Social Media: Important Questions Small Businesses Must Answer First

May 8, 2013

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Scott Christofferson

Social Media Prep Questions

Social media is the new norm. You want to be involved and tell people about your business, but before you get in too deep it’s important to ask AND answer a few questions.

I don’t want you to think that it’s terribly difficult or risky but I do want you to remember that you must be educated before you spend your time and energy.

Social media has potential to help your business when it’s done right and when you’re sure (or at least pretty sure) it’s right for your business. However, you have to do more than just set up social accounts. You have to be actively engaged on social media and that takes time and effort.

I like social media. I think it’s an important tool for many businesses but you have to be smart about it. If all of your customers are on Twitter but don’t use LinkedIn then you wouldn’t want to focus on LinkedIn – especially in the beginning. It’s a matter of thorough research and careful planning.

Here are three questions you definitely need to be asking before you start using social media:

Are You Invested?

Do you have the desire to make social media work for you? Do you have the time or the staff? A small business won’t likely need a full-time employee to manage social media but someone needs to own the responsibility. If you’re going to have Facebook or Twitter you’ll definitely want to post between 2-4 times a week which isn’t a lot but it will take time.

What are you hoping to get out of it?

Like I’ve mentioned, social media takes time – time that you could spend elsewhere – so what do you really want out of it? Are you just trying to sell something? Do you want to be a thought leader? You need to decide on some objectives that work for you and your audience because your relationship must be mutually beneficial.

Can you handle public complaints?

People will complain publicly about your company no matter how great you are. Are you ready for that? Even if you’re not on social media people are going to talk about the good and bad of your business on online platforms so get prepared.

Just remember that social media is great but it is a commitment so be sure you answer these questions before you jump in. What else is your company considering before taking the social media plunge?

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