Does Your Business Really Need to Be on Social Media? (The Answer Might Surprise You)

Social Media Business

“Your customers are talking about you      behind your back!”

The truth of social media is this:

It can be a LOT of work.

Especially when you’re trying to build a business in an efficient, time-effective way.

This reality often pushes people to one of two extremes:

  1. “Social media is super-important so I need to get my business up and running on every available network immediately!”
  2. “Social media is a complete waste of time and money. I’m trying to run a business, not make friends!”

Of course, both of the these responses are over-simplified.

Why Not Every Business Needs To Jump Into Social Media

The reality is, businesses can succeed without actively marketing on social media. But the internet holds a wealth of information that you need to know about your business, whether you control the conversation or not.

Businesses should NEVER ignore social media completely. 

However, hopping online before you’re ready can be a bad thing. Will you know how to handle complaints? What will you talk about? And which networks are you going to use?

Many people want to spend the time getting organized first – and that’s ok.

Good reasons not to focus on social media in your marketing strategy include:

  • You don’t have the resources to get into social media right now.
  • You need training in order to know what to do with social media.
  • You’re still in the process of developing a social media marketing plan.

What’s not ok is ignoring your online image completely . People are talking about you, whether you know about it or not. Imagine missing something huge like a smear campaign against your brand. Or how about a celebrity endorsement?

You must be aware of what people are saying about you online, even without a social media presence. – Click to Tweet

What To Do Until You Get Your Business On Social Media

Whether or not you are ready to promote your business using social media, here is what you need to do today.

Step 1: Set Up Alerts To Monitor Your Brand On Social Media.

There are lots of monitoring services out there, but you only need these two: Google Alerts, and Social Mention.

1. Google Alerts

Google alerts is free service that will email you whenever something new is posted about your organization online. This includes new articles, blog posts, videos, and forum discussions. It’s an easy way to keep track of online attention from customers, media outlets, and anyone else  who encounters your business.

2. Mention

Mention is similar to Google Alerts, but it also monitors fast-changing social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit.  This content can be missed by Google Alerts, but often contains the juiciest information.

Setting up both services takes less than a minute. The frequency that you receive their emails is up to you, but once daily should do the trick. Be sure to include your brand name in your alerts, as well as any other names or terms associated with your business.

Step 2: Keep Track And Respond When Appropriate

Make sure you read every alert email so that you don’t miss anything important. Log any useful feedback for future planning (even if you don’t like what you see).

Awareness of online brand sentiment is vital. If you don’t have branded social media accounts yet, you can still respond to some types of online discussion of your business. Great ways to to do this include commenting on blog posts, emailing the post’s author, or responding to problematic reviews.

Step 3: Make Sure People Can Contact You.

Lastly, make sure people have way to contact you online – a simple contact form on your website should do the trick. (If you don’t have a website yet, ask me about other options).

You may not be in a situation yet to lead the conversation yourself, but you must still set up alerts to track what people are saying about you online. This data will be a huge help in identifying problems, planning future marketing strategy, and allowing you to inject your own voice into the conversation as necessary.

Setting up alerts to monitor your business on social media and the web takes less than five minutes.

Do it.

Now!

And if you know someone else who does not monitor their brand or business online, please share this article with them. It will help me out, and more importantly – it will help them!

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Catherine May 9, 2013, 3:16 pm

    Thanks for the clear step by step! I’m just starting out and definitely don’t have a lot of time for social media yet.

    Reply
    • Casandra Campbell May 9, 2013, 3:22 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Catherine! What sort of business are starting?

      Reply
  • Jonc July 27, 2013, 10:59 am

    Very good and interesting publication. I absolutely agree with your point of view. I would add another reason to be in socila media. There are many brands that don’t have any social platform, but its consumers/fans have already set up a non offiial account and they talk and publish things about the brand. Some times these communities can grow so much that can even have some influence in the image of those brands. In these cases is important for the brand to control and own the conversation from an official page/account.

    Reply
    • Casandra Campbell July 27, 2013, 1:06 pm

      You’re absolutely right, Jonc! It’s crazy to think that sometimes these companies aren’t even aware of the communities around them.

      Reply
  • stevebri September 11, 2013, 1:27 pm

    it’s industry specific, my industry doesn’t hire people from social media, websites maybe but in reality people buy people. you meet a potential client at an industry specific social gathering, swap cards, have an introduction ready and be nice, listen and mildly keep in touch, if they can use your services they will call you. It’s that simple, FB etc is for the millions of kids who are halfway through and expensive education and think clicking keys pays their bills. Meetup is much closer to finding like minded people with potential work.

    LinkedIn… apart from friends i get weird, unrelated people who want to link with me… for yrs… any work…? nope, never. Call an old client from way back or an institution you worked for with a new boss and you are already halfway through the door.

    you can spend way too much time looking on social media sites, checking website hits…
    Yet…. where is the work…?

    Reply
  • Casandra Campbell September 11, 2013, 4:43 pm

    Thanks for your comment Steve!

    You’ve made a very important point here: social media is not one size fits all so. If we’re using it for business, it’s important to be cognizant of how much time we’re spending and whether or not we’re getting any results.

    While I have both gotten clients and made purchases directly as a result of social media (I’m working on a post about this), making sales shouldn’t be the primary goal. Rather, it’s one part of the process. Without goals and a clear plan it’s easy to spend way too much time looking on social media sites, as you pointed out!

    Reply
  • Adam Dukes November 5, 2013, 2:08 am

    Great post, Cassandra! I have been thinking of writing an article with a similar title, just a little bit of a twist with the content. I want to stress the importance of getting the basics (foundation) in place before diving into social.

    Again, great post, that I obviously missed 6 months ago when you posted it :)

    Reply
    • Casandra Campbell November 5, 2013, 2:27 am

      Haha well thanks for reading and commenting, Adam!

      Let me know when you write that blog post – it sounds right up my alley!

      Reply

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