You have the greatest idea for a new company since Google came out with search. We know you do. You’ve even been able to get some angel investors to fork over the cash you need for research and development and buying snazzy new computers and such so you feel like a real company. You’ve come up with a logo, had a nice nameplate hung on the door to the basement in your house, and even printed up some business cards. Now you are sitting and waiting for the customers to start flooding in to buy your…whatever it is you are selling…but the phones aren’t ringing, the website has 4 hits (you and 3 friends), and the email is a huge white space where the full inbox should be. What to do?
Well, first check your Twitter and Facebook pages, and…what? You’re kidding right? Ok, we need to talk.
Social media is not, I repeat not an extra in today’s business world. It is priority number one when it comes to marketing, or at least it should be. It’s a brave new social world out there my friend, and the future of advertising is on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Actually, the NOW of advertising is there. Before you can get your pages set up the trend will have moved even more in that direction, even if it only takes you an hour to do so.
Social media is effective, period. If, that is, you take it seriously and play right. The reason it’s so effective is that it is where people spend most of their time now, internet-ently speaking. It allows you to get in front of peoples’ faces in a much more effective way than TV or any such ancient idea. People mute commercials and fast-forward their DVR’d shows through them. Social Media is real time advertising, and much more.
It allows you interaction with your customers. You can share interesting things with them that may lead to a discussion of how your product or service can enhance their lives. You just can’t get that kind of interaction in the check-out line at the store, and the chat boxes that pop up on the screen of the websites are summarily dismissed for the most part. On Facebook or Twitter, though, there is a very real possibility of quality interaction. The viral nature of the internet also allows for a wildfire-like spread of your name when you hit the sweet spot. Get some brand promoters tweeting about you to their several thousand followers, and bingo – overnight you can pick up enough business to pay the phone bill next month.
Now you can read elsewhere exactly how to set your pages and presence up on these sites – heck, there are tons of books on the subject – but we are here to tell you that you have to be able to manage these sites effectively. The best way to do that, hands down, is with a quality social media dashboard. This little piece of genius will track your engagement, your effectiveness, and your click-throughs, just to name a few. It will even let you schedule tweets to your huge following in the far east while you are sound asleep dreaming of the new car you will be able to buy soon.
Make no mistake, my entrepreneurial friends, good social media management software should be the first investment you make after you have your new computer to connect you to the vast inter-webs. Even before the name plaque for the basement door.