I have lost count on how many times I have heard business owners say "I know I need to be blogging/on Facebook/MySpace/Twitter, but what I don't know is how to get started?'  When I ask how they KNOW that they need to be using these tools, I am answered with either a blank stare, or a 'well everyone else is using them!'

Apparently, John has been getting asked these same type of questions.  As he points out, these are the WRONG questions to be asking! 

Here are some questions you should be asking before launching a social media strategy:

  • How would social media fit into my overall marketing strategy?  Does it align?
  • What are the specific advantages of blogging?  Social networks?  Twitter?  What are the drawbacks of each?
  • Should I consider outsourcing my social media marketing if I don't have the time?
  • Am I willing to be more open with my customers and give them the ability to communicate more freely with me?
These are the types of questions you should be asking before you decide to dive into the social media waters.  Social media is not something that can work for every business, and small businesses in particular have special issues (such as time and staff) that need to be considered closely before they decide to launch a social media strategy.

Don't assume that these tools are right for you, or that you should even consider using them.  Do your homework and find out what these tools are capable of, and whether or not you are ready and willing to use them as they are intended.

June 5, 2008

Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.


All good questions, but it still doesnt take away from the fact that most all companies can be involved in some sort of social media whatever the budget and whatever the size of the company.

I don't think the case for social media is proven yet as it all seems to take so much time.

I find taht when I talk to small business owners, I become very non-committal and admit that I do some of it but I can't give them poistive recommendations.

Yes it can work driving traffic and creating attention but it's the dollars per hour figure that has to be proven

Companies have to be sure that they can swim before diving to the social media waters or the results will be very bad.

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Search Engine Guide > Mack Collier > Putting the Cart Before the (Social Media) Horse