In a world where countless programs to automate and simplify social media marketing are peddled to small business owners and marketing professionals, it seems almost distasteful to say that the ultimate social media management tool is a living, breathing, human being. It sounds counter-intuitive because many people think of social media as a shortcut to reach many people at once. In order to do social media well, you may be thinking you need to invest in a tool a tool like HootSuite or Tweetdeck, so you can schedule posts, integrate profiles, and of course, gather analytics. Yes, all of this is important when representing your company on social media, but we suspect that many of you are putting the horse before the cart.
Before we get to software, first we need to talk about two key aspects of a successful social media presence: Strategy and Engagement A wise man once said, “Social media allows big companies to feel small again.” And at Amplify OSM we like to believe that social media allows small companies to be BIG. You can share your ideas, connect with key influencers and promote your services and products without limitation. You may still be certain that a social media strategy looks like commissioning a fancy social media management software program. In fact, the following equation might represent your current mindset:
Social Media Management Software + My Business = Engagement
The truth is, this equation doesn’t add up. Social media strategy begins with commitment to a personal touch. A strategy is “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” Engagement is “the action of being engaged or participating.” Your strategy for sharing the social space with customers/ fans/ friends, and the people who will become them, must come before the technology.
Many well-documented issues arise with most of the common Social Media Management tools. Tagging people in your posts and defining your audience in certain social media platforms can become problematic when using an outside tool. And of course, there is cost. Our deepest desire is for every small business owner to see a return on their sales and marketing investment. While a software management program may make sense for many companies, and probably has value for your business, it’s an area that should be navigated only after you have a plan in place for how you will use the social space to accomplish your business goals.
To best utilize social media for business requires a plan, and as we mentioned before, commitment to a personal touch. At Amplify OSM we provide strategy and implementation for social media that will help you grow your following, engage your audience, and use social media effectively to increase your business.