Is Social Media a Waste of Time For Your Business?

May 17, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Sadly for many businesses social media is a waste of time and can even cost you sales.

The conversation goes something like this: “I opened a Facebook page for my business and I have not received one new customer because of it. I did make friends with some nice girls (or guys) in Florida for my next vacation south.”


So does that mean that you should can your efforts? Maybe, if you are not going to take them seriously.

Who wants to see a Facebook Page (as opposed to a profile or timeline) that has not been updated since last Christmas?
Who wants to go to a Page, ask a question or leave a comment only to be ignored?
Who wants to go to a Page to get information on roofing only to be assaulted by scantily clad guys in swimsuits?

So what should you do to ensure that you are using this tool to enhance your business?

Set goals and targets. Do not believe those people who tell you that you cannot measure social media. You can. It has its challenges, but like all direct media, you can (and should) be setting targets, measuring results and learning.

Do not treat your efforts as an “it”. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Pinterest (to name some leaders) may be “its” but when you are using them, you are speaking to real people on the other end. It could be your Aunt May… think about your messaging

Yes, content matters. Content matters a lot. Content should be less formal; easy to navigate; visually appealing – color and imagery; and meaningful. The content should inform, enlighten, entertain, educate and lead your audience.

The trick with social media is not to focus on attracting new people, although it can help with that as well, but into turning existing contacts into customers; existing customers into clients (repeat customers) and clients into fans. Fans tell people; fans refer people; fans can be a gold mine if you treat them well. Social media can help you treat them well. It need not be expensive:

Birthday greeting
Public recognition
Winning a contest that is geared towards fans!

Do not rely on social media alone! Too many people think that setting up a campaign absolves them of any other marketing. That is very untrue. We think that social media works best when used with one, two or three other methods. We do not recommend 17 methods, but do think that synergy can be had by using multiple methods.

Amongst our recommendations are:
Flash sales to attract new audience
Email to deepen relationship with existing audience
Direct mail to broaden audience that fits certain defined demographics

The above three suggestions should tie into two goals, to drive business and to grow your social media base. Synergy is when you can get more by doing less. By getting a customer to “like” your Facebook Page to get a promotional offer, you are setting up a relationship with a person that eases your future marketing efforts

Up sell by packaging deals. If you can get your fans to buy packaged deals or offers from you, then you can increase revenues, protect margins and compete in a very competitive world.

So is social media right for you? We would be hard pressed to come up with a list of businesses that could not benefit from social media. If you think you have one of those businesses, we would LIKE to hear from you.

Mat Allard is a business consultant in Montreal. For more information on planning your business and web-based marketing, visit

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