Social Media in 2012: Maximize Results, Minimize Wasted Time

It's safe to say that social media is past the phase of being a fad. Although new social sites will be launched and some existing sites may decline in popularity, using the Internet for this type of communication is here to stay. Since people aren't going to suddenly stop communicating through social media platforms, it's worth investing some of your marketing efforts into these channels during 2012.

The biggest issue with social media marketing is it can be hard to directly measure results. A big reason why this can be so difficult is while multiple studies have confirmed the benefits that social media can offer to businesses, many of them are a "bigger picture" result. This means that it's hard to directly correlate the impact of using social media.

This uncertainty leads to many businesses hesitating to embrace social media. While that's a natural reaction to this issue, it's not the route that businesses have to take. Instead of simply turning your back on social media, a better option is to focus on maximizing results and minimizing wasted time.

No one is going to argue that social media can’t turn into a significant waste of time. This is just as true for individuals as it is for businesses. The key to avoiding this problem is clearly defining what you're trying to accomplish with your social media marketing. For many businesses, their main goal is to communicate with existing and potential customers. If this is your 2012 social media goal, here a couple of tips for being as efficient as possible:

Don't Do It All

One of the reasons social media marketing can seem so overwhelming is because there are so many different networks where people spend time talking to each other. However, it's important to understand that just because these networks exist doesn't mean that you have to be active on all of them.

Instead of driving yourself crazy by trying to maintain a presence on every social network that springs up, a better option is to focus on the primary one(s) where your existing and potential customers spend time. If you're wondering how to find out this information, all you have to do is ask. By asking a handful of your existing customers what social network(s) they use, you can safely assume that the same is generally true for your potential customers as well.

Learn the Ins and Outs

Another common mistake is businesses simply start bombarding social networks with promotional messages. While this may seem like the most efficient way to communicate, the reason it's not is because this type of marketing is going to be ignored.

An added benefit of narrowing your focus to the primary social network(s) of your target audience is you can take the time to learn their ins and outs. Once you actually understand how a social community functions, you will be in a much better position to get the results you want in the right way.

If you're already engaged in social media marketing, what tools are you using to be as efficient as possible?

About The Author

Brian Waraksa

Brian Waraksa, founder of Raxa Design in Houston, Texas has been in marketing and small business branding since 2002. He writes the Raxa Design blog on issues affecting small business marketing and corporate brands.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Jodi Southwick wrote:
I use Facebook the most. My industry hasn't caught on to twitter much. The tool I use the most is organizing my facebook friends into lists and then marketing information to individual lists for maximum results. I also go into my news feed and spend time each day looking at my apartment locator news feeds and my property management news feeds only to easily spend some time replying to potential client posts without having to sift through all my personal friends.

Tue, December 27, 2011 @ 8:28 AM

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