Hello Bizzebee’s,

Clair here again, I thought it would be a great idea to follow up on my last post, where I tried to break down “Where Would I Be Without Social Media” and talk to you this week a little bit about the Social Media commitment.

In order for Social Media to “work” there is a level of commitment involved often far bigger than anyone would realise from the outset. I hear and have spoken to a LOT of people who talk about ROI, and is Social Media really worth it?

The simple answer is YES it is, but it doesn’t come without work ethic and a level of commitment from YOU.

Your commitment is to TURN UP – for example, if you are running a Twitter account, it is your responsibility to BE THERE.

For me, because pretty much all of my working life revolves around social media sites, my audience know that over a weekend I am “off work” and that is across the major sites that I manage a presence on.

The ROI from Social Media comes once the trust has been built between you and your followers, the trust only happens when you’ve proven yourself to those around you – this can / is easy to do in a variety of ways, but all essentially boils down to the fact you need to be committed to your profiles on the platforms and be there.

There is nothing more frustrating than someone recommending another business or person for a service and then when you go check their profile out to find they aren’t utilising their profile. There are countless people out there all hungry for business, so you need to ensure you do whatever it takes to win that business, or at least be in the running too.

Unfortunately I see this all the time in my line of work. When I speak to people and ask them “what happened” I’m often met with the response “it doesn’t work for me” or “I don’t have time” – Both answers are true, to a degree if you don’t understand what it takes to make this commitment work.

If you embark on a Facebook page campaign or open a Twitter account – make your intentions clear from the outset – let your audience know when you will be around and who is managing things – this is a part of your virtual shop front, and very much an extension of your customer service team. That is the Social Media Commitment and you should stick to it without question.

Building trust doesn’t need to take a lifetime.

You don’t need to be knocking down doors 24/7 trying to sell one service after another through your social channels.

What you do need to be doing is talking to the people around you – look for those locally, those in your industry and forming bonds with those people. Are they after a recommendation for a service you’ve experience with, and then tell them where you’ve been!

Recommendation is the driving force in the success of Social Media marketing for small business owners. You get that “seal of approval” from a fellow twitter user, 9 times out of 10 you’ve then got the business.

As much as people will engage with you if you are active and out there, they won’t come looking for you if you suddenly go quiet – for the most part anyway. You’ve got to have a very good bond with your fellow social community for that to happen. There’s only so many times a person can walk past a shop to see if its open, until they start going elsewhere.

There is no “comfort” zone with social media, you never really get a chance to “rest” or feel “safe” if you want continued connections and success you need to keep working hard at it, and that is a commitment.

As business owners I appreciate that your time is precious – whilst it’s the most affordable thing you can often spare in the beginning, the whole commitment to turning up during the days you are open can be off putting, so use the time you have got and make it count.

Whether you have 30 minutes or 3 hours – you need to ensure you schedule your time properly.

There are lots of great third party apps out there that let you set up auto tweets (which are essential for time management and productivity) so you NEVER forget to get your important messages out there. Syncing profiles together so Facebook talks to Twitter (or Vice Versa) so you aren’t “doubling up” on some messages, which means your available time is put to real time engagement – replying to messages and tweets, reading through your timeline, getting involved in networking hours, live chats and generally seeing where you can add value.

Bizzebee as a collective understand the commitment needed to really make Social Media work, during the coming weeks as the site develops more you will see some really excellent training and advice from the team to really help you streamline your social media efforts which makes the whole social media commitment easier, and most definitely worth it!

Clair 🙂