Posted by Renee Schmidt

Are social media and an online marketing strategy a good investment of time and money?

It should come as no surprise that the proliferation of social media has turned social networking into an important business tool. And with each year that passes, more and more social networking sites have cropped up, each with unique opportunities to market a business or product. The problem is: you only need to master them.  No big deal, right? (I’m kidding).

Is it possible these days to grow an online business without an online marketing strategy –including all the liking, blogging, sharing and tweeting?  After all, it’s time consuming! And for a SMB (small to mid-size business), traditionally run by a tiny staff (>10), it’s nearly impossible to both run a successful business and a successful social media campaign (I speak from experience!). Plus, would the time invested (hours and hours) justify the opportunity cost? What’s the return on investment? Or suppose you don’t social strategize, will it mean you get left behind as your competitors flourish?

There are platforms out there that promise to save you time; like Tweet Deck, which links all your social media sites into one.  But even with those platforms, there’s a big learning curve. Not to mention that social networks are not created equal (they are not homogenous); LinkedIn isn’t Twitter. Twitter isn’t Facebook. Figuring out one platform doesn’t mean you know how to use them all –they are each unique and have a different purpose entirely.

What’s more, businesses themselves are not created equal; for example a successful online strategy for an apparel company would not translate well for a technology services business. Each business is unique and online marketing and social media isn’t a one-size fit all.

So should you spend time figuring it out? And if so, what impact would all those hours behind the computer have on your life as a living social being? Meaning, in the flesh with others.

Too much technology causes separation amongst people.

What I can share from my personal experience with online marketing strategy, is that most people don’t have what it takes to really make a digital splash; mainly because it requires both a well thought through strategy and also a large investment of time; which most people or unable or unwilling to make.

Here’s what most people don’t know: there’s an emerging industry of people who have figured it out; people who know what works and what doesn’t; these folks are called internet marketing strategists, and they can help you navigate to an online marketing strategy that will fit in best with your time and budget constraints. The right consultant can perform a comprehensive online overhaul and use strategic combinations of various marketing initiatives (picked specifically for your business), to monetize your website, your business or your product.  It’s a great alternative to trying to figure it out on your own. Learn more.

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