Small businesses face several hurdles in today’s world, such as the economy, competition from bigger brands, staying relevant, and on. Many small business owners recognize how critical social media could be for their business, yet they either let their uncertainties cripple them or they don’t even know where to begin.
Small business owners’ social media concerns can cover a wide range of topics, as social media is a complicated beast. We went directly to a small business owner, J-P Peron, and asked what his top concerns were.
1. Finding the Time
Many small businesses jump on the social media bandwagon under the false pretense that having a social media presence will be easy. The businesses create accounts and start posting, only to hit a wall once they realize what a time suck social media can be. For most small businesses, the time factor is the biggest challenge they will face, especially in light of all the other duties that must be performed to keep the company going on a day-to-day basis.
Try this: Set aside time one day a week to create a content calendar for your social media outlets. Once you do so, schedule your posts for the week, so you don’t look at social media as a burden throughout the week. When scheduling your posts, remember that the world goes on—do not post any sensitive information that could be looked at as insensitive if some sort of event were to occur.
2. Finding the Purpose
A lot of small businesses don’t have a purpose when it comes to their social media plan—they throw something against the wall and hope it sticks. A small business may get some results with this game plan, but they can forget about consistent results, which is the name of the game.
Try this: Before you embark on establishing a presence on social media, make sure you have goals and a clear plan. Write down your goals and brainstorm how you will go about achieving these goals. At the end of each week (or whatever time frame you decide is appropriate), evaluate your results and see how they line up with your goals. Is something not working the way you thought it would? Make changes. Remember, social media is a trial and error process, so nothing should be set in stone.
3. Finding the Importance
For whatever reason, a lot of small business owners are fighting converting to social media. Perhaps it is a comfort zone thing, but the fact of the matter is social media is here and it is here to stay. Take a look at these facts:
- According to Business2Community, 80% of social media users prefer to connect with brands through Facebook.
- Web Analytics World reports that Twitter is projected to make a total of $540 million in advertising revenue by 2014.
- Pinterest referrals spend 70% more money than visitors referred from non-social channels, says Search Engine Journal.
Any small business not taking advantage of social media is doing itself a huge disservice.
Try this: Google “small business social media success stories”. Read over what small businesses have been able to accomplish with social media and use this to gain inspiration. There are 850 million active users on Facebook currently and they are just waiting to hear about your brand. Don’t pass up this opportunity.
4. Finding the Motivation
It is understandable that a lot of small business owners have a hard time finding the motivation to tackle social media, especially after taking care of other business concerns. However, it is essential to find your inner social media guru and take advantage of platforms that will open you and your business up to a whole new audience.
Try this: Pick one or two social platforms and focus only on those platforms. It is easy to get overwhelmed attempting to keep up with all of the outlets and give up. Research where your audience is and choose platforms that will cater to said audience. For example, if you are looking to reach women, Pinterest would be an excellent platform for your company– 80% of Pinterest users are women.
Image via: celestehopkins (Creative Commons)