Ellen Cline, writer
Creative communication that markets, informs, and entertains

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Social Media Tips To Save Your Sanity

Author: ; Published: Jun 20, 2012; Category: Business Writing, Communications Tools; Tags: , , , ; No Comments

Social media is driving the sun crazy

“Social Media Sanity: Choosing Social Media Channels for Your Business” was the title of a webinar I attended.  Well, I can relate to that: Social Media can drive people crazy.

Social media can take a lot of time so it’s important to know if the time being spent is worthwhile.  Everyone says your business has to be on social media, but for small businesses, it can be tough to manage along with other tasks.

Presented by the author of Web Marketing for Dummies, Jan Zimmerman, the webinar gave pros and cons of social media and reviewed the main channels, but also talked about other tools and how to manage your social media presence.

The pros of social media?  It’s free (well, except for your time), it improves your search engine optimization, and billions of people use it every day.  It helps you get more people to be aware of your brand; helps drive traffic to your website, and build relationships.

The cons? You can’t just get on Facebook and call it a day. You still need a website and other media channels. And it takes time. As Zimmerman said, “it’s your money or your life,” so you either do it yourself or pay someone else to do it. There’s a lot out there competing for people’s attention so you need to be on your Facebook or other social channels regularly and have a strategy.

What are you trying to achieve?  Is your goal to find new leads or customers?  To drive people to your website? Conduct research? Instill loyalty?  Share information?

Zimmerman advises you to do one channel well before adding more. If you have objectives, you can quantify them and see if your work is paying off.  Just like any marketing, you can see if you have achieved your goals, reached your target audience, and gotten them to take the action you want.

Depending on your goals, the type of social media you engage in will vary.  Facebook, for example, may or may not be the place for your organization or business. You can look at demographics and see if the audience they reach is yours. There are newer channels like GooglePlus with its circles and +1 ratings, “microblogs” like Twitter, professional social networks like LinkedIn. And what about ads on social media sites, are they worth it? There’s a lot to consider and learn about. 

In this presentation Zimmerman touched on just some of what is in the book: information on more specialized, stratified social media sites; social bookmarking and sharing sites that let people share your content; opinion sites, where people review your products/services; social media tools which let you combine all your social media activities in one place and post to more than one site at a time– HootSuite is one such tool; and social networking policies—does your organization have one? 

There was a ton of information covered in this webinar, which really only focused on how social media relates to web marketing. The book, “Web Marketing for Dummies,” which is now on its 3rd edition, teaches you a lot more about websites, e-commerce, mobile marketing, SEO, and much more.

Just this brief glimpse the webinar provided into one part of the book tells me that it’s packed with practical advice and will be a great reference. Want a taste?  Here’s a “cheat sheet” Dummies.com offers for Web Marketing for Dummies.