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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is Social Media Worth the Time?

As a small business owner who is faced with making tough decisions while contending with limited resources, such as time, money, and personnel, “Is social media worth the time?” may very well be a question you find yourself asking. Whether or not social media is worth the investment in time and effort is an issue briefly explored by blogger Jason Keith, senior communications manager at Vista Print.

In a recent post for the Small Business Blog entitled,  “Social media might not be worth the time,” Keith puts forth the notion that maintaining a social media platform effectively is simply too time-consuming for many small businesses. Why?

The Challenges
Keith indentifies two main areas of social media maintenance that can potentially demand a significant amount of time. The first area is updating current followers. This means having the time to know what to say and then saying it on a frequent interest to maintain follower interest.  

The second area is monitoring and responding to feedback. Perhaps even more time-consuming, this follow-up process can take time, especially if there are a lot of comments left or questions to answer. While it is true both of these activities do require a certain investment of time to accomplish, the benefits far outweigh the costs of abandoning social media all together.

Why Social Media Is Worth It
The direct connection and communication that social media allows businesses to have with customers and potential customers are extremely valuable. Social media platforms are not only quick and easy to update, but they are also easily integrated into a seamless Internet Marketing strategy that leads customers – and revenue – right to your website or to your brick and mortar location.

Responding to feedback, especially negative feedback, is a crucial part of any social media platform. Social media allows businesses the opportunity to directly and personally address and rectify any issues or complaints a customer might have. This is a powerful tool to convert negative feedback into a positive experience for both the customer, and your business.

Most importantly, the fact that social media primarily involves time versus considerable money like traditional marketing channels makes it worth it. Using this tool means that you can more effectively target and reach more of your intended audience than through traditional advertising and print media. Again, that makes it well worth the effort.

Making Social Media Work
With today’s social media acting as the new word of mouth, your business can’t afford not to have a social media presence. One of the great things about social media is that, for every business out there, there is a social media outlet that is just right or one that can be customized to suit that business’s unique, individual needs. The effectiveness of those outlets is limited only by the creativity of those who use it.

If the thought of creating and maintaining a social media platform still seems daunting or out of reach, there is help. Experienced, professional firms, such as Flyline Search Marketing, offer high-quality social media services. 

Your business may not be able to spare the extra time or personnel to devote to social media, but there are effective social media solutions that can work within a small business budget.  Contact Flyline with any questions or to learn more about social media solutions for your business.


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