I get asked this question all the time. Do I need have have facebook, twitter etc.? My answer is always the same. No you don’t have to but I can guarantee that everyone of your main competitors will have it so why be left behind?
I understand not all of us are in love with facebook or like to tweet every two minutes but if you are running a business surely you can see the benefits of having these options. Its free advertising and free feedback.
I use my twitter account in odd ways – sometimes I will have months of tweeting all the time and other times I am so busy that I switch off for a few weeks – this isn’t something I would recommend to anyone it just happens. I get all engrossed in my latest project and end up not working on my own website and social networking, but I think I am to be forgiven because I am always working on someone else’s website to get them out there and noticed.
Twitter can be an excellent way of getting to know what your competitors are doing and how you can do the same, only better. If used for business it can open contacts that you would never have met any other way. I have received work just from replying to a tweet on Drupal. Someone read that tweet and checked out my website and contacted me about some help they needed on a Drupal site. They were based in the opposite end of the UK and I would never have reached them otherwise.
Twitter can also be used to keep up to date with the latest tech and products. You can also have access to experts in any field at the touch of a keyboard. Anyone can see the benefit of this.
The golden rule of facebook for me is to make sure you have two accounts. One for business and one for friends. Of course you can have your business page on your personal account etc. but never post what you have had for dinner on your business page. It looks unprofessional and no one is interested. Facebook can be a great tool when used correctly. You can showcase new products, sell, advertise – the options are there for you to use – just use them correctly.
So of course I understand that you may not want to go there, but you HAVE to go there. If you don’t then your competitor is way ahead of you no matter how fantastic your website or business is.
I get a lot of work from work of mouth which is by far my favourite way of receiving new business but just think of facebook and twitter as an extension of that.