I propose one of my own.

What's Most Important to You?

This is not a silly question. It's a difficult and complex question, wrapped in a few simple words.

Write down a few things that you do almost every day: Read Email; Pay Bills; Talk to Customers. Next to each of these tasks, write down *why* you do that task. Don't be clever - be honest. You talk to customers so that they will buy your product, or pay a bill. You read your email to find out what needs to get done. Look at each task without delusion. Pretend you have to explain the why of each task to an alien.

At the bottom of your list note the commonalities of the reasons. Maybe you write "To Make Sales" four times, or "To Make Money" or "To Get the Product to Market". This is what is most important to you.

That is your ROI for Social Media.

Maybe you'd like to close the time to market gap, or close a few more sales each month. That's your ROI for Social Media.

Take a look at your competitors - do their Social Media strategies support the same objectives? Or is the focus some other quality. "Join our Facebook, get 10% off" means that the objective is to get numbers on Facebook. Learn what your competitor thinks is the most important thing to them, by seeing what their Social Media focus is.

The True Value of Social Media is the the Most Important Thing to You.

Understand what's most important to your business, and you'll be able to create a powerful Social Media strategy to support it!
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