Do you really need social media?

If you own or manage a business or nonprofit, are you on social media? If you answered yes, ask yourself why.

Chances are it’s because you think you need to have a social media presence in this day and age, or you think it’s a good way to promote your business, or you figure since it’s free, you may as well.

Guess what? You’re wrong.

“But Nadia, everyone’s on social media!”

And if everyone jumped off a bridge …

Listen, I get it. You’re low on funds and think you can get away with just having a Facebook page instead of a website. Or your boss went to a networking event where he learned about Twitter and is now demanding your office starts “Twittering.” But these aren’t good enough reasons to be on social media.

Social media is a two-way street. You can’t just post about whatever promotion you’re currently offering and expect that to generate sales. Your content needs to be engaging and interesting, and you need to be active on it, and you have to find the right platforms for your customer base, and you have to find the time for it, and you have to, you have to, you have to.

It’s enough to drive you crazy, isn’t it?

Before you decide to start using social media for your business, spend some time figuring out why you want it, how you plan to use it and what your goals are for social media. There are some great, free resources to educate yourself on how to best use social media.

HubSpot’s Social Media blog – HubSpot has been a long-time favorite resource of mine. Their blogs are written by people in the industry, which gives you a wide knowledge base from which to choose.

21 Social Media Marketing Tips You Can’t Live Without – Curated by Sprout Social, an online social media management platform, this list goes just beyond the basics to bring social media beginners up to speed.

Social Marketing Training – Offered by Hootsuite, another online social media management platform (which we currently use at Imagine), this six-session course is one of the better ones I’ve participated in.

Good social media is an investment. You’re only going to get out of it what you put into it, and unless you’re ready to make the investment, you don’t need it.

Account manager Nadia Zerka is certified in social media management and can help you decide if social media is right for your business.

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