Walk into most stores today and you will see Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations vying for space on store shelves. It’s become a race to the finish line as one year comes to an end and a new one is right around the corner.
For companies, it’s a reminder that it’s time to start budgeting for the next year. Regardless of whether you are a small business or a large corporation, if you want to continue to reach your intended target audience then adding PR and marketing to your budget is essential.
Where to begin?
In a world filled with digital media, the opportunities continue to evolve, you just need to start taking advantage of them. The two biggest complaints I hear from small business owners is “I don’t have a budget for that” or “I don’t have time to engage in social media or public relations opportunities.” My response: “You can’t afford not to set aside even a small portion of your time and budget.”
If you have not even begun social media and PR outreach efforts, then you are already losing out to the competition. Google your competition, take a look at what they are doing. Are they on LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? YouTube? Yelp? Do they have a blog? Is their website fresh and up-to-date, while yours was created years ago?
So many options, so little time
Yes, there are a ton of social media options available today and you can’t be on all of them (well, you can, but it’s best to start small if you are just getting started). Pick one or two and go from there.
These days just about everyone – from your teenage daughter to your grandmother – is on social media. They think that posting photos to Facebook or messages on Twitter makes them an expert. But, it’s a totally different scenario when you are talking about managing social media for your business.
You would not hand over the keys to your office to someone who you just hired and whom you know nothing about. Why would you hand over your usernames and passwords and let them “have a go” at handling your company’s social media? Yet, it does happen.
Your company’s social media is its calling card. It presents its image or brand. Handing over your company’s social media responsibilities to someone who was not hired specifically to handle social media can (and often times has for many companies) become a recipe for disaster.
First and foremost, the person who you put in charge of your social media needs to understand your business and how you want it to be represented to the public. They need to know what products or services you provide, who your target audience is, who your competition is and how you want to deal with those who engage with your company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.