Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In Social Networks, The Important Thing Is To Be Where Your Client Is.

Be Where Your Client Is.
A couple of days ago a very dear friend of mine, owner of an ecommerce site told me he was about to give it a try to a new social platform, from which he had heard was being positively accepted by many, growing at a pretty strong pace and looked highly promising.

My answer, as in many other similar situations, was the same: "If your client is there, it should be great." Unfortunately, my comment wasn’t properly taken, and my friend started to give me all the reasons why he wanted to try it and give himself a chance, or better yet, give his business a chance.

Obviously, I didn’t mean to bother him, quite the contrary, my idea was to keep him from having the headache of embarking on a significant effort, an investment of time and money to develop and maintain his business presence on another social network, without being completely sure at the end it was going to be positive for him.

I finally gave up to his reasoning and couldn’t make it through all the excitement and positive expectations that were already created about the issue, and to not be like the grinch who always puts you down to earth with things, I recommended him to go ahead and give it a try, that maybe it could work for him.

To start with, all our efforts have to generate positive results.

And that’s simply to begin with: it all comes down to generating positive results. Managing the presence of any company in a social network is a task that requires the investment of a significant amount of time, all actions must be planned to be executed correctly and timely, content is to be be organized and prepared so that  it generates the best feedback possible, well, in short, is not something that can be taken lightly, or at least shouldn’t be taken lightly.

That’s why before embarking yourself on the adventure of using a digital platform, in this case a social network, to promote your business, you should make sure that your current and potential customers are there, and that you'll be able to generate the results that justify carrying out such effort, especially in times like today’s where every cent counts and there are so many restricting factors.

When it comes to your business, your company, all the time and money spent in anything must be justified, or at least, the uncertainty surrounding any decision you make should be minimized as much as possible. Would you take the risk to spend a substantial amount of money in a platform which doesn’t guarantee you’ll reach the target market you are looking for?

Isn’t it more effective, instead, to analyze a little bit what the audience for such recommended platform is and make sure your client or prospective client is frequently there?

How do I know which is the social platform that works best for my business?

It’s relatively simple. Each social network identifies itself with a particular audience, has specific demographics, it’s populated by a certain type of businesses, and studies about its growth, trends and development are published with some regularity. Take your time to review this information and then make an informed decision.

If you take your time to do your homework and study it a little, you'll have a better understanding of who is its prospective audience and if it’s a fit for your business. You will even have the chance to familiarize with what companies and products like yours do and what strategies they put in place within the platform.

If you have your online store in Spain, for instance, and can only sell inside the country, what benefit do you get from a social network whose audience is concentrated in another country? Making yourself these kind of question will allow you to make a better decision.

However I think, in addition to what I wrote above, the most important thing is to know what your customers’ preferred social networks are. Now that is pure gold, the authentic one.

How I can know which social networks are my customers’ favorites?

Simply ask! If you already have a business, whether it’s an electronic store or a physical one, you probably have (or should already have) a customers base or at least a growing customer base with which you are already doing business or relating with, on a regular basis.

What if you directly ask them what social networks they use more frequently move? What if you ask them where they usually maintain their most enjoyable and enriching conversations?

You might be surprised to learn it’s not Facebook or Pinterest, but a specialized forum exclusively devoted to a specific topic which is extremely interesting and engaging for them.

If there is one thing you can be sure of, is that there aren’t truths written in stone when it comes to social networks. At least, not until today.

If you want to know which social network or digital platform can be more effective to your business, start by asking your customers where they usually spend their “social" time.

This way, you can eliminate much of the uncertainty that is always present when you are about to choose which social network to use to promote your business.

Think you may find a more effective way to choose your social networks?

Related articles in this blog:
Social Media: Don’t Stop Halfway Down.
“I want to be in Social Networks but don´t know where to start with”

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