We all talk about it, the perception is you have to use it at the same time many don't understand it. If you look at the statistics, Facebook users by 2015 will exceed the total world population at that time!
There seems to be too much hype, way too much confusion and a lot of disinformation out there.
The situation in Australia according to 2011 Sensis E-Business Report is that overall 18% of businesses that are online use social media for business purposes. Whilst not overwhelming and without any basis to what constitutes a positive impact, 51% of those businesses saw their social media presence as being positive; however 48% saw no impact.
I would suggest that the low level of negative impact, being 1%, lies in the fact that most businesses do not have the tools to measure this.
So the question is - Must you have a social media presence for your business? The simple answer is - why not? I know - this isn't an answer to the question.
The best answer I can give is, by all means build social profiles can be sure that they do not detract from your branding. However, if you want to gain a positive outcome then you will have to work your social marketing.
My suggestion is, develop your social marketing strategy as part of the total digital marketing plan. Identify the initiatives to be put in place and how you will deliver it. Understanding how to use social media is critical to your success.
We worked with a number of clients integrating social marketing into their overall Web solution so we would encourage you to talk to us further and we will help you understand the appropriateness of a social media marketing strategy your business will be. It is not about the appropriateness of such a strategy your business, it is about your ability to apply the resources required to effectively deliver a positive outcome for your business. This is not for all businesses and for small businesses it can be an overhead that cannot be fully justified. Rushing into a social media marketing strategy is not for the foolhardy. As with any marketing it requires development of carefully thought out strategies, objectives, initiatives and resource allocation both by way of people and tools.
If you are interested in receiving a copy of the complete Sensis 2011 E-Business Report please click the following link to download as a PDF file. 2011 Sensis e-Business Report
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