Small Business Excuses for Not Doing Social Media
These are some of the common excuses I’m given for why an owner of a small business has yet to create a Facebook Page, a Twitter account or even a Linkedin Profile. Frankly, none of them justify not being engaged in social media marketing and I’ll tell you why.
“My customers don’t use the Internet.” – Really? Are you sure? Because according to almost every poll out there 80% of the U.S. population is online and I don’t know anyone using those Yellow Pages. People of all ages, in all professions, of both genders are engaged, to some degree, online. They might be Grandmothers checking in on the grand kids through Facebook or they might be Dad checking out the reviews of local area automobile repair shops now that Joe closed his shop. Almost everyone is either Googling, Twittering, or posting to Facebook. So this is a pretty hallow excuse for a small business.
“Business doesn’t happen online. I have to get in front of my customers to make the sale.” – Yes, if you’re selling expensive products to other businesses, you probably do have to meet face-to-face not just once, but several times. But how did that prospect become aware of you? Where did they go to find out more about your products, your company and the experiences of other customers? Chances are high they probably went online and checked out the Linkedin profiles of you and those of your management. Signing on the dotted line may not happen online, although it could nowadays. But the pre-sales process is happening online and through social media all the time and without you even being aware of it.
If your a retail shop, this pre-sales process is definitely happening online. With each passing year, more and more consumers are purchasing their soft and hard goods online. If you want your business to survive, you need to be doing Social Media Marketing.
“Social Media is something for those who want to follow Dancing with the Stars and Lady Gaga. It’s not for my small business.“ Hmmm. Don’t tell that to Dell Computer, Apple, Cisco, Starbucks, Safeway, Wells Fargo, Caterpillar. Many, if not all, of the Fortune 100, 500, and 1000 multinational companies are actively engaged in social media marketing. I can assure you they’re not using social media to tap into the latest results of Dancing with the Stars. They are using social media to market their companies, their products, their expertise and their good will. Shouldn’t you?
“We risk not being able to control the conversation. What if someone says something negative?” Here is the ugly truth. You’re right, you can’t control the conversation. You never could. But that doesn’t mean the conversation isn’t happening. Using social media tools you have the ability to keep track of those conversations and to step-up and make amends, where necessary, or to explain your side of the problem. Frankly, social media marketing gives you more control over the conversation, not less.
“How do we know if social media marketing will produce any return?” If you’re smart, you’ll measure your efforts against established objectives like you would any other marketing effort. Overtime, you’ll get smarter about how to use social media in your marketing efforts and the results will speak for themselves. But you won’t produce any results without a strong commitment to the process.
“We don’t have the time to do social media marketing.” Seriously? You don’t have time to market your business? Then how do you expect to get sales? How do you expect to stay in business? If you’re still counting on local newspapers, radio or TV, then I would respectfully suggest not only are you wasting your time with media that isn’t delivering, but you’re also wasting your money. Studies show that product referrals from friends through social media are far more trusted than is advertising. Better you should take those advertising dollars and spend them on a Social Media Marketing person who can get you up and running and show you how easy social media marketing is to implement.
If you’re the owner of a small business and you’ve used any of these excuses to avoid stepping up to social media marketing, I hope I’ve been able to convince you that you need to rethink your position. If you need help, you need to contact me. I’ll be happy to get you started on the right path.
- Survey Says: Small-Business Owners ‘Highly Unsatisfied’ With Washington (huffingtonpost.com)
- Social Media Marketing Campaigns For Bloggers: What To know? (madrasgeek.com)
- SMX Social Media Marketing: 7 Reasons Why You Should Attend (searchengineland.com)