5 Reasons Social Media Marketing Doesn’t Work For Small Business

Small Biz Media does not offer any form of social media marketing in our services list. That may seem like a glaring oversight for an Internet marketing company, but it is by design, not oversight.

Our clients, both current and potential, are the hard-working small business owners who form the backbone of the American economy, offering products and services that the local community depends on. These small business owners need marketing that helps them grow their business without becoming a burden to them in terms of time or money. Here are five reasons (there’s more) why Small Biz Media does not offer social media marketing options to its clients. See if any apply to you.


1. You don’t have the time social media demands

Social media lives by “the new thing.” It can be a place where two hours ago doesn’t even exist. If you are going to chase followers on Facebook then get ready to post. A lot. I mean A LOT. You should ask yourself if you have hours and hours per week to research topics, curate content, create new content, and monitor your Facebook account while running your small business. The way social media works you must keep the posts and tweets flowing or become irrelevant. I do not know many small business owners who have that kind of extra time on their hands.

I read a post by a self-proclaimed life coach / prosperity ninja who was touting the value of social media to his small business. Here is what he said he did each week… post five blogs, produce a YouTube video, and update Facebook 15-20 times per day. He says that’s “all” you have to do. Easy right? Most of my clients are too busy running their business. I agree that digital content is important, but who has the time to pander to social media in this way?


2. ROI is wrapped up in followers. You don’t have them, and never will.

Suppose you somehow carved out several hours one week (who needs sleep anyway) and produced some great content and posted it to your social media accounts. Let’s say you have 60 followers. On average, 2% of your Facebook followers will see your post in their feed. Let’s round the that number (60 X .02 = 1.2) up to two whole people. You just spent hours creating and posting content that is fresh and relevant. For two people. Where is the return on that investment?

Instead of 60, what if you had 6,000 or 60,000 followers? The numbers would be better, but that’s the point. Most local small businesses don’t have the time to publish content for years to build that many followers. Plus, most service industry businesses would never build a base that large anyway. Do you think it’s cool to “like” a plumbing company? Or, how many small business have access to hundreds of thousands of people in their area of coverage? If you install heat pumps in Virginia, is a person in Florida a potential customer? Probably not.


3. Social media is for social interactions, not selling

Let us not forget that social media is social. People use social media primarily to connect with other people, not to conduct business. They want to talk with their friends and post pictures of the party last night. The average click through rate for a tweet (Twitter) is 0.5%. Put the other way, 99.5% of the time no one clicks through on your business tweets.

You are wrong to think that because many people use social media, many people respond to advertising on social media. Likes and retweets do not equal sales, not by a long shot. What is it again you are trying to accomplish with marketing?


4. The landscape changes so often, you can’t get comfortable

Small Biz Media encourages the use of marketing methods that are measurable. One of the reasons for this is the ability to understand what works well and what doesn’t perform as expected. We use that information for our clients to make the next campaign even better as we prune off the underperforming components and take advantage of the components that did well. We therefore have a method and can properly plan for our goals.

But with social media, even choosing which platforms to go with can seem impossible. Some “gurus” will tell you pick a couple of platforms where your target audience is and go with that. While other “mavens” will tell you that limiting your social media outlets is death for your business.

There are dozens of possibilities out there for you like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr, Reddit, Instagram, and many more. How are you supposed to choose? You could just go with Facebook as they are too big to fail. Or, are they? Remember Myspace?


5. Social media marketing siphons off budget dollars while it’s not working

This is a double whammy, and of the worst kind. Remember what Internet marketing is supposed to do for your small business. It is supposed to be as helpful as possible in converting visitors to your website to customers. You as a small business owner have legitimate Internet marketing choices with proven track records to get this accomplished.

However, if you have sunk a major portion of your time and money into social media, the other methods will suffer because of a lack of funding. Even worse, pouring money down the social media hole often sours the small business owner to marketing in general, meaning their business is getting little to no exposure. No marketing is obviously bad for the bottom line.

In the end

Don’t get us wrong. We’re not saying small business should have nothing to do with social media. There are customer interaction possibilities that are unique to social media. What we are saying is that for the overwhelming majority of small business owners, there are better and more fundamental marketing choices that should be explored and fully developed first.

Get your bedrock components like a modern, mobile friendly website operational first. It is the backbone of all other efforts. Properly managing your business listings can deliver SEO and other marketing benefits for a relatively small budget impact. Leveraging your positive online reviews as testimonials and reputation enhancement can spur potential customers to become paying customers. And, running a few targeted email campaigns per year typically yields impressive results.

Get your fundamentals humming along and think about adding social media and other items to the blend later. Small Biz Media recommends that sound strategy to its clients. We recommend it to you too.

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