Can social media benefit a business?

Whether you want to get involved or not, the use of social media for business development is already a key strategic element.

However, the words “social media strategy” seem to send many into a flat spin of confusion as to what exactly the phrase means in the first place and what’s likely to be the ROI of actually implementing one?

In fact, many of the business owners I start working with have little understanding about what using social media in business is all about; many seeking to dismiss any ‘value’ in order to avoid having to get involved with it in the first place!

My job, if we end up working together, is general encouragement and practical assistance to help them move from being “bemused, confused and frankly unenthused” to understanding both the value and the how of using social media in business.

Social Media engagement

Actually engaging with people using social media, whether or not you think they could be potential customers, is a good place to start finding out what works best for you and what doesn’t. Starting in a small way is also sensible, aiding enthusiasm and motivation to carry on beyond the first few weeks of interactions with social media communities.

To give you a simple example of how you might start, let’s illustrate with a small and simple step, designed with ‘engagement’ in mind. A poll. Join in and provide some feedback I can refer to in the next post. Don’t disappoint me, please!

Getting people to take that first step to actually engage with someone online is more challenging than many people realise. Lack of engagement is often less to do with the merit of content, rather lack of confidence by the visitor about actually leaving a comment, or completing an online poll.

Actually, I’ve never run a Poll before so it will be interesting to see how many people actually complete it. I have a fair idea of the numbers of people who visit this blog on a daily basis, but I just wonder how many will actually have the confidence to join in and actually vote.

How successful it will be remains to be seen. I’ll be back with an answer soon, along with some tips for those just setting out to use social media in business.

NB I’ve had to remove the poll after it adversely affected the website. The results at the time of removal ran: Social media can benefit business development – 75% Social media unlikely to benefit a business development 25%

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