There’s so much buzz around social media marketing these days that it’s not uncommon to find people who are just starting out in online business devoting huge chunks of their day to their social media campaigns.
However, if you’re just starting out as a site or blog owner, there are plenty of other ways you could be spending your time more constructively. Here are the facts:
- Social media can be an effective marketing tool – AFTER your site is already popular. That’s when your viewers will sign up to your groups, or follow your tweets. Before then, you’re just another unknown quantity!
- When you’re starting out – whether it’s an online business, a niche website, or a website for a brick and mortar company, it’s better to focus on creating amazing content, so that all those visitors you’re sending to your site find something worth looking at!
- If you already have a great site, and you want to drive traffic to it via social media, it’s still going to take a lot of your precious time. There are plenty of freelancers out there who will start and manage your social network presence for you – freeing you up to do other important things to your site.
- Automate it! It’s so easy to add a sharing button or two to your site or blog that allow visitors to your site to share your links on their social media pages. Why go to the added effort of doing it yourself, when you can have the people who are viewing your site sharing your information with their friends for you! If you haven’t already got a button that allows sharing, stop reading right now, and go get one! I’ll wait for you.
- Many people who already have a site (and plenty who don’t) wind up wasting time on social media marketing simply because they have no plan. Instead of spending hours aimlessly wandering social media sites, draw up an online marketing plan. You could aim for 5 new friends each day, 5 new tweets, and to update all of your page and groups. That way, you can get in, and out, without spending ages on each site.
- Choose your sites carefully. Not all social media sites are targeted towards the demographic you want to reach! Marketing trendy clothing for teenagers, for instance, on a professional network like LinkedIn is pointless – about as pointless as trying to market top level business consulting on a site like MySpace! Choose the sites you use to market your business according to the target demographic you want to reach.
- Limit your time! Many business people I know bemoan the amount of time spent answering and sending emails. It eats into their productivity, and results in them achieving far less than they could. My advice is to set aside times – say an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening – to spend on social media marketing and emails. Then stick to it
- Multitask. If you have downloads or uploads to do, do them at the same time as you’re on social network sites. Prepare an email marketing campaign and upload it to your email marketing software, then run it while you are on social network sites. If you can achieve more than one thing while you’re on a social network site, then you’re not really wasting the time.
Focused on the business
As I’ve mentioned earlier in this article, social media marketing can be an effective marketing tool for your website or business. However, that’s when it’s used as a supplement to all of your other marketing efforts, and when you’re actively focused on the business itself too.
No one I have ever heard of has ever created a fantastically popular blog or website based purely on the social media marketing efforts. You need to focus on the site first, and then on the marketing. As the line from the movie Field of Dreams goes, ‘If you build it, they will come!’
learn more about social media marketing
So by all means, learn more about social media marketing. Spend some time figuring out how it all works, and toying with a page or a group or two. But don’t write off what’s important now in favor of gaining fans on Facebook, or connections on LinkedIn.