Social media is a part of daily life for many Americans and small businesses are taking advantage of that fact.
Rather than spending money on marketing, businesses can advertise for free by making a Facebook page or being active on Twitter. That's a huge benefit for owners that are short on cash but have some time to spare.
But social media is also a delicate balance between visibility and over-sharing. The decision of how to handle it requires some finesse.
Customers use social media but they don't love being heavily marketed to all the time, reports Business News Daily. Constant posting can be just as detrimental to a business as not posting enough.
There can also be a disconnect between how owners use social media and what customers actually value, as shown by this infographic. Many business owners are just learning to use social media which can lead to mistakes in execution. Those mistakes can cost you clients.
Social media experts are out there but before hiring one take time to consider if it's right for your business.
A good social media expert will have a clear idea of how different websites work and how to use them to maximum effect. It also frees up a significant number of hours in your workweek that can be used for other business tasks.
Still, not being in control of your social media can open your business up to unwanted liability. A social media expert will present the public face of your company in many circumstances.
If their work is taken badly or leads to a lawsuit the liability could fall on your company.
If you are considering hiring a social media expert, it's important to have a clear contract of expectations as part of the employment agreement. Providing details up front can help avoid problems or management issues later on.
Having an attorney write up a document or look over one you've drafted makes it more likely the agreement will survive in court if it comes to that. Social media isn't just new for business; it's new for courts as well which makes clear legal language even more important.
Social media is an important part of any small business strategy so don't take it lightly. Devote the time and energy to finding a good strategy and you will likely see it pay off in customer loyalty.
- Social Media 'Addiction' is Marketer's Best Friend (Fox Business)
- Small Business Social Media 101 (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
- Small Business Social Media 102 (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
- Small Business Social Media 103 (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)