There’s no denying that social media is an absolute behemoth, with literally billions of potential customers just hanging out, sharing cat pics and getting in political arguments with strangers. There’s also no denying that there are few marketing channels as inexpensive as social media. After-all, it’s free, right?
Well…that depends. How much do you value your time?
You see, small business social media success requires that you post regularly, create original content, respond to comments, write comments of your own, and tie it all together with a website that displays what you do in a coherent way. And all of that takes a lot of time. Even doing the minimum of one post a day, and a blog or two a week, still equals 5+ hours/week of effort for a marketing tactic that has a fairly good chance of not producing a single good lead. No wonder small business owners get frustrated a stop.
So, what is social media good for?
Don't get me wrong, social media has lots of truly awesome applications for certain types of small business owners: real estate agents can use Instagram and Facebook to show off new properties; e-commerce retailers can use Pinterest or Instagram to showcase their latest products; and thought leaders can use Twitter to reach a broader audience than they could through any other channel. In all these cases, though, the key is that the business owner is building an audience first, and then earning business later.
So, take a look at your business model and industry and determine whether devoting significant time to building an audience would be worthwhile for your business. And be honest about your willingness, resources, time, and interest in steadily building an online business, because without consistent effort social media campaigns will always fall flat.
If you're looking to get into the social game, though, and need some inspiration on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, check out my free eBook, The Big Three, which gives you some background info on each platform, and shows you a few examples of what makes a good post.