Social media opens your business to the scrutiny of the masses, making you instantly accessible, and requires consistent watch. It can be a little unsettling. Does that mean we should avoid it? Here are some comments I have heard from advisors about social media:

  1. “It’s just another new technology, and I really don’t want to learn anything new right now or have my staff wasting time on this.” Translation: Prove to me social media is valuable, and then I will consider venturing.
  2. “My compliance department said I would be terminated if I used any social media, including LinkedIn.” Most compliance departments have rules set in place, but I had not heard of termination. Don’t risk it.
  3. “I don’t want to share so much with the whole world. My business and its clients should remain private.” Translation: The benefits don’t outweigh the potential for negative consequences.

Ultimately, you have to do what is right for your business. There is certainly enough value in social media to make it part of your business. But, first, determine if you are hesitant because you feel out of your comfort zone or if you actually believe there is no benefit to your business.

Social media is not a replacement for face-to-face communication or your regular marketing. But devoting just an hour a week can be helpful for communicating with contacts you have already made as well as finding new ones. Also, social media is free. Wouldn’t you use a free tool if it had the potential of attracting new clients and building your brand? Why would you pass that up, unless you already have all of the business you need?

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. Kuzmeski has personally consulted with some of the world’s most successful CEOs, entrepreneurs and professionals. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.