Social sites in the business market in search, media sites like Facebook and Twitter is very effective in finding a mass, and invite people to visit site and you can easily market products.
You've heard the hype about social media for years now. Everyone is talking about it, and companies of all sizes are launching blogs and Facebook pages, and joining Twitter. You've heard enough and are ready to take the plunge into the social media waters.
But there's one question left to answer; How do you know that social media is right for YOUR business?
Unfortunately, this is the question that many businesses aren't asking before they decide to start their blog or join Twitter.
So what's the best way for the average business to decide if they should be using social media? The logical first step is to start monitoring what your current and potential customers are saying NOW, and track WHERE they are saying it.
Launching a blog might seem like a great idea, but what if none of your customers are reading blogs? That Facebook fan page might seem like a no-brainer, unless all your customers are instead on Twitter.
But by doing some very simple monitoring, you can get a very good idea of what your customers are saying online, and where they are saying it. Free tools like Technorati, Google Blog Search, and Twitter Search will let you track relevant business and industry terms to track what is being said via social media channels.
Once you have an idea of what your customers (or potential customers) are saying via social media tools/sites, then you will have a MUCH better idea of whether or not you should be using these tools to connect with them.
Again, if your current and potential customers are actively using a certain social media site/tool to discuss your business and/or industry, then you should probably be using that site/tools as well.
Monitoring lets you find out where the social media conversations are happening, and then you can decide if you should be using social media in the same way that your customers are.
But please don't blindly buy into the hype about social media. It is NOT right for EVERY business, and avoid anyone that tries to sell you on the idea that every business should be using social media. These people aren't interested in seeing you use social media,
they are interested in you hiring them to launch a social media project for you that you may or may not need. Just like in school homework helps, do yours, and you'll be in good shape.
One final word; if you decide that you do need to hire a social media consultant or agency to help you, please promise me that you insist on having them TEACH you how to use the tools that they will be implementing. If you are going to hire someone to create a blog for you,
make sure that they are also willing to train you on how to properly blod, how to build community on your blog with your readers, and how to use the blog as a tool to raise awareness and build your business. I offer social media training as part of or separately from larger consulting projects, as do several SEG authors, such as Jennifer Laycock and Beth Harte.