By Tony Caribaltes, Caribaltes Consulting, LLC
2011 is finally here and we could not be more excited! It is no secret that the past 3-4 years have been less than stellar for many Americans. However, even with bad situations, nothing lasts forever and the buzz is that 2011 will be the beginning of a period of growth and prosperity that have been elusive these past few years.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention and one of the best things to be born from ole Mom is the growth of the social media networks. As a social media consultant, it has given me the opportunity to make a living at something I love. The following is just a few things to remember if you embark on the social media path for your business on your own.
While social media is ‘free’, time is money and it definitely requires a lot of time to do it correctly. Many businesses get to it when they can. That is fine, but not effective. Up front time expenditures are vital to long term success in social media. You must research to develop a following. This has to be done because no matter how great a message or status update is, it is worthless if there is no one to read it. Depending on who our client is, we collect followers based on some sort of benefit in receiving our clients’ message.
Speaking of the message, this has to be kept interesting. Too many times a business will spend all of their time promoting or pushing a product or service. BORING! No one wants to be sold. People want to be entertained and informed. We suggest keeping it lively and forever changing. For our clients, we utilize a combination of entertaining messages and posts, mixed with applicable information and the latest news releases, a push for the product and then another fun or informative post. The key is for your followers to see you as an authority in your field, but an accessible one.
Finally, do not expect an immediate return. Building trust takes time and that is the key to a long term, sustainable social media campaign. Just like any relationship, it takes time to build and it is not just a one way street. You must engage others by responding to their posts, sending them personal notes and otherwise being interested in others as much as you want them interested in you.
Social Media is not hard. It is time consuming and creatively draining. That is how we are able to make a living at something that is ‘free’. Access to social media is free, but just like any other marketing; you need to invest to make it worthwhile and profitable. If you would like to talk to us about providing your social media, give us a call at 940-379-9060. We would be happy to provide a free consultation to adopt a plan that works within your goals and budget. Let’s make 2011 the year things happen! Happy New Year!!