Why are you using social media?
If you’re like most business owners, I’m guessing it’s because “everyone else is using social media” or “we need more followers online”. But think a little more. What you’re really answering is the wrong question.
Perhaps I should’ve asked why you want to grow your business, or why you want to sell more products, or why you want more speaking engagements. The focus is, and always should be, on the business. Running your business will always provide the greatest return on your investment. That’s not to say that social media can’t help you achieve your business goals – but only when you’re clear on what those goals are.
“Are you using social media, or is it using you?” Tweet this!
Last week I spoke with a business owner who asked me to help build his company’s Facebook strategy. He was very focused on why Facebook was a priority for his company – the opportunity to engage with customers, the large number of “Likes” he could attract, and all the cool apps that could be built into his company page. But there’s one thing he overlooked. His customers are largely government and municipal employees, most of whom are prohibited from accessing Facebook at work!
He was answering the question “how should I use social media?” when he should’ve been asking “how should I grow my business?” It’s the answer to that second question that will tell you which tools to use. Do you want to make more money? Be famous? Help others? Be clear on that answer and then ask how social media can help you achieve that.
My Facebook devotee wanted to grow his business so that he could share wellness tips with more people to help make their life a little easier. He didn’t really want to “engage” or be “liked” or develop Facebook apps. Given his available resources, his audience (who couldn’t even access Facebook at work), and what he wanted to accomplish, an email campaign would be far more effective. He just needed to ask the right question.
So the next time you find yourself jumping on a social media bandwagon, stop for a moment and ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with your business. Not with social media, just with your business.