Has your small business embraced social media?
For those of you who have not, please answer the following question: What is keeping you from embracing social media?
Chances are, you’ve got your reasons. But we implore you to read on to see if your reasons fall into these five common misconceptions.
I don’t have the time for social media – No one can argue with the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. As a small business owner, we know that your time is valuable. With that said, no one expects you to be online 24-7 tweeting or posting status updates on Facebook. Consumers leverage social media to build a closer relationship with companies, and they don’t need constant attention, they just don’t want to be ignored. That said, setting expectations is key – if you can only respond to customers on Facebook or Twitter for an hour each day, clearly state it in your bio or “about” section of your company profile. This will tell customers that you care and will respond during the time you can devote to social media.
No such thing as a free lunch – We all know the old adage about free lunch always coming with a catch. In some ways, social media is the same way; the platform is free, but your time is not. With that said, your only expense in using a social network is your time. Sure, they offer ads that companies can purchase, but it isn’t something that you need to build up a loyal following. If you have a website, the majority of the major social networks offer you free pieces of HTML code that will allow people to connect with you on their favorite social network.
My customers don’t want to connect with me on social media – Your customers are talking about their experiences with you on their social profiles… are you listening? These same customers would love to get a closer relationship with you on their profiles. This can be on any social platform and include everything from conversations to trivia to sharing behind the scenes stories of your business. Try adding different elements, as you never know what will spark interesting conversation with your customers.
Social media is just for pleasure – Social media is big business, not something that is reserved for talking to friends and playing games. Don’t buy it? Well think about this… a recent study from Microsoft showed that 66 percent of people following brands on a social network are looking to get discounts or deals. This not only shows purchase intent, but a strong sense of customer loyalty. Try creating custom deals that can be redeemed by your social network.
I have a website, I am all set with my online presence – A website is an important piece of real estate for your business, but in today’s social Web, you need more. Social networks are a great way to build awareness for your business and interact with customers – these networks are also great for driving traffic back to your website, and responding to customers in real time. Be sure to add ways for customers to connect with you on social networks on your website.
Did these clarifications help get you off the fence? If so, check out our social media tips for ways to get started.