Social Media for small businesses: How much is too much?

                 Social Media is not, and should not be thought to be a universal remedy. That said, it is undeniable that an online presence is vital for businesses to generate awareness, and stay connected to their customers. When it comes to the  amount of time to be spent online, opinions differ; however, a few social media truths can and should be put to use by small businesses.

Do not expect overnight success: A few social media accounts will not bring you exponential growth in a matter of days.  A powerful social media presence takes time to build, and must be worked on in a consistent manner.

Watch your Return On Investment: The reasons for social media presence range from creating awareness to increasing sales; before launching your campaign, make sure your goals are very clear. Have a system in place to monitor your progress, and subsequently adjust the amount of time spent online. Moreover, factors like “buzz” and improved brand image should be taken in account, and assessed when estimating the success of a social media campaign.

Always, always monitor trends:  Consumers may interact with your Facebook or Twitter pages, but it does not mean they want to be overwhelmed with messages and updates. Be sure to pay attention to the amount of communication going on: if the “likes” and “re-tweets” take a nosedive, you may be networking a bit too much, or your message may no longer be relevant.

How other areas of your business are faring:  Social media should enhance your business, not deter employees from working on important tasks. If the rest of your business is suffering, you may need to scale back.

In the end… :  It is all about getting closer to your consumers, and building relationships with them.  Your whole marketing plan should not be based on only one medium, but should instead leverage every mean to achieve the best results possible. A consistent and careful online presence incorporated in a solid marketing plan is likely to deliver the best results.

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