Is Social Media Your Small Business’ Frenemy?
Hate it or love it, social media that began as a fad of questionable usefulness not so long ago has now developed into a macro-trend if not a mega-trend. It’s here to stay, whether we like it or not. And most of us, entrepreneurs or soon to be small business owners, have a conflicted relationship with social media. Yet there is a way to make it work for you not against you.
Here are some valid reasons to dislike social media:
- It’s not as simple as it looks for businesses.
- It’s a huge time sink.
- There are many platforms with time-consuming learning curves.
- It’s hugely addictive and should come with health warnings like cigarettes and alcohol.
- We business owners lose focus, waste time, waste money, and are constantly distracted with our personal page because we MUST HAVE a personal page to have a business page in all social media platforms.
Yet there is another perspective:
When I had a brick and mortar business that I started over 30 years ago and that I grew for 20+ years, the internet didn’t exist and neither did social media. And when we began accessing the world wide web in the mid-90s’ followed a few years later by social media, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon. Here is why.
Consider the alternatives…
As a small business owner back then, I HATED the tyranny of having to spend a fortune each month advertising my business in the humongous and infamous ripoff that were the Yellow Pages in the phone book then. There was no way to get around it and the YP book had a monopoly of some sort. How else would potential customers find your phone number? Certainly not by “googling” it!
Local newspapers and glossy magazines were not better. Often, commission-driven sales representatives unconsciously shamed us into spending big in advertising: “Look at the beautiful ad your competition is buying.” They also promised results that were typically intractable unless your business offered a coupon or some sort of discount (another cost added to the adverts) that the customer would have to redeem. For a small business with an inflexible budget, advertising and marketing meant throwing thousands upon thousands of hard-earned dollars into the wind with a prayer that enough new customers would happen to see the ad, remember it, and then step into the business to buy something. At the time, my small business annual advertising budget was typically around 4% of gross revenue and equated to around $80,000; almost as high as the rent of the location! Unfortunately, the alternative of not advertising was the threat of your business falling into oblivion.
Yay! These days are gone!… well, almost.
Today I would respectfully dance at a Jazz funeral of the Yellow Pages if an increasingly thin phone book didn’t persistently show-up on my door-step each year. Still, I welcome its replacement: social media. If approached with the right strategy, social media is a beautiful tool for business owners and also for their customers.
If approached with the right strategy, and a few tricks…
In reality, for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, like with the Yellow Pages of the phone book, ignoring social media isn’t an option but doing it wrong isn’t either. But the great news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune connecting with and wooing your audience via social media.
Still today, no business, should it be a brick and mortar, mobile, online, e-commerce, consulting, business to consumers, business to business or any form of business, can afford to side-step social media. Conversely, show me the business owners who have the unlimited time it takes to master the right platforms and who also have the skills to create, write, and post the right messages and videos consistently in order to attract the right customers. Most of us don’t. As a Start-a-Business coach and a long-time mentor for owners of all types of small businesses, I know firsthand that the majority of us would save tremendous time, money, and energy if we understood the right approach to make social media work for us and not enslave us.
New Connections and free knowledge that help you grow.
I confess, I am not an expert on social media but I do know many experts and I love to connect you with experts. Which is why for our next Saturday Morn’ Brew & Chat (9/26/20 at 9:00 AM Pacific), I have invited my social media mentor and friend, small business expert Alison Vidotto, who has graciously accepted to share with you the steps you need to build savvy social media strategies to grow your current or your upcoming business.
To register for next Saturday Morn’ Brew & Chat event and fire-up your business with savvy social media strategies: Saturday 9/26/20 at 9:00 AM Pacific, click on the link above or the image below.
I promise it will be worth your time not spent on Facebook 😉
Cheers to building a life you love with the right business for you!
ABOUT SATURDAY MORN’ BREW & CHATS
The bi-weekly Saturday Morn’ Brew & Chat events are free and are sponsored by OPEN FOR BUSINESS, and founder Patricia Bottero St-Jean. OPEN FOR BUSINESS is a Start-a-Business Lab and a Coaching Agency that specializes in guiding career shifters and entrepreneurs exercise due diligence in the early-stage research, vetting, planning, up to the launch of the right business for them. Among other activities, OPEN FOR BUSINESS shares market resources by inviting subject matter experts on various topics to support you in the launch and the growth of your business venture.
If you’d like to be first to hear of our event, click here to join our VIP Guestlist for our upcoming events.