Friday, December 18, 2009

Social Media - Is it worth your time?

In the new age of marketing your company, peddling your goods, or whatever you are trying to do … this tool called Social Media is what’s hot in how to get yourself in front of your customer. But is it worth the time and dedication that you need to put into it, to really make it work? After seeing time-and-time-again how many businesses are successfully marketing themselves through the various outlets of Social Media, I think the answer to this is a resounding yes. I think it is something business owners can no longer ignore.

At an IABC-St. Louis Professional Development event this week, we heard from the co-founder of Schlafly’s micro-brewery in St. Louis. He explained to us what a tremendous response they have seen as a result of their Twitter and Facebook efforts. A type of response that they could not have achieved through traditional forms of advertising and marketing. They are able to reach the customers who want to know more about their product, and they are able to give them one-on-one attention that they just simply could not do through the radio and newspaper advertisements that they were accustomed to using.

As great and powerful a tool as Social Media is, make sure if you are going to get into Social Media, you have the time to do it right. Please, do not just set up a Twitter and a Facebook page and then let them sit. This will do nothing but anger your customers, and then you have totally defeated what you set out to do, which is to give your customers more attention, not less! Talk to your customers, engage, join the conversation. If you do Social Media right, you will be amazed at the returns you will get!

But Social Media is not just a great tool for businesses. It is also a tremendous networking tool. (And I’m not just talking about networking on LinkedIn.) I discovered, during my time of unemployment, that the contacts I met on Twitter ended up being a very productive resource for me in finding a job. Ultimately, I had several job opportunities from people I met on Twitter, that I would not have ever had, had I not been so active in Social Media.

So before you shun Social Media as just being a flash-in-the-pan trend, give it a test drive and see what it can do for you!

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