Search the Internet on Social Media and you will get clobbered by a plethora of options and suggestions as to how to go about your social media strategy for 2012. I will not tell you what you need to do but I will tell you that in this day and age, any business that does not have a plan in mind will suffer in the long run.
Today, all companies need to include some social media marketing into their mix, like it or not, it is here to stay and will only evolve over time. Of course not everything is created equal, for instance I manage the social media outlet for a medium business that provides services for other SMBs (small and medium-size businesses).
Their demographics or universe is quite small as compared to a consumer-based outfit that may cater to individuals on a global or regional scale. So Facebook for them is not an option because 90% of their traffic comes from industry-specific portals. These are the sites that most business people go to for specific products and services, for the most part they know where to look!
When I visited one social media trade show and let me tell you, I have been to quite a few, it amazes me that most of the attendees are still smaller outfits vying for the market on selling deals in localized markets, home goods, mom and pop shops, software, phones, magazines, books, music, foods, downloads and the list goes on.
Do you get the point, while social media trade shows provide some good information, even many of these events do not cater to markets where the need for social media may not be so clear. So it calls for you to do your due diligence and research areas where social media can be implemented effectively to increase your presence to your target market.
Let me provide one very basic example and I mean basic! For instance let’s say that you represent or work for a firm that strictly deals with HR, so for you researching LinkedIn, CareerBuilder and Monster may be a start. Why, because you know that these sites or portals received huge amounts of traffic from possible candidates that fit your need or meet your business model.
I neglected to say Facebook because while they have apps that can be used to cull out business profiles from one’s Facebook account, it is still an app and many more conservative business professionals would not want to share a site with their 12-year old. Facebook is still primarily a social networking site for friends and family. See the NY Times article: Sifting the Professional From the Personal.
Of course this is my personal opinion and I feel that Facebook will eventually go the way of Myspace which is now rarely spoken about by most young people that you meet.
Enough of Facebook, the point is do your research find out where the traffic you want is going, build a company page in LinkedIn, don’t stop there, start a blog, go to WordPress, Tumblr or Blogger and write about employment issues, get links from sites that you want to build strategic partnerships with.
Adwords are good but these programs can get pricey, learn before you burn cash in any PPC program. Remember there are a lot of SEO, PPC and social media charlatans on the net, if you do decide to go the route of an agency check them out thoroughly and check their references out as well, make sure that the reference is not a brother-in-law or someone who benefits from their business other than getting quality work and good traffic.
As I said before you need it but start out small, learn as much as you can, there are plenty of websites designed to teach you about social media, just go to the marketing links on this site and you will see plenty.
Understand where your traffic is going and remember the only way to win it is to be in it!