There's no need to be like everyone else. Just be yourself.
So many of my clients come to me for branding & marketing help with business plans that include things they've heard other people have been successful with. When this happens, we review everything they want to do and then find out more about who they are as people and organizations. I explain about how their marketing has to fit their schedule and everything has to fit into their end goal. If what they're putting all of their time & effort into isn't producing a return, it's obviously not a good fit for their marketing.
Why not find something that will come naturally and be easy? You're a small business, a non-profit. You don't have time to do things that don't produce a return. You're trying to make a difference and help others with the things that come easy to you. Sisarina is now practicing what we preach.
We are now Facebook-free.
Not only are we Facebook free but we're also LinkedIn free. We're just like you. A small business trying to figure out the best way to market ourselves in the saturated market of social media. We don't have a lot of money and really don't have much time. Facebook & LinkedIn didn't fit our business model, didn't reach our clients and didn't fit into our schedules.
FACEBOOK: On Facebook, we had almost 500 fans but struggled trying to figure out how to engage them. It became a time suck. It became a place that we had to make up something to do to 'get more fans'. It wasn't about marketing as much as it was about trying to get people to interact. We would get stressed out about what we should post, how we should say it and then once I finished posting, I'd click back over to my own personal Facebook page and 30 minutes was gone. So, I deleted my personal Facebook page too. We're really good at helping other businesses use Facebook as a great marketing resource because it's helpful for their business but for Sisarina, it just wasn't a good fit.
LINKEDIN: On LinkedIn, I have over 500 connections of people. I know all of these people, most of them I've only met once. I've never intentionally used LinkedIn for connecting to others, it's a passive place for me. I know that LinkedIn works for some businesses, I've recommended it and watched their businesses grow because of it but we setup a Sisarina business page and because we didn't put time into it (because it didn't fit our business lives), it didn't work for us.
TWITTER: Twitter is our champion. I signed us up in March of 2009 and it is now a revenue source of 50% of all of our business either through personal connections or referrals. It fits me. It fits my life. It fits Sisarina. It works exactly the way I think. I have short snippets of great information and have learned that sharing great information, especially information that I have tested and know to be true, will get us a HUGE return on the time invested. I talk in tweets. I think in tweets. I can tweet faster than many people can think. With 4,500 mostly engaged followers, this is very obviously our biggest success in marketing.
Figuring out what your business really needs and what fits your schedule is the best but making sure what you're saying comes naturally is the key to success of your marketing plan. Thanks to all of our Facebook & LinkedIn fans for following us for so long but we'll continue to hang out on the Twitterverse and blogosphere instead. We're going to rock those spaces and focus on giving you great stuff without wasting our time on things that aren't helpful for you.