Social Media and Small Business: Is it worth your time?

Social Media Marketing

Oct 9, 2013 by Cintia Stela

As a small business owner, many people have surely advised you to promote your brand, company or service online through social media. They tell you it’s a no brainer – everyone is on social media – it’s the easiest way to connect with your consumers!

Like most small business owners, you’ve probably thought that this is too good to be true, but have taken a shot anyways because these social media accounts are easy to set up.

You have likely tried posting a few pictures to Facebook or typed out a few tweets here and there, hoping people will see your posts and eventually buy your product or service. Have you had a tough time acquiring Facebook likes or gaining followers on Twitter? If the answer is yes, you are not alone.

Here are some interesting insights compiled from a few studies on social media:

 

  • 88% believe exposure is the biggest benefit
  • 19% use Facebook, 15% LinkedIn and 4% Twitter
  • 12% think it’s a must, 24% do it when they have the time and 14% say they don’t know enough about it

The most intriguing finding in these statistics is that 88% of small businesses believe exposure is social medias’ biggest benefit. This is intriguing because building social media exposure is biggest challenge most small businesses face when using social media. Many struggle to gain the exposure necessary to justify the time spent using social media as a channel to connect with consumers.

The truth is that exposure on social media can be an extremely beneficial asset to your business.  However, I am sure you’re still wondering if social media is worth your time.  You understand that the payoffs are significant, but your concern is if your business can achieve this.  The answer is yes.

However, you need to change the way that you use social media. Here are four general tips to leverage social media for your company.

Social Media

1. Pick your social media platforms and stick to them.

As a small business owner, your time is precious.  You are likely wearing 25 different hats and don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done.  Therefore, you need to narrow the social media platforms you’re using to optimize your time.  Some key questions you should be asking: What social media platforms are your consumers and potential consumers using? Is this social media platform right for your type of product or service?

2. Consistently analyze your approach and make necessary changes.

The honest truth is that you’re likely not going to get it right the first time.  An idea that you may think potential consumers will respond well to may be an absolute flop.  Not to worry! Use your observations to your advantage and tailor your approach.  Ask yourself: What time of day are my potential consumers online? How often do they like to communicate? Do they respond better to blogs, pictures or videos? Do the prefer Facebook and Twitter, or perhaps they enjoy Pinterest?

3. There’s an app for that.

Once you become comfortable with the social media platforms you’re using and understand how your consumers are responding, you can start to use some powerful tools to make your life easier.  Among these tools there are:

Multi-Platform Managers: There are tools available, like Hootsuite, that will allow you to manage all of your social media accounts from a central location.  You can send out a Tweet, a Facebook post and a LinkedIn post all with one click. Some even allow you to schedule posts weeks ahead of time!

Monitoring Tools:  There are a number of monitoring tools and statistical applications available to help track your success.  These stats are useful in continuing to tailor and optimize your social media strategy!

Facebook Applications: Facebook has many more functionalities than most people are aware of.  Developers from across the globe make free applications to give your Facebook page an advantage over competitors.  For example, the app MenuTab allows small restaurants to host their menu, complete with photos and ingredients right from your Facebook page! You can even set up the system to take orders over Facebook! Take a look online to see what type of applications are available for the service or product you offer

4. Keep an eye on the competition.

A benefit of social media is that the platforms make it very easy to monitor what your competitors are up to.  Use this to your advantage by seeing what they are doing wrong (perhaps there are customer complaints posted on their page), and also what they are doing well. Leverage your observations and make changes to your social media strategy!

Don’t give up on social media as a channel to connect with your consumers and promote your brand.  Take a step back, analyze where you have made mistakes and build from them!

If you would like a copy of our Social Media Management packages contact us today.