According to a recent social media small business study in USA Today:
- 61% of small businesses don’t see a return on investment on social media activities
- 49% of businesses spend more time on social media than last year. 7% spend less
- Small businesses cite Facebook as the hardest social media network to maintain
So what should small businesses do? First, is your product or service really that interesting that people want to learn more about it through social media? It’s okay if your product or service isn’t that sexy. Audiences expect certain industries to be on social media, think restaurants, retail, sports, and entertainment. But what about the B2B business structure? Perhaps all you need is LinkedIn and an established blog strategy on your website. Or if your business is somewhat complex, perhaps you maintain informational videos on your YouTube channel.
Second, know your audience. Is your audience on social media and if so – how often are they on, and are they just on Facebook to keep up with family and friends, or do they follow and engage with companies? Keep in mind that just because there are several social networks available does not mean you need to be on all of them. Be discerning and match your social media strategy to your audience. And most importantly, do not use social media as a blow horn. Truly engage and speak with your audiences.
Third, put social media in its place. Social media is one form of getting your message out. Focus on your business objectives, then create strategies that achieve those objectives. Social media will likely be a part of the strategy, but the key is reaching those objectives. Don’t lose sight of your goal.