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Over the last few years social media has become a huge item for both personal users and business alike. Most people have a facebook profile. Many people and businesses now even have a twitter accout. But not everyone yet.
I was recently asked to do some social media consulting for a business. They wanted to know all of the normal stuff like what ages and target markets are on social networks. Which networks they should focus on. Should they let employees use social networks during work to talk to clients?
What they failed to grasp though was that they needed to invest in the networks before there was anything to get back out of them.
They have an event in 3 weeks and wanted to advertise it on Twitter and Facebook. Of course advertising over those sites is great, the problem is they don't even have accounts on them. No account means you have no followers. No followers means you have no one to market too.
What they failed to grasp was that in many ways social media is like a bank account. You don't just open an account and start taking money out (and if you know of pre-filled bank account leave it in the comments). Before you can get anything out you have to put something in.
So if you want to use social media as an extra way to advertise your service or event remember it's not magic. You have to cultivate you followers, fans and friends before social media has anything to return to you.