But do I really need social media for my business?

“But do I really need social media to promote my business?” I hear this question a lot. I guess the best way to answer this is with another question: Do your clients use social media?

Recent statistics count the number of Facebook users to be around 750 million, give or take a million (but, what’s a million users between friends?). I would venture to guess that your clients are on Facebook.

So, the next question is, “How do I use Facebook to grow or sustain my business?” The best answer is to use ALL social media in a social way; comment on what your friends are doing, ask them questions, answer questions asked of you, pass along useful information, use your expertise to add context to a recent news story, talk about community events, be supportive… in short: BE SOCIAL.

Is it an opportunity to promote your business? Yes. But, please keep your old-fashioned-megaphone-style posts about your business to a minimum. Make sure your posts are engaging. If you are in the real estate business, for example, you can talk about a new listing – but, offer something interesting, like…

  • a good photo that drew you to the home
  • something that is unique about the property or neighborhood
  • a detail that attracted the current owners to the home
  • a short video of the home on YouTube (but, please make sure it looks nice first)
  • invite your friends to the open house
  • mention the garden and how the owners yielded a great crop of tomatoes this year
  • ask what your friends might do with the unfinished back yard

Any of the above feel social, engaging and open for discussion. Don’t be afraid of negative comments. Those may come, but those will most likely be rare and social media users are used to them. You can use your expertise to spin those back to a positive tone.

In short: Yes. You probably do really need social media to grow your business.


11 thoughts on “But do I really need social media for my business?

  1. Everything you say is true. I would add that some serious strategic thinking should go into setting up what you want your social media efforts to achieve. Tie them to one of your business objectives, whether that be customer service, sales, marketing or something else. Then, measure it but beware of looking only at the number of “Likes” as the measure of success or failure. Look for other things that go back to your objectives: how often thinks are shared, clicked on and discussed are more meaningful.

  2. “Yes. But, please keep your old-fashioned-megaphone-style posts about your business to a minimum.”

    Yes, yes a million time yes. The biggest mistake that people make when engaging in social media on a professional level is treating it just line your typical newspaper advertisement. A Facebook wall or a Twitter stream is not a line ad, rather it’s a living and breathing thing. A *conversation* that evolves over time.

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