The question is not if, but how you will use social media for your company or organization. There are many programs available that can be helpful, however sorting through them can be a daunting task. I believe it is useful to develop a list of goals and ask yourself why you are looking to use social media in the first place.

  • Are you trying to increase your reach?
  • Are you looking to promote new products or services?
  • Are you trying to grow your online influence?
  • Do you want to participate in industry discussions?

Many small business owners have gotten involved in social media and then have quickly become frustrated. Without a plan, social media can seem like a ripple in a sea of information, taking up valuable time and yielding little return. However, with some careful planning, a goal oriented social media campaign can achieve impressive results.

Figure out first why you are planning to use social media in the first place and what you hope it will do for you. Then research the programs available (Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.)  and decide which ones will offer the highest return on your investment. Create interesting content which follows closely with your goals and direct people to your page using a variety of mediums. Engage your audience and grow your presence.

Using social media strategically and systematically will help you grow efficiently. Diving into anything without proper thought is a recipe for disaster. Why should social media be any different? If you first ask yourself why you are investing time into social media and understand what you hope to achieve at the start of your campaign, social media will be a great success for any business or organization.

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