The number one comment I hear from small business owners who are considering using Twitter is "I don't have a lot of time to Tweet but I want to get my message out".
Now don't get me wrong its not just Twitter, these comments seem to be a trend as they are repeated about other forms of social media networking like Facebook as well as LinkedIn.The problem with this comment is you can't have it both ways. Any form of marketing your business is going to take time and effort.
About.com defines marketing as "The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products."
That's EXACTLY what you can accomplish for FREE using social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook and Linked.However, many small business owners are discouraged with the social networking sites because they don't see social networking as marketing and they find it hard to measure return on investment (ROI).
My question is what are you measuring to calculate ROI?Time?!
Unfortunately, many business owners look at time spent on each social networking site as the only means to calculate ROI. Whether it's Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn follow these five tips to help you measure your social networking ROI efforts:
1. Create a strategy - decide what and how you are going to promote your product or service on each social network. Each site is different, with clearly defined rules and criteria for providing information to your list. Be sure to add this strategy to your overall marketing plan.
2. Use automation - There are a ton of tools, with new ones developed daily, to automate tasks that spread the word about your products or services.
3. Use cross platform tools - identify tools you can create an update that will post announcements, events, sales, etc, across multiple social networking platforms.
4. Invest in training - By now you know Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the hottest tools on the market; as a result, software changes can happen quickly. Rely on the experts to keep you up to date and provide time-saving tips and tricks.
5. Track and measure - know who is talking about you and your business. Monitor who is clicking on your links and use analytics to measure increased traffic to your website or blog.
If you're considering adding Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to your marketing strategy, these practical tips provide a winning combination to help you accomplish calculating social networking ROI.
Ms. Taylor is a contributing technology writer to various magazines, newsletters, websites and blogs. Ms. Taylor uses her unique business experiences to publish her widely read FREE weekly e-newsletter for small business owners who want insider secrets and helpful technology tips that save time and money.
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