Does your business really need to be on Twitter?

A statement that we have pondered over and over throughout 2009…

Does your business need to be on twitter? Should you be spending time on Facebook and other Social Media?

Marketers always seem to think so, but at what cost? Just like any marketing initiative, you cant just approach your social media strategy without a plan. Social Media is the new kid on the block when it comes to online marketing. And yes there are opportunities, especially for niche industries (hospitality?). But many businesses approach it because they feel they “have to” or they can “do it themselves” or “it’s free”.

First off, Social Media, whether twitter, facebook, youtube or any of the other hundreds of sites and tools available is not free for business. Unless your personal time has no value whatsoever, then the cost of this marketing is the cost of your own time (if you are doing it yourself). And Social Media takes time! By its nature, Social Media is time consuming in that it is social. You cant speed through your social interactions and you wont be able to successfully automate your social media tasks either.

Secondly, you can do it yourself, but this is only effective if you enjoy doing it. If you are on Facebook in your personal life, then why not transcend this into your business. It only makes sense. However, if you find using email confusing, don’t think that signing up for a facebook account is going to take an afternoon and then business will be booming. Be prepared for a lot of work and constant change. The internet changes rapidly and many tasks that you do a certain way today may change overnight. Take a look at the individual business owners that market through Social Medial themselves. Chances are they are completely absorbed by the technology as a whole and use it out of passion. Many times the business gains that are attained are secondary.

Lastly, you don’t “Have to” do it. By the end of 2010 there will be some new technological trend that marketers will be using and pushing. Not every one needs to be there. Have a good marketing plan and add social media if it can benefit and produce an ROI for you. Many companies will ignore search marketing and opt for a social media strategy. Mostly because they don’t understand the difference and can “dabble” in Social Media without having to make a commitment.

Site Logic’s Matt Bailey has a great perspective on social media marketing and it’s relative importance to the overall marketing mix. Check out his video at web proworld.

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Published On: Jan 4, 2010