I have come across many business owners through this line of work from all backgrounds and all with different approaches to doing business, good and bad. However if there is one thing I’ve learnt is that social media is not something to be taken lightly from a small business perspective.
We have all been there before, searching for a café, restaurant or any type of small business and stumbling onto their social media pages only to find that their last post was made back in 15AD.
Still, this definitely isn’t an indication that this business isn’t busy or successful, and although at times it feels like I am betraying my own line of work, I must admit that social media is not for every business.
With over 2 billion active social media accounts globally, marketing through social media is one of the fastest growing industries in the 21st century. Social media marketing is something that quite simply just isn’t going to go away and the importance of it for small businesses is only growing.
However, I believe that small businesses should ask themselves these 4 key questions before using up both time and resources by jumping into social media.
Do you have the experience?
You don’t have to have a degree in marketing or have spent 10,000 hours researching it to gain the relevant expertise to effectively market your business through social media. But this doesn’t mean that just because you grew up with an iPhone in your hand that you have the expertise either.
An effective social media strategy requires some serious thought and almost constant attention. Rather than just chucking up the occasional status, effective marketing demands regular updates and knowledge about how to present content. Social media is constantly updating and algorithms always changing, which means to be effective you need to constantly ‘clue up’ on the latest updates.
If you don’t feel as if you are tech savvy enough to take on the social media world, think about employing the relevant expertise to help you through the tricky world of social marketing – which would lead on to the dilemma of whether to choose in-house or go through an agency.
Do you have enough time?
With 23% of Facebook users logging in at least 5 times per day if there is one thing that social media does, is that it eats up time. And you can guarantee that trying to engage potential clients can be even more time consuming.
As already mentioned, social media isn’t something to be taken lightly, and if you aren’t going to pay serious attention to it with the odd fortnightly post – don’t bother.
One of the most important tools towards social media marketing is publishing great content, writing interesting blog entries and designing captivating infographics. If you cannot spare the time within the manic schedule of setting up a business then it may be better to either seek help or avoid taking the step into social media.
Can you provide engaging content?
If you are a small business, what is the best strategy to take on when connecting with clients over social media?
Restaurant and cafe customers want to view your amazing food and drink through photos. Accountancy clients want to keep up to date with the latest news that may directly affect them. Library go-ers want to know what there next holiday fiction book might be.
You need to be able to cater the content you publish on social media to your customer’s desires through a well thought out marketing strategy. Depending on the demands you need to act as a photographer, creative writer, graphic designer and blogger all in one to be able to keep your customers interested in what you have to say.
Are your customers using social media?
In a lot of ways the answer to this question is yes, irrespective on what business it is. With the new digital generation reaching adulthood, your future clients are going to have grown up with social media.
And before those with a target audience of people of 55 or above, note that twitters fastest growing demographic is the 55-64 year age bracket.
However, your target audience may not be very active over social media, meaning that your social media efforts will not get the credit it deserves. To help you find out whether this is the case it’s best to seek out competitors social media pages to see if it’s working for others. Note: this doesn’t always mean that if your competitors aren’t on social media that it’s not worth it, it could be a huge opportunity.
The growing world of social media is making it increasingly important for small businesses to engage in it, however in some cases its best to avoid social media marketing for the time being. The worst thing to do is create a profile that you leave to rot, immediately giving off the wrong impression to customers. The best thing to do is research your market and competitors to see whether its worth your time and resources.
If you are interested in seeking a helping hand with social media marketing CLICK HERE