Do I need Social Media for my business?

Social Media for B2B and B2CActing as a one-man marketing agency for my clients, I am frequently asked what, if any, social media platforms are a good fit for their business.

Sometimes, the answer is none (at least, not yet).

It’s a controversial answer, I know. But for some companies, social media simply isn’t a good fit until a solid strategy and budget can be but in place. Put another way, there are sometimes better uses of your time and money than creating a business page on Facebook.

At first glance, social media looks like low-hanging fruit. It’s free and easy enough, so why not go for it? My advice is to ask yourself a few questions before diving in:

Do I have content to share?

I don’t recommend launching a company newsletter if a company isn’t willing or able to come up with enough content to periodically fill one. Social media works the same way, the difference being that social content is shared one post at a time, rather than in batches. A stagnant social account is a bad look for a company, and can end up doing more harm than good.

Am I willing to monitor accounts?

Keeping an eye on social media accounts isn’t difficult, but it takes time. If you don’t have the resources to monitor accounts (or pay someone to handle it), problems can crop up. Anonymous users can do lasting damage with one negative comment. Even a well-meaning question from a potential customer can become a disaster if left unanswered.

What is the potential ROI?

It should go without saying, but you should always go for the greatest ROI when considering any marketing initiative. Facebook can be a fun platform to explore, but doesn’t always yield business for a B2B company. Definitely plan to use Facebook for B2C, but consider LinkedIn your first social priority as a B2B company.

Have I considered alternatives?

The lure of free marketing is strong, but social media isn’t the only free (or cheap) way to generate new business. If you’re planning to create new content anyway, why not look into email marketing, white papers and press releases? How fresh is your website? Have you considered new ways to become more involved with your community and your industry?

My advice is this: when you’ve exhausted other options, then resources should absolutely be directed to social platforms. Just make sure that you have done your research and are prepared to put the time in.