My business, Design Inspiration, turned 18 this year. Infant tantrums and toddler taming is now a thing of the past. It’s a young adult, mature and confident. Yet, despite this, like all parents I sometimes feel like I still face some of the same issues that I came across in the very beginning. Particularly when it comes to new developments like social media marketing.
It’s Just a Phase
When Design Inspiration was new, the internet was new and I was often asked by prospective clients: “how do you know the Internet [yes, it had a capital letter back then] isn’t just another fad that’ll disappear soon?”
Well, we all know the answer to that one, but now there’s a new version of that question. It goes something like this: “I don’t think this social media thing is relevant to what I do. How do you know it won’t disappear soon? Maybe I should wait and see.”
Grow Up and Deal With It
If you think like that, it’s time to read the writing on the wall. Social media is not going to disappear. Your business might though, if you don’t find out how to make use of it. The best time to start is now, before your competitors become so well established that making your own mark is likely to take a stick of dynamite.
It’s Not Personal It’s Business
Here’s another thing that comes up – sometimes prospective clients think that business social networking is the same as personal social networking. Don’t confuse your social use of Facebook with what your business needs. Time and again, we are told by new clients: “I’m used to using Facebook, so I won’t need any help with that”. After a while, we usually get a call asking why their business social media outposts aren’t generating enquiries.
Business social media is not the same as personal social media. For personal use, you don’t need a strategy or plan. For personal use, you don’t need to do any market research. For personal use, you don’t need to keep a close eye on every syllable uttered online, nor do you have to worry about your brand perception or think about going viral. It’s easy to run your personal social media, but your business needs and deserves more careful handling.
A Safe Pair of Hands
The good news is that you already have most of the skills you need. We find that it’s usually just a case of working together to provide the right kind of focus. Kick-starting what you do with a view to empowering you to run it in-house (with the occasional strategic aftercare session). It’s about tapping into the right skills and developing some winning strategies which will bring in results over time. How do you tap into the right skills? Well, that’s what our social media advice is for.