One question that comes up quite often working as a social media consultant, is, “Do I need to use social media to promote my brand?” The short answer: it depends.
The longer answer is that it depends on your marketing objectives, your target audience, and how much time and money you’re willing to invest.
There are dozens of free social media channels you can promote your services on from Instagram to TikTok, Facebook to Snapchat. You can spend all day creating content for an audience and reaching new people without spending a dime.
But just because something doesn’t have an upfront cost, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a trade-off. Every minute you spend posting something on Facebook is a minute you’re not spending on another aspect of your business. The time you spend creating content, learning a new system, and responding to comments, is time not spent responding to emails, working with clients, or shipping your products.
Social media is just one marketing tool that can be used to reach your audience. It works best in conjunction with an effective website, email marketing, and Google AdWords. Social media is not a replacement for these pieces, but an addition to this suite.
Often, I hear from people that they are not, “seeing results” from social media. What this usually this translates to when I dive a bit deeper is:
- Not having a content strategy for what to post (and what not to post)
- Not knowing how to use the platform(s) effectively
- Not spending enough time managing their social media channels each week
- Expecting instant results each time a piece of content is posted
Social media only works if you’re ready and willing to invest the time AND money into it, just like you would an effective website, AdWords campaign, or print ad.
If you get most of your business through in-person meetings, networking events, cold calling, or print campaigns, you might not need to add social media to your to-do list.
However, one big learning lesson that has impacted many businesses right now – if you’re a business that has relied on only in-person ways to promote your product, the pandemic has likely had a major impact on how you’re able to secure new business. Having your brand online allows you to future-proof many of the ways you find clients. As demographics shift between platforms, you may find your target demographic is now on social media. In-person meetings are a wonderful way to conduct business, but we don’t know when we will be able to resume those, and what they are going to look like in the future.
In short – do you need to have a social media presence? The better question to ask is, “Are you committed to showing up on social media to serve a purpose every day for your audience?” If the answer is YES, then everything else can be figured out.
The first step to success is creating a plan, start making your social media plan today.