Incorporating social media strategies into your marketing plan is no cut-and-paste job. You've got to know your clientele and what appeals to them, and you have to engage them in a conversation rather than simply spew offers at them. In fact, if you don't have the desire to commit yourself to social marketing, don't even bother, says small-business marketing expert Jay Ehret.
"You don't do a TV ad when you feel like doing a TV ad," Ehret says. Similarly, social marketing shouldn't be done just because it's what everyone else is doing. "It needs to be a function of your business. It needs to be a marketing function."
Because the early adopters have already blazed the trail, perhaps other business owners now find themselves feeling left behind. "It's OK to go in the water now," Ehret says. Some businesses that have jumped into social media marketing have tried to transfer their advertising habits from old media to new ones, and the fit isn't always there.
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