8 Questions That'll Tell You If You Should Use Social Media or Not
For entrepreneurs, there are advantages and disadvantages to using social media for business.
Social media has become one of the primary sources of communication and connectivity with everyone. Social media includes everything from entertainment, news, podcasts and advertising to marketing and networking. The list is, however, not limited to these activities only. People connect through live streaming platforms such as Discord, Twitch, Instagram Live, LinkedIn Live, Facebook and YouTube Live.
It goes without saying that scrolling through social media and posting parts of our lives have become familiar or "normal". It's funny to compare social media as the "new normal" for people.
Everyone is talking about the massive advantages and disadvantages of using social media for their businesses. However, there are aspects of social media that you might be skeptical about.
Here are eight questions you can ask yourself to figure out your priorities and social media potential.
Do you want to build your business through authentic personal branding?
The first question is critical to consider since personal branding is essential in recognizing a company and its products or services. Personal branding has become a smart way to "market" yourself and create brand awareness.
Consider the example of Elon Musk. When you think of Musk, you immediately think of his electronic automobile company Tesla. You might also think of his space vehicular company SpaceX.
Why is it that your mind immediately recalls his businesses whenever you hear his name? The answer: authentic personal branding.
Musk's personal branding "game" is strong, and his online presence is vital. A single tweet from him on which cryptocurrency to watch influences crypto investors to rush and buy those cryptos.
Authentic personal branding can have such an impact on influencing the masses through one single tweet.
Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing
Are you willing to shift your company’s culture?
Google is exponentially effective in providing and creating an excellent working environment for its employees. For example, the "Google way" of motivating the workforce is to put its employees first, rather than exclusively rely on their results.
Google regularly shares the journey of its new and long-time employees through storytelling on LinkedIn. They have regular blogs on how their employees work and what motivates them to work. When employees quit Google, they share that they often regard their journey as a rewarding one.
Through its regular social media posts and blog articles, Google has shifted its company's culture. These posts also provide a public relations tactic since they openly provide their internal relations to the public. This tactic is effective in creating consumer trust in the Google brand.
How do you want to improve your internal and external stakeholders’ engagement?
Social media can help in improving internal and external stakeholder engagement. Regular Instagram or LinkedIn stories, articles, videos and photos create a closeness to the brand.
These regular updates from your company provide a sense of "keeping in touch" to your internal and external stakeholders. Google again is the perfect example for this point.
Gary Vee is another significant and noteworthy entrepreneur with a personal brand popular for his empathy, real and practical advice to its online audiences on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Vee is also popular for his podcasts, like the "Gary Vee Audio Experience". Online users find him valuable because of his business abilities and emotional quotient.
Do you want innovation and product developments insights from your customers?
Market research is an essential aspect of any business, especially during new product launches or getting new product ideas. Social media engagement with your market audiences could help ease this process of time-consuming research.
For example, you could use social media to get online research forms filled by your target audience in exchange for a $50 or $100 UberEATS rewards card. LinkedIn polls can also create enthusiasm or get responses from your customers on a product.
According to a LinkedIn article from Benjamin Ang, nearly 67% of his 117 voters said “Yes!” to voting on LinkedIn polls. Through LinkedIn Polls, your audiences can comment for an engaging interaction between you and them.
Do you want to hire the best talent at less cost?
LinkedIn is becoming the number one site to hire the best talent from and replace recruiters' services. For small businesses, LinkedIn — and even recently, Facebook Job Search — acts as an incredible way to hire the best talents.
LinkedIn even helps you hire new talents for your company. According to Hootsuite, nearly 60% of LinkedIn users are between ages 25 to 34 years old, and 40% of LinkedIn users change their jobs or career every four years.
Are you willing to protect your reputation?
Social media can protect your reputation in front of your stakeholders, both internal and external. Imagine the following situation:
A striking blow has hit your industry. But your employees and stakeholders have complete trust in you. How did this happen?
Your audiences trust you. Your authentic personal branding has been identified by your values, goals and abilities through your regular updates to your stakeholders, your attached personal branding and highlighting your company's culture. They have witnessed your determination and dedication to your clients and your employees.
Do you want to get recognized as a champion CEO?
Richard Branson is the champion CEO of Virgin Group. Some of his businesses include Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Galactic and his cruise business Virgin Voyages.
Branson’s personal brand is extremely dynamic, valuable to his audiences and sparks a growth-orientated mindset. Make your audiences see you as a “Champion CEO” with the values that will make a real difference to the world.
Are you ready to invest in a social media presence for a sustainable return of investment over the long term?
Yes, social media marketing increases sales. However, they do not always provide a sustainable return on investment. Not every marketing campaign will give the same results.
The good news is, having a solid social media presence on top platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and vocalizing your cause through authentic personal branding can. Sure, it is a time-consuming investment, but without it, you’re at the mercy of the offline world and that strategy is so last century.
Why should you consider using social media at this saturated stage?
Social media and client relationships are equally important today. It is just that these relationships have gone digital, and that's the convenience social media provides to its users.
Social media is saturated and exhausting for new businesses to establish a strong platform presence. There are high chances of your content getting flushed down the rabbit hole of millions of daily updates. But the upside is that it helps the algorithm recognize your target audience, interests, business type and strategy.
New online customers want to participate or engage with a company that helps for a social cause. If you as a CEO support a social cause and share your hopes and dreams with your audience, it helps build faith.
Starting small with consistent, engaging and valuable posts helps create your social media profile. Consistency is an incredibly important aspect of social media marketing and content creation.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor