Do business really understand what social media can and can’t do?

There’s been a considerable shift in attitudes towards social media by businesses. No longer dismissed out of hand by many it’s now being adopted, if not quite embraced, by the majority who think they’d better start using it or risk getting left behind.

Social media can be a valuable asset for businesses, providing opportunity to engage in two-way communication with a much wider audience than practically possible through face to face networking.

Whether you’re new to the social media arena or have been wandering around for some time, here’s a quick overview of what social media can and can’t do for your business.

What social media can do

  • Social media can build awareness of your company.
  • Social media can help you reach a wider audience, geographically.
  • Social media can build trust.
  • Social media can build customer loyalty. a follow-on from building trust.
  • Social media can develop advocacy, a follow-on from building trust and loyalty.
  • Social media can help you monitor customer comments.
  • Social media can help you identify changing customer needs.
  • Social media can help you identify suppliers as well as customers.
  • Social media can help with recruitment.
  • Social media can build a referral network from your online communities.
  • Improve your content’s SEO, search engine optimisation, through publishing regular, original and quality content.

What social media can’t do

  • Social media use can’t guarantee influence, you have to provide content that demonstrates “you’re worth it”.
  • Social media can’t sell a product or service that no one wants.
  • Social media can’t (or is unlikely) to deliver results quickly.
  • Social media can’t be used without cost, either your time spent or someone else’s.
  • Social media can’t be relied on to deliver sales.

Social media realities

  • Social media should be considered a tool for communication not sales and used accordingly.
  • Plan your ‘social media goals’ to be in the medium to long, rather than the short-term.
  • Many followers/likes/connections does not necessarily equate with success on social media.
  • If people like what you share on social media they are more likely to engage with what you have to offer.
  • Relying on automated broadcasting to deliver results will not cut muster with the communities you’re hoping to engage with.
  • Realise that social media requires real-time investment and isn’t magic fairy dust.

Which social media platforms are right for your business?

In the next blog post I’ll be outlining benefits of various social media platforms that might fit in your developing social media model. If you leave your email address in the box in the right hand column you’ll receive all future blog posts, nothing else, direct to your email inbox.

Share your opinion about what social media can and can’t do by leaving a comment in the box below.

Whether you’re a beginner with using social media, or have been dabbling for some time but lack direction, I could help. My work delivers short or medium term support to businesses, teaching them skills for online marketing DIY. Contact me, Susan Collini for a chat or read what others say about the work I deliver.

Other posts that may be of interest

Social media in business

What is social media marketing

Is social media good news for small businesses?

I hope you’ll join a growing band of regular readers. I look forward to helping you on your journey to becoming a skilled user of social media tools to help grow your business.

susan lettering

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