These are all great questions and the answer is, it depends. There are now hundreds of social media channels (aka sites, apps, time wasters or whatever you want to call them!) There is no way you would have time to do them all nor should you. Any good businessperson knows you have to spend your time wisely and to get the most for your effort.
Social Media is a Part of SEO for your Website

If you have a website (only about half of businesses nationwide have one), social media can help you with SEO (Search Engine Optimization aka Organic Search). In other words, it can help your website be discovered! Your page/listing/account on a social media site can show up in search instead of a website. Depending on the size of your business having a local listing on Google My Business or Yelp can be key to your restaurant, service or store being found by the right customers.

Which Do I Sign Up For?

Good question, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. This is a conversation about “Who is your customer?”, “What do you have to share?”, and “How much time do you have to spend?” If your products are visual, you would probably choose a photo sharing site like Pinterest or Instagram. Yes, Facebook shares images and photos but it depends on the age of your customer and whether you are a retailer. There are lots of questions to be answered before you jump in.

Does Social Media Work?

Primarily, social media is a great AWARENESS tool, not a sales channel. Ask any Fortune 500 or local business if they get sales from social media. The answer will probably be not really, unless the business is an e-commerce site. They know customers see the promotions because they will talk about it but they don’t buy direct from the social media site. However, that is different from paid advertising (or SEM – Search Engine Marketing – e.g. Google Adwords, Facebook ads, digital advertising, remarketing, etc.)

If you are tying to decide your social media strategy, here are some things to consider:

  • Start Small and Build – Pick 2-3 and get started. There are a variety of specifications for each for posting of your logo and images, so research first.
  • Budget The Time – If you are doing it yourself, an hour a day is great to post and connect with users. Pick and choose times to tie in to cultural events like the Academy Awards or the Super Bowl, but only if it’s relevant to your business. Don’t forget, you will need time to collect, create or curate content to share.
  • Images and Video Matter – Photos, images (like info-graphics and memes) and video are the most popular content on social media so be sure to take photos or have image content.
  • Things happen, or don’t – A great content writer once said the things he thought would go viral didn’t and the things he just posted without expectations did go viral. You never know!

Enjoy the process. If you enjoy what you are creating then it will most likely represent your brand well and resonate with your customers. Set up some learning goals for your organization and see if you can help inform other parts of your business.

Let us know if you have questions about social media, search engine optimization or other marketing topics. Stay tuned – we will have more topics in the future!