If you are in business you probably read this heading and thought to your self, "Well duh!". As I work with businesses that are trying to get their heads around social media this step seems to be missed. There are tons of businesses that know there is something important happening with social media. They might have a facebook page because their kids do. Every where you look anymore there are people trying to get you to connect with them on Twitter or Facebook. Facebook is now the most trafficked site on the internet. Seeing all this businesses think they are missing the boat and the jump in head first. They spend some time in there and most never see the benefit and get frustrated. Social media takes a ton of personal time. Don't kid yourself about it being free. But there is a very important thing going on here so in order to take part you have to get your act together first and figure out what you are trying to do. Not sure what that means here are a few examples:
- I want to be the influencer in my market.
- I want to drive product innovation.
- I want to enable better customer service.
- I want to build relationships with key people in my market.
- I want to build brand equity.
- I just want to listen to what the market or my customers are talking about.
- I want to drive traffic to my store or website
These are just a few examples. Based on these objectives your strategies and tactics may be very different. Based on you objectives you may find that they audiences live in different places. You might use the same tools but what you do there will vary based on what you are trying to achieve. Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Flickr, etc are just the tools you use to reach your goals. They are the means to the end. They are not the end. So before you dive in and establish a Facebook Fan page figure out if you need one. If you don't you might be wasting your time and more importantly your customers time.