In February 2016, Brafton.com published an article revealing that 1 in 5 small businesses still aren’t using social media. For those of us using social on a daily basis and reaping the benefits, this statistic doesn’t even seem plausible. And yet, if you go on to read the article, you’ll see that 54% of small businesses dedicate less than 6% of revenue to marketing. Not only are these businesses not paying attention to social, they’re not paying much attention to marketing as a whole.
If that’s the case, then why aren’t businesses participating and what, if anything, will convince them to hop aboard the social media train?
They started their business later in life so social media is not their first language
According to PewInternet.org, 41% of individuals 65 and older do not have the internet at all, 53% do not have broadband access at home, and 23% do not use cell phones. Entrepreneurship does not discriminate when it comes to age either. There are plenty of senior small business owners, but if someone decides to start a business later in life, social media may not be at the top of his/her priority list.
If you fall into this category, what you can do is hire someone to take the social media and marketing reins. Make sure to effectively communicate the goal of your business and the messages that you want to be communicated to your audience. Other than that, leave the strategizing to your new hire and keep up an open communication about what you want your audience to know and what’s being achieved.
Too many outlets, not enough focus
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, Vine — the list of social media outlets only continues to grow and expand over time. A lot of new small business owners think they need to be involved in them all to be successful, but that’s not the case.
Take note of which outlets are most popular and what your specific demographic are using, and focus on those. It’s better to be very involved in a few key outlets than just kind of involved in six or more of them.
As far as what you write about goes, you should be updating about once a day with new, interesting content for your followers to enjoy that educates them on what your small business does or on topics related to your industry.
They don’t want to pay for it
There was a time a few years ago when you could post for free whenever it was convenient on Facebook and not have to worry about attracting new followers or likes on your posts because they would naturally appear. Then every other business had the same idea including major corporations. Pretty soon, user dashboards were crammed with status updates from brands and small businesses were struggling to attract the attention of their audience.
Now, Facebook has the option to boost posts and create ads that you can pay for to reach a wider audience.
But even with the incentive of reaching your audience, the act of paying for it is making some entrepreneurs ask, “If social media isn’t free, is it still even worth it?” Yes! Facebook especially has such an advanced set up for boosting posts that if you’re not paying to boost your posts, you’re seriously missing out. For example, when we post a link to a blog post we wrote on our company Facebook page, our readership always more than doubles than if we don’t boost the post.
A better readership leads to more clicks and traffic on our website — which is the end goal. You don’t have to drop hundreds each day, but you should boost your posts that you really want to get your content out there to your audience. Otherwise they probably won’t be seen unless someone specifically clicks on your page.
Ultimately, what I hope convinces small businesses to be active on social is that the experience is what you make of it. You don’t have to do things just like a brand you admire or follow the exact footsteps of your competition, if you don’t have the capacity for it. Do your research and see what sites would be the best fit for your business and what you, or someone else trained on the team, may be able to allocate time to work on and complete.
If you can only dedicate time for one blog post a week, go for it and make it incredible. When it comes to content, the key is quality over quantity especially when you’re just getting your start. By creating well-written content about what you know, you’re establishing a blueprint to use to branch out to more social sites and establishing yourself as an expert in the process.