‘I don’t have time’ or ‘it’s a complete waste of time’ (which usually translates into ‘I don’t understand it’) are 2 of the most common responses when people are asked why they’re not using start your social media strategysocial media as part of their marketing strategy.

But those that have taken the time to understand the mechanics of social media and the effects it can have on your business profile, realise that blogging, Facebook interaction and Twitter can all boost business and credibility.

Many people still think its a passing fad – nope, it’s still here.

Many people think the only way to market it through old fashioned cold calling and mail shots – nope, most people won’t buy from a cold caller.

So if you are one of the stalwarts who refuses to acknowledge the benefits of social media, let me ask you…

  • How often do you go to networking events?
  • How long does it take you to write and submit your adverts?
  • How many hours of cold calling do you do a week (and what’s your success rate)?
  • How many trees have you killed sending out mail shots?

It’s my guess that all of those activities take up an awful lot of time. So, if you can find time to do all that, why can’t you find the time to do some networking through social media?

With more and more business being conducted online, social media has to be part of your marketing armoury. Through it you can reach audiences far wider than you have been able to before, you can differentiate your company from your competitors and you can reach your potential customers and start to build relationships with them even before they buy.

Small steps create success

Before you start to hyperventilate, you don’t have to jump into every aspect of social media straightaway.

Pick the one that appeals most and start with that.

Set yourself the target of doing one thing every week – whether that’s writing a few blog posts, submitting your website to a relevant online directory, setting up a facebook page or learning how to use Twitter.

Before you know it, you’ll be saying farewell to those wasted hours of cold calling and streamlining your marketing budget so you can concentrate on the areas that are providing you with a real return on your investment.

Make 2012 the year you start to make your time work harder for you. Get cracking on your social media strategy.