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Picking the Right Social Network for your Brand

As for internet visibility, or digital brand as it is being called now, 2010 proved, without a doubt, the power of the social network. Facebook just passed Google in the number of hits per day. People are using the internet to connect and be connected more than they use it to perform searches.

Aside from it being a sociological phenomenon that no doubt will be talked about and researched, it opened a world of advertising not used before. Facebook makes it extremely easy to connect with almost anything that is a digital brand, with one click of a button. Just type into your Facebook page that you liked a certain television show and immediately you will be connected to their site, to see more.

As a way to advertising your brand, it is a goose that can lay golden eggs. And why not? It is free, it is simple and everyone with a little understanding of how the system works can join in and be effective. Right?

Not so fast. The problem with social media is that it is multiplying. New sites, with new possibilities for connectivity between people are popping up like mushrooms after the rain. You can join all of them and spend most of your time updating and chatting while neglecting your core business. You can hire people to do it for you, believing that bigger is better and the more sites you join will yield better results, only to find out that the ROI (return on investment) is not worth the effort.

Before you embark on the social media voyage, you should know that not all sites were born equal and knowing which one to join is the most important aspect.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

–          What is the strength of the site?  You have to do a little research. What can Twitter do for you? What can Dailybooth? Evaluate the site to see if it fits you and the character of your business. Think of a strategy; what do you want to achieve, how can this or that site get you there?

–          How much time you are willing to invest? How much time you can afford to spend on social networking? An hour a day? A week? Social media is, after all, just that – social. Scott Stratten (1), a man with over 74,000 followers on Twitter says the amount of followers started to grow when he dedicated time and interacted with others. You have to maintain presence for social media to work.

–          Do your customers use social network at all? Most businesses have communities. Check them out. Are they talking about your kind of business? Maybe they do on a forum of another kind. It is a bit of a detective work, but you have to find out where your potential customers are.

–          If you had to pay for the service, would you still do it? How much are you willing to spend on this form of advertisement? Granted, joining is free, but maintaining it will cost you a lot of time.

–          Social media is a long term commitment. Having a page up then not updating it for months has a worse impact than not having one at all. It shows you don’t care, don’t follow through and maybe you are out of business. If it’s up there it should be maintained.

Thinking ahead about a strategy before embarking on this trip is important. Treating social media seriously, as part of an advertising campaign, is important as well. Those are the things that will yield results. Use the questions above to get organized and start thinking in the right direction.

Sources:

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