Trade secrets – social media isn’t free publicity

What they don’t tell you about starting a business

Social media is amazing – it has turned us all into publishers with an audience for our words that is potentially worldwide. It has considerably levelled the playing field for business start-ups of all sizes wanting to establish their online presence and, hopefully, to build a following of supporters and potential customers.

The ease of going online and getting out there may deceive users into thinking the whole process is easy and free of costs to the would-be business. Don’t be deceived – if you’re thinking like a business rather than a user of social media, you need to cost your time online and make sure it’s well spent.  You’ll need to invest some of your time to find out which social media communication channels do the job you want them to. You need to set marketing objectives and be able to measure the effectiveness of your online efforts to achieve them – and then focus your time accordingly.

On the cost side, also be aware of the damage you can do to your professional and personal reputation if you get your online presence wrong. It may be a cliché, but remember “A happy customer tells a friend; an unhappy one tells the world.” And, through social media, they’ll do it much, much faster!

For other Trade Secrets in this series, go to

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