• Inna Semenyuk

Does Your Business Really Need To Be On Social Media?

As a startup founder putting all your effort into taking the business off the ground, Twitter and Facebook might be the last things to think about, not to mention 'alien' Snapchat and Yik Yak. Social media takes time and money and quite honestly that's exactly what you are strapped for at the moment. So do you even need to bother?

At a Social Media Masterclass at Dassault Systemes 3D FinTech Challenge today I shared some insights that will help you answer this question. Here it goes.

How many people are online anyway?

There are over 7.3 billion people in the world, and over 3.17 billion are online (source: Wikipedia and Statista). With these skyrocketing numbers it's only a matter of time that your toddler will have their own social media profile, not to mention your business partners and clients, even in the highly regulated areas such as FinTech, Healthcare and the likes.

Being ahead of the curve and shaping social media landscape and your company's presence it or falling behind and catching up 'when the time is right' - it's clear to me which way is more advantageous but you have to decide for yourself.

What do you want to achieve?

Whether you are in FinTech and RegTech space, just like 3D FinTech Challenge finalists  CyodaDetechInfoTrieKalyptonMatchupboxObjectTechWealthKernel are, or running a doughnut shop in San Francisco, there must be a business objective you want to achieve.

If you answered 'yes' to any of these then it's a yes and social media can help you hit your business targets.

Do I need to be on all social networks? Even Snapchat?

Having surpassed Twitter with its 150mln+ daily users, Snapchat can easily become something you can loose your sleep over. If you barely have time to tweet, how can you start snapping? And why should you do it anyway if your business caters to anyone teenagers?

The answer is - you shouldn't! Moreover - you shouldn't tweet, post on Facebook or LinkedIn if these are not the platforms your customers use. You should however test all these platforms and work out which one is most efficient for your business specifically and focus on that one channel in the short-term. With social media native and 3rd party analytics you can get granular analysis of your social media performance and attribute the results to lead generation/customer acquisition/sales eliminating guesswork and focusing on tried and tested channels that truly work for you.

In the longer term however, do not ignore Snapchat otherwise you risk to be too late to the party. Explore how brands use Snapchat to tell their story using geofilters, lenses, ads and Snapchat stories and give it a go!

Where do I find time for this?

Social media management can indeed be very time consuming. Don't start it unless you can truly commit to establishing and maintaining relationships and engagement on social media. If you follow the few tips above however, you will focus on platforms that drive results while maximizing your time and effort.

Also, don't forget that as much as your corporate social media accounts are an extension of the brand, your personality and personal social media presence are part of your business identity as well. Don't shy away from getting involved in the social media. Make your business more human and personable by sharing your expertise online - tweet, post on LinkedIn Pulse, snap behind-the-scenes photos and videos on Snapchat and see how your social media world is expanding.

Final word

If you still have reservations about your company's social media presence, think about it this way: while social media is a phenomenon that emerged 10 years ago, it existed in other shapes and forms before. Bulletin boards, newspapers, press conferences, company meetings, word of mouth, advertising and direct sales are still there. It's just they have been revolutionized by the digital industry to help you achieve better measurable results. So dive in!

What are your most burning questions about social media for business? Do you struggle with understating any particular social media channel? Do you have a best practice to share? Post your questions and comments below!

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