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Tough business decisions when it’s time to invest in social media marketing

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A recent report shows that 500 Fortune companies keep expanding their use of social media. This information is indicative of how integral social media is becoming to a business’ overall marketing strategy. Any business who wants to keep growing will have to take on social media at some point. When they do, they will also come to face with some tough decisions.

Short Term or Long Term Goals

This year’s social media marketing report reiterates what a portion of businesses who invest in social media marketing already know: A consistent online presence benefits brand awareness, website traffic and long-term relationship building. These three components will at some point lead to sales.

If a business is focused on short term goals, sales, with their social media efforts they will be highly disappointed. It’s not that sales won’t be achieved, but it won’t to the extent that some companies think (or expect) it will.

In the 2014 Social Media Marketing Report, marketers who were on social media for more than three years were the ones who could say they saw an increase in sales. The brands doing it for less time had mixed responses.

If a business plans on investing in social media, they should be aware that it will be a long term investment; especially, if they want to be effective with it and see a return on investment.

Brand or Sales Mentality

Nike wasn’t born in one day; it took time to establish their name and brand. The same goes for any business. Furthermore, they didn’t become who they are with a sales mentality.

A business with a customer centric approach is the one who succeeds. People buy from people, especially people they like, relate to and feel a connection. The why of a business is what grabs people’s attention, not a buy from me approach. Simon Sinek expressed the concept, with the data to back it up, in his TED Talk.

If a company is going to succeed on social media and in general, the sales mentality won’t work. There has to be a brand with a vision, a reason, and a passion.

Social Media Ads or Management

As social media platforms implement a “pay to play” policy, businesses are going to have to decide whether they want to invest in ads or not. In addition to advertisement the need of social media management also has its costs.

The decision should be to invest in both, but if push comes to shove social media management services are where the money should go. With social media management a brand may have a lower organic reach, but they will have a consistent presence.

Consistently sharing value is how a brand is going to develop awareness and cater to their customers’ needs. With that approach the rest will come too; it only makes sense to choose management if a business is going to invest in social media.

What tough decisions have you had to make with your business’ social media management investment?

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