The cost of entry into many online marketing opportunities is incredibly low.
Nowhere is this more true than with social media.
The fact that there’s no financial barrier to become involved in any of the various social media networks makes it easy to for business owners to say…
“Hey it’s free! What have I got to lose? At best, I gain some new customers and generate some new business… there’s really no downside to getting involved.”
The problem, however, is that it’s not really free to establish your business on any social network, even if there’s no actual “entry fee” to do so. That’s because it takes time to build your profiles, establish yourself on them, build lists of followers, and so on.
And time is your most precious commodity.
Jumping feet first onto every hot new social media platform just because some guru says so is a guarantee that before long, a good portion of your day will be devoted to updating your growing number of social media profiles. And if you’re like 2/3’s of UK business owners who in a recent survey said that social media had no perceptible impact on their businesses, this will get old pretty quickly.
More importantly, it’s a not smart business strategy to allocate it to tasks that deliver a minimal ROI (Return on Investment), especially if you can use it to generate a much more significant ROI doing other things.
5 Questions to Ask Before Committing Your Business to Another Social Media Platform
So I propose this; before establishing your business on ANY social media platform – regardless of how new, “hot”, “hip” or recommended it may be – ask yourself these questions.
1. Is it a really, really, really good “fit” for my business?
Not every platform is a good match for every business; some platforms work better for B2B (business to business) and not so well for B2C (business to consumer).
Others may be comprised of people who are extremely fickle and not receptive to marketing messages. Some appeal to individuals with specific interests or needs that may not be aligned with your business.
Facebook is best for B2C businesses (business to consumer) for example. Twitter, perhaps contrary to what you have heard, is best for B2B (business to business).
2. Do you understand how to leverage it for business?
Are you willing to take a course or read some instructional material? Just opening an account and starting to post content is unlikely to do much for you.
Every social media platform has some best practice strategies for connecting to and engaging your audience effectively and if you don’t know what they are, your results will be minimal at best.
3. Can you use it to connect with your LOCAL audience?
Are your local prospects active on this platform in a big way?
Remember, social media platforms attract a global audience.
It does you little good to build relationships with a state / provincial / national or even an international audience if those people are never going to set foot inside your business or generate revenue for you in some way.
Sure, building a list of engaged followers might make you feel good. Nothing beats the thrill of having your posts shared and commented on, but feeling good doesn’t pay the bills.
This is business, remember?
You must focus on the things that make you money.
4. Can you monetize a national / state / provincial / global audience?
Just because you’re not currently engaging with an audience outside your local area doesn’t mean you can’t. You need to think out of the box here, especially if you’re not in a position to sell your product online, or if you offer a service restricted to a local geographic area.
Say for example you have a dog grooming business and have built legions of followers on Instagram by posting 100’s pictures of hilariously bedraggled wet dogs.
Obviously the vast majority of your devoted fans can’t bring their dogs to you to be groomed, so how can you generate some income from this audience?
A number of ways…
The easiest is by joining affiliate the programs of merchants who offer dog-related products online. The merchants will pay you a commission on any referred sales, which are tracked through a unique referral link.
To get started, go to the ClickBank marketplace to find digital products to promote (these offer high payouts). Then sign up for a free account to get your tracking links. You can also become an Amazon Associate and promote “physical” goods as well.
The other option is to create and sell your own digital products.
How about a video series on how to start a dog grooming business, or an ebook entitled “7 Things You Need to Know to Groom Your Dog at Home.”
Is your mind buzzing with the potential? Great! Then my job here is done!
5. Are you already engaging with this audience effectively somewhere else?
You don’t need to follow your audience all over the Internet.
If you’re already building relationships with this audience effectively on your current social media profiles, do you really need to add another?
People may love Instagram, for example, but that doesn’t they aren’t still active on Facebook, and that you can’t still engage them there.
So think carefully.
Do you really need yet another social media profile to create and maintain regularly?
Maybe it’s time to “just say no!”