I’ve frequently and persistently lauded the various benefits of social media to small businesses everywhere. Social media is a great way to connect with and engage customers. It also provides a free method for businesses to market their products and services; truthfully, social media can be a great utility for just about any business in some capacity.
With that said, it’s not for everyone. There are some businesses that stand to benefit hugely from social media. Then, there are other businesses that will see minimal impact in their social media efforts.
Why the disparity, you ask? The reason isn’t because social media can’t work for those particular businesses. No, the reason is because social media takes a substantial commitment of resources and some businesses simply can’t be bothered with that. Here are just a few types of businesses that social media won’t work for.
The Not Really, But Sort of Interested Types
If you own a business, odds are you’re exceptionally busy. It’s difficult for you to justify spending a few more hours of your week on, well, just about anything that’s unrelated to your essential business goals. That’s perfectly acceptable and certainly understandable.
Which is why social media probably won’t work for your business. Updating it just a few times a month to show customers that you have a physical presence on social media (regardless of how lifeless and vapid it actually is) isn’t good enough. Social media needs to be a weekly — daily, even — conversation with your customers.
The Fire-and-Forget Types
Then, there are those people who know about social media and recognize its importance, but aren’t necessarily willing to constantly and personally update their social media presences. Their solution? Automate everything!
Unfortunately, that won’t necessarily work, either.
Applum, an analytics company, recently found that posting to Facebook via 3rd party apps can cut your like rates by up to 88%, and likes are arguably one of the most important metrics for judging your Facebook page’s success.
Beyond that, simply posting to your Facebook page and not following-up on any other comments — you know, forgetting – paints a less than flattering image of your business that suggests that you don’t really care about them.
The Stingy Types
Social media, as I’ve already pointed out, can take a fair amount of time to administer for already swamped business owners. But it may also cost a fair amount of money, too. For many businesses, hiring another company that is experienced in social media may be far more beneficial than having an employee or yourself post daily updates and events.
But, as with most things, it’s also not free. Companies can expect to pay upwards of $500 a month depending on the quality and level of social media management if they plan on hiring a separate company.
Unfortunately for some businesses, that number may be well beyond their budget. So, they simply live with poorly managed social media pages that reflect old or uninteresting news updates.
Still, regardless of time or monetary constraints, social media is important for just about every business. But a poorly updated, weakly managed social media presence isn’t better than nothing because it provides your customers with little to digest about your business; fans become your fans because they are interested in hearing about what your respective business has to tell them, so it’s important for you to provide them with relevant, interesting information about your business.
Even though I can tell you, with certainty, that social media works, it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether or not you are willing to dedicate the time and resources towards your social media presences.