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Social media is a wonderful tool to promote a business and build a relationship with your audience, but there is more to this amazing tool…

Being a social media and marketing coach, I am constantly learning what’s new and how to keep up with the trends, changes and challenges. On top of teaching others how to best use social media for their business, I have been using this wonderful way of engaging with customers and promoting what I do for my own business for quite a while now and I have learned a few things about social media that I would like to share.

Social media allows me to research my audience thoroughly.

(extremely thoroughly compared to old school ways to research audiences) and it lets me reach people I never knew I could or would reach. It has helped me get to know my customer and audience intimately, by paying close attention to my statistics and constantly refine and tweak my message. This information is absolutely priceless and before social media came along you would pay a lot of money for this type of information.

Social media is a tool, but it is not the entire toolkit.

I am always amazed by how many people seem to put all their eggs in one (mostly Facebook) basket. In addition to having social media accounts, I find it important to build other aspects into my business to ensure a broad range of tools is used to reach my target audience. This is important because not everyone is on social media, and you might be missing out on a large untapped audience. The way I use social media is by looking at ways to drive traffic to my website, it helps me build my email newsletter list (which I believe is more important than any social media following!), it allows me to do research and it is an important tool for me in building a strong connection with my audience. It is not the only thing I do in terms of promoting my business and nor should it be. It is important to add other tools to your toolkit.

Social media is not free.

I think it is a big misconception that social media is perceived to be a ‘free’ marketing tool. If there is one big lesson to be learned from using social media for business, it is that social media is not free. Social media takes time and time, for me, means money. Social media takes up quite a bit of my time each week and I see it as very valuable for my business, but it is by no means free. In order to use it effectively in my business, I write a weekly blog, for which I pay hosting and a domain name, I use Facebook to build a relationship with my followers and have advertised on Facebook (which costs money). To make sure I reached my target, which was to build a larger newsletter list, I signed up to a squeeze page provider (which also costs money). The outcome was great because I reached my targets but as you can see it wasn’t entirely free. Some parts of social media are free, but if you want to use it effectively you will be spending quite a bit of time and perhaps some money on it.

Social media is a wonderful tool to promote a business, but it is important to recognise it for what it is. 

It’s a tool, a social tool that lets you build social relationships. It can give you a lot of information and rewards, but it does take time and perhaps a little bit of money.

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