These days, you never know what to expect in the news. The old adages about the news being only about war, death, and suffering isn’t true—recent headlines about the young girl that swam across Lake Ontario and changing economics for previously less developed countries like Brazil attest to this. However, there’s enough political ranting in the American election race and a continuous onslaught of stories on European economic crises that the negative returns with a vengeance to reclaim today’s media. It’s such a push-pull situation that it’s often hard to tell if the world we live in is as good or as bad as we’re told.
One of the most recent negative stories is about Facebook’s market share loss. The famous social media web site, a consumer favorite and subject of the David Fincher film The Social Network, has come into some hard times. Rumors that founder Mark Zuckerberg was removed from Facebook’s board of directors due to poor management and a reduction in Facebook applications have been circulating. This isn’t encouraging to anyone—professional or otherwise—and the naysayers of Facebook and other social media being just a fad seem to be right.
Of course, this is the worst case scenario. Things go bad with any business out there and social media is not immune to changing trends, innovative developments, or other shifts in its consumer market. Sure, there is a chance that social media could bottom out completely, but the management teams of social media sites will likely rebound with fancy new plans and applications to lead us into the next digital plane.
However, it doesn’t hurt for independent business pros to take a little note here. Not one of panic, but just a note to take some time to re-examine how they use social media for their business and how to maximize the efficiency of their social media business applications. There are a few places you should cover to see how well your social media applications are functioning for you, and the ways in which those areas and others can be better used.
Right away, it never hurts to go over what social media you are using for strictly business purposes. There are a lot of variations out there, but your focus should be on the ones that are most exclusive for small business social media. Facebook isn’t bad, but sites like LinkedIn and WordPress tend to have specific usages for small businesses. You should see what options each offers and where you are floundering in using social media to your fullest advantage. This might require a complete overhaul of your social media marketing plan. It might also mean some sort of re-education on social media SEO (search engine optimization) and how to get as much online traffic as you can to your social media sites. In any case, identify what holes are appearing in your social media use for your business. Finding those problem areas will help you correct the issue and get social media working for your business again.
If there comes a time down the road when you feel that you have to scale back your social media usage for your business, that’s fine. But it’s best not to abandon it altogether. You may want to reduce your usage to a social media blog, where you can post business-related updates every so often; or you may want to just use it to send out announcements for upcoming product releases. In any case, use it when you can, as much as you can. Social media is geared for public use, and there is always the chance that you can score new business by using social media, even rarely. Most social media platforms are free and fun to use, so don’t give up on it outright.
There has been a ton of bad press about social media lately; but there are still some formats that can be very lucrative for today’s independent business pros. It’s just a matter of what to use and how to use it effectively. Social media might be in a bit of a stuck state, but it can still generate success for your business.
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