Business Owners! Is Social Media A Waste of Your Time?

by CHERYL GNAD on December 30, 2013

Don't let social media be a waste of your time!

Business Owners! Do You Feel Like Social Media Is A Waste of Your Time?

Do you really believe that social media is a waste of your time? What if browsing social media makes a connection with a customer and they become a regular fan and promoter of your business? Consider these statistics ( done by a study conducted by Constant Contact and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey) –

  • 56% of consumers said they are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook
  • 51% of consumers said they are more likely to buy a product since becoming a fan on Facebook
  • 78% of consumers who “Like” brands on Facebook said they “Like” fewer than ten brands
  • 92% of small businesses say that social media is an effective marketing technology tool. They are evenly split on the effectiveness of social media for attracting new customers vs. engaging existing customers. (e-Strategy Trends)

How would you like be the brand that they buy from and follow on social media? And if 92% are finding it effective marketing, wouldn’t you like to make WORTH your time? Of course!

You might be thinking that just in “doing” the social media is wasting your valuable time. So what can be done to “save” time in doing the work that is needed to do your social media effectively? There might be the assumption that you need one person to handle all of your social media. Perhaps you don’t have time or anyone available to give up their time to do it. The trick here is to allow folks in your workplace or store to use their social media and YOUR social media platforms in such a way as to create a community of people who are interested and loyal to your brand! Make it a company-wide effort. Also, knowing how to work “purposely” in social media for your business is key! Let’s find a purposeful way to implement social media into your daily work life and grow your business.

Here are some simple tasks/tips/strategies to make time efficient on social media and worthwhile for your business:

  1. Structure certain amount of time each day – Let everyone contribute to their social media or on the business’s social media. Perhaps assign one person to oversee what is happening on the business platforms, but ask each employee to touch their social media or the business page 1-2x a day. Aim to have 6-10 posts or 12 posts max per day.  Allow 5 min an hour to respond or connect with people on the business platforms.
  2. Teach your people how to engage and create the culture – When responding to your friends and fans, be sure to add the name to which they are speaking to.  I.e. – “hi George! I loved how you got to sit up front at that concert. We were there too, but in the nose bleed section!” Create an easy FAQ sheet that your customer service people can use to answer commonly brought up comments or questions. Make it sound like your culture is friendly and helpful.
  3. Speak the language of those who are following you, your audience – If you are an IT/computer repair service, don’t go techie/geek speak on every post!  Codex, program, USB cords, etc – might be over everyone’s head! You need to find the language that your audience will understand and it should sound like them. The sound of their own name and voice is very pleasing!
  4. Label who is posting the post – If you have several persons doing your social media – have them tag on to the end of their posts their name ( “~Jimmy”).  Your audience will begin to see specific personalities that they might relate to better and follow more closely.  I loved it when I found that one company rep  at a “social media” group meeting. He represented a cable company and was out on Twitter to help solve our cable /internet problems. Once I met him, I looked to talk/connect with him via Twitter every time! I got great service. Only because of his Twitter presence and having met him in person did he become real to me and he gave great service! This was great for the cable company! That would be great for you, yes?!
  5. Utilize a blog – A blog on your website should have the sales information that you want your customers to see and evaluate if they will buy. This will relieve your employees from “being salesy” when they don’t want to be or aren’t trained to be. All they need to do is refer to the blog/website or to the right person. Blogs are where sales are done, not on the social media platforms. Be sure to blog regularly. By not being regular and very sporadic, you look like you don’t really care about being helpful to your clientele. It makes you seem serious about being there for them with your specialized information.
  6. Post regularly – for the same reason as #5, if you are sporadic you seem aloof to the possible needs of your audience.  You won’t be connecting with those who ARE available to you – they are there potentially for you to make a bonding relationship! Invite them to follow you and interact. Don’t just “talk at them” – it is about engaging in a two-way dialogue.
  7. Use video – but not only video. Include some description or text with your posted videos because the Google spiders don’t crawl video, but text. However, know this too. Videos are great for creating engagement! That is huge for search engines – SEO. Be sure to be conversational in your texts.
  8. Integrate your social media into your other advertising – Include your social media icons/links in your other advertising. Leave signs out in your store/office inviting people to find you online on Facebook and Twitter. Have links in your emails to make it easy for others to connect. Use social media to draw in your audience to opt-in to your service/newsletter, giveaways etc. That email address they leave with you is another “touch-point” you can utilize in order to stay top-of-mind. Email is consider #1 as effective marketing still – are you using it!?
  9. Avoid being boring! – “Won’t people get upset with seeing our posts all of the time?” Not if you are giving value to your audience! Mix up the content of your posts. Use – quotes, texts, pictures, links, fill in the blank, questions, or surveys. Include Call-to-action words that leads them to do something. Ask for their engagement. Find a variety of topics to talk about and share that. One product topics will get old and you will be ignored in time. Keep content fresh, new and interesting.
  10. Stay focused – Know what your audience wants and know what you want them to do. Of course, you want them to come into your store or business or buy a product, but if you never ask them they won’t. Do they KNOW you sell a service or product? Are you solving a need that they have and thus are showing that you are passionate in helping them? If you lose focus on your marketing plan, you will lose your audience’s attention.

Seriously! Focusing on your audience’s need and solving it isn’t a waste of your time as a business owner. You may have people in your company that can help you achieve this goal to serve your audience. By being random, sporadic, and unfocused on your audience, social media campaigns do become a waste of your time and effort. Remember, for those that have engaged with their social media marketing, 97% of them found it effective in either attracting new customers or engaging with their existing customers, thus building loyalty. Lastly, know that building relationships with anyone, whether in person or online, takes time. Exchanging a name rarely got the sale at the first encounter. Let your audience come to get to know you. Be Real! Give from your heart. They will respond.

 

Social Focus by CG | social media coachingCheryl Gnad, of owner/social media consultant with Social Focus by CG, offers coaching and consulting for small businesses looking to incorporate social media into their advertising strategies. She is a self-developed business owner, and a trained social media manager with names like Kate Buck Jr., Amy Porterfield, and Sandi Krakowski. Follow her on Facebook at Social Focus by CG, Twitter@SocialFocusbyCG, and on Linkedin.

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Written by CHERYL GNAD

CHERYL GNAD

Cheryl Gnad, of owner/social media consultant with Social Focus by CG, offers coaching and consulting for small businesses looking to incorporate social media into their advertising strategies. She is a self-developed business owner, and a trained social media manager with names like Kate Buck Jr., Amy Porterfield, Kim Garst and Sandi Krakowski. Follow her on Facebook at Social Focus by CG, Twitter@SocialFocusbyCG, and on Linkedin.

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