Social media is no longer something business owners can put off until tomorrow. It is in fact becoming quite urgent. The businesses who have been waiting for social media to go away must now realise it is here to stay and every day they put off creating a social media presence for their business, is another day “headstart” they are giving their competition.
Having worked with hundreds of businesses it has become very clear that there are 5 reasons for a business to avoid social media. Those 5 reasons are:
1. Don’t understand social media
The business owner doesn’t understand social media, how it works, or what impact it will or won’t have on their prospects. They don’t understand the role social media is playing for consumers and how influential the internet actually is in the daily lives of people.
2. Fear of the unknown
Social media is the catalyst to many online conversations which may not otherwise have taken place in such a public fashion. Business owners hear stories, mostly bad, and the blame is directly squarely at social media, rather than the people who are instigating the behaviour or occurrence. As business owners’ they understand the importance of their reputation and can’t see how they can control what is said about them if they give people the opportunity to post something on a Facebook page or Twitter profile.
3. Lack of technical skills
There is an immediate assumption that social media requires a lot of technical skills. That to effectively use social media you must be able to use “code” and know how to use all different programs. In fact, learning Facebook is not dissimilar to learning how to use Microsoft Word. Each platform is different and there is a learning curve to become familiar with the software but it is not a technical skill, merely a learned skill which becomes increasingly familiar with practice.
4. Insufficient time
There is a perception that social media requires a lot of time and that is time that the business owner does not have. This is something I really challenge. For a lot of business owners there is almost always activities they are doing on a regular basis which are not converting to time well spent and that time could be more productively used to generate more exposure for their business. Secondly, social media shouldn’t take an enormous amount of time. Setting up and learning new platforms undoubtedly takes time but that is avoidable by hiring somebody to set you up in half the time, and even train you to use the programs rather than stumble around wasting time. I bet most business owners once thought there wouldn’t be enough time in the day for emails either, but they are a part of the routine now. As social media will be once you get started.
5. Not enough valuable stuff to say
It can be a challenge to imagine people conversing about your product or service, particularly if you consider your own business to be quite mundane. What you must remember is other people don’t know what you know. There are conversations taking place online every minute of every day. Those conversations are directly related to the conversations taking place offline, only they are in a different format. When you truly consider what you do, what the benefits of your product or service are to your clients and how many more people should know about it, it becomes much easier to understand what people want to hear from you. The key is … a strategy. Know what you want to say and plan how and when you are going to say it. The big picture will make much more sense and you will spend a lot less time.
When it comes to social media failing to plan is like planning to fail. It is time to take action, get your business online and be a part of conversations so your business can be sustainable into the future.
If you are stuck, not sure where to start, talk to Francine about our upcoming mentoring programs to get you on the road to success.