Using social media for business - http://blackboxsocialmedia.com/are-more-companies-using-social-media-for-business-infographic/
According to just about every business statistic in the U.S., more companies are using social media for business in 2012. The reason is that it works very well. USA Today recently ran an article in which they interviewed the upper management for Smashburger, a small fast food chain that grew from three Denver locations in 2007 to 150 outposts nationwide primarily using social media for business marketing. Here's what they had to say:
"The brand was really built on social media and PR strategies," says Jeremy Morgan, senior vice president of marketing and consumer insights. "Social media is an opportunity for us to engage with consumers and have a conversation, which is different than paid media, when you're just shouting through a bullhorn."
Using social media for business advertising is different than traditional marketing, as Mr. Morgan points out. Traditional print or radio or TV advertising is a one way communication street, while social media is a two way communication street. If you want to succeed in social media marketing, then you will need to recognize that engagement and communication with your customers is a requirement. http://blackboxsocialmedia.com/tips-on-using-social-media-for-business/
"Everybody should take a look at it," says Dan Galbraith, owner of marketing support company Solutionist and a National Small Business Association board member. "Whether they chose to jump into social media or not is a question that only they can answer," he says, but all firms should at least explore how social media could work for them. It just takes a few clicks to potentiality connect with thousands of business contacts and customers, he says. In addition to networking, business owners can use social media to glean useful insights by reading comments made by customers, industry experts, even competitors. http://www.usatoday.com/money/smallbusiness/story/2012-02-16/small-business-social-media-outreach-smachburger/53122300/1
Using social media for business marketing is a key component to a marketing plan, especially in 2012. But one of the biggest problems is that too many people fail to educate themselves on how to properly utilize social media marketing.
Using Social Media for Business | What NOT to Do
"The common misconception about social media is that it's free," says Morgan. "Facebook and Twitter accounts are free, but for small-business owners in particular, time comes at a premium." To keep from feeling overwhelmed, business owners should decide how much time they can dedicate to this burgeoning arena, says Galbraith. Some may need to hire a social media marketing firm.
Mr. Morgan is right again. Sure, social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn don't cost any money to join. But it does cost you some time, and time isn't free. If the business owner is running their own social media sites, then it's taking away from other money making opportunities. If they hire employees, the you have the costs of training, managing, wages, taxes, benefits, etc... So when you decide on using social media for business purposes, then you will want to take in account the educational aspects and the time constraints involved in implementing your plan. http://blackboxsocialmedia.com/what-a-social-media-marketing-firm-can-do-for-your-business/
Using Social Media for Business | What to Do
Most people will say that the first thing to do is to set goals. What do you want to accomplish by using social media for business purposes? Do you want to create a buzz for your product, target specific demographics, give away coupons, set appointments, send them to a webinar, collect their opt in information,etc...
In order to understand what your goals should be, you really should look into social media manager training courses that can open your eyes to the possibilities that exist in social media marketing. Obtaining this knowledge will reduce the number of mistakes made by using the trial and error or school of hard knocks approach. Why learn the hard way when you can educate yourself first and implement the best plan for your company? http://socialmediain7minutes.com
Since time is money, you will want to utilize a social media dashboard that will allow you to manage your social networking sites for business. Manually logging into 10 social networking sites per day, posting, engaging, checking in on every group, and replying to messages, will take hours out of your day, however, if you are using the proper social media dashboard, then you can perform these tasks in just minutes.