Social Media Marketing

Social Media has no Finish Line

Social media planning and strategy is a fairly new section for most small businesses in their marketing plan.  It was only a few years ago that businesses were adding an “online” section to their marketing plan, and adding sub-categories like “website” and “banner ads”.

Well times have truly changed.  Web 2.0 and two-way interaction online, combined with inexpensive publishing avenues has spawned a new industry.  What has been created, is a new, faster and much more interactive way to connect and keep in touch with your clients and potential customers as well.  And now every business has no choice but to embrace…. Social Media.

What exactly is Social Media?

Basically, Social Media is based on the Internet and comprises various media for social interaction:

  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Microblogging
  • Wikis
  • Podcasts
  • Photo Sharing
  • Video Sharing
  • Reviews and Ratings
  • Social Bookmarking

Social Media has quickly grown from basic blogging, to micro-blogging (Twitter), to sharing your favourite blogs, websites, videos and photos with your friends and contacts through a variety of mediums and networks.  These changes have affected the way businesses should utilise social media and interact on the popular networks.  And the best way businesses can manage these changes, is to create a plan.

However, when compiling the social media plan, businesses are struggling with the concept that social media has no finish line.  What this means is the social media implementation and management is never complete.  There is never a time when you can say “phew… I’m glad I’ve finally finished that social media stuff in the marketing plan”.

Social Media needs to be an integral part of your marketing strategy as long as you are in business, and needs to be managed with a long term vision.  Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to develop an online profile of an “Influencer” in the Social Media sphere.  Only time and consistency will ensure a great online reputation.

Does your business have a Social Media Plan?  Feel free to comment below.

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Marketing Manager, Content Strategist and Writer driving Engagement and ROI. On weekends I'm a Property Investor, Traveler & Coffee Snob

15 Comments

  • Suresh Khanal

    Yes, there is not shortcut, you need to build up and develop relationship to earn reputation. When, on one hand, social media turned to be most effective and attractive venue of business, the consistency and patience with equal diligence is desired. Its better, I guess, quick-earn-anyhow-minds won’t success here.

    • Fiona

      @Suresh Khanal, Hi Suresh, Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you agree with me about the “no shortcut”. Yes, ones online reputation must be earned. And consistency is spot on. Businesses must be consistent with when they publish their social media, and exactly what they publish. Continuity of the brand is a must.

  • Melanie Kissell

    First, Fiona, let me say that I love the new look of your blog! It’s beautiful. 🙂

    And let me also say that it’s pretty tough sometimes to convince small offline businesses of the importance and the value of creating a presence on the web. Believe me, I know firsthand how difficult it can be. I work for a physician who is really resistant and it’s like pulling teeth to SELL the idea of social media marketing.

    Let’s face the music. Social media is here to stay. And if you intend to be successful in your business, you’ve got to reach your target audience by showing up on the internet. People rarely, if ever, use a telephone book anymore to look up the phone number or address of a business. Where do they go? Directly to their search bar! And when they find that business, they’re immediately looking to see if they have a Facebook fan page and an account on Twitter or LinkedIn.

    Without hesitation, social media is the marketing backbone of my business.

    Excellent post!
    Melanie
    #blogboost

    • Fiona

      @Melanie Kissell, Thank you so much for your kind words about the new design. We wanted to keep the same branding, but freshen things up, and make them even a bit funky.

      Yes, when we spend so much time on the net, it’s strange for us to believe the so many small businesses are not on the web, let alone managing their social media. Businesses with the older “that’s the way it’s always been done” mindset are everywhere, and educating them will be an ongoing process.

      Yes, Social Media is here to stay, and businesses have to run to catch up to BE where their customers ARE. Do they still print the telephone book? 😉

    • Fiona

      @Angie – The Work at Home Wife, Hi Angie, Thanks for your comment. Yes beginners tend to struggle with the concept that social media really needs to be done on an ongoing basis. With all the social media, and all the TOOLS related to social media, that keep evolving, it’s almost a full time job to keep up.

      I think the best solution is to choose just a couple of avenues, that are manageble and focussing on doing them right.

  • Kathryn Griffiths

    A good Social Media plan is important. If you’re not careful… it can steal valuable time away from producing product and reports.

    However, in this day of heavy competition, if your follow a well thought out Social Media plan and you are consistent…. you’re miles ahead of most marketers.

    • Fiona

      @Kathryn Griffiths, Yes Kathy you are right. Social Media can easily dominate your work schedule if you allow it. There is always more and more to do. But I think as long as you have a plan, and know what’s important, and get that done, you’ll be set. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  • martha giffen

    Social media is not an option. Every single business needs to incorporate it into their marketing plan. I work with clients who are trying to learn how to make the most out of their social media mix and it’s amazing to see how their businesses are growing leaps and bounds by inhancing their online presence. I love social media! It’s all about people and people are what’s happening!

    • Fiona

      @martha giffen, Hi Martha, Yes, businesses today need to understand that Social Media is no longer something on the side, only to do if you have free time at the end of the month… Engaging in social media is a must!
      That’s fantastic that you know businesses that are seeing direct results.

  • Daniel Sharkov

    Hi Fiona,

    The article was a great read and I totally agree with the message. If one wants to get traffic from social media in the long run, he should constantly keep putting efforts. Whether it be social networking sites or Twitter for example – the moment you stop being active, all your previous efforts will go down the drain and you will lose the traffic.

    • Fiona

      @Daniel Sharkov, Hi Daniel, Thanks for your feedback. Yes, benefitting from social media really needs that long term committment. I’m not sure that the “moment” you stop being active, your efforts are wasted and you lose traffic…

      I think maybe inconsistently and irregularity may not help. I think the social media effects last quite a while, but I think the ceiling of relevancy tops out at about 2 – 3 months. And it’s definitely a bad sign when you visit a blog and the last blog is dated 7 months previously, and they haven’t tweeted for 2 months…. It’s really a bad impression then.

    • Fiona

      @Web Design Services in Jaipur, Hi there, I think it’s every bloggers dream to see their posts shared extensively across various social media and networking sites… 😉

      Having that kind of influence is amazing, and should be part of the blogging goals and strategy.

      But I know what you mean about the spread discussions…. my posts end up everywhere from Facebook to LinkedIn, and there is normally 3 or 4 separate discussions going on that I track. But it’s just all part of the fun.

      And the end of the day, I keep the website/ blog as the hub, and most traffic luckily does end up back here 🙂

  • Deepak

    Hi Fiona,
    I am first time reader of your article and I liked it so much.
    Social media is an important aspect of blogging and from next time I will keep that in mind.
    Thanks for writing such a great article.