Small Business Social Media Assumptions
Have you ever made an assumption about someone, or something? Most people make assumptions from time to time. Try as we might, once a preconceived impression gets into our minds, that idea becomes difficult to change.
In the world of social media marketing, we’re talking about a specific assumption business owners often make. It sounds like this:
“I don’t use social media to find or research a new service provider or new products, so my potential clients don’t, either.”
Whenever we hear this, we cringe just a little.
This is a faulty assumption. Planning your social media marketing strategy based on this assumption may have negative implications for your business.
Social Media Assumptions Cause Lost Business
You may not use social media to find a new service provider or product for yourself or your business, but that is not the case for most other people – including your target audience. A gazillion statistics exist to back up this claim, but we’ll only mention two here.
93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media.
That comes from a 2014 update to Erik Qualman’s book, Socialnomics. Qualman has been called The Digital Dale Carnegie. We trust his research around here.
58% of marketers indicate that their social media efforts have generated leads.
That comes from Business 2 Community, a trusted resource in the small business world.
Does this make you rethink your assumption? No? Please keep reading.
Social Media Assumptions Proved Wrong
Assuming your potential customers use the Internet, and social media, the same way you do is easy to do. It’s easy to think your potential clients think like you do, and act like you do. Some of them very well might.
Here’s the rub – your know your existing clients found you through other channels, not social media. Why? Because you company has little to no presence on social media.
But what about potential clients who are looking for you, right now, through social media channels on which you have no presence?
It isn’t about how current clients FOUND you. It’s about how future clients FIND you.
How many opportunities have you missed because of your inactive profiles on social media?
Turn Your Social Media Assumptions Into Action
If you now think that your social media assumption might be a little off, that’s a start. But what do you do next?
First, gather a list of the social media accounts you do have for your business, along with corresponding login credentials. Store these in a safe place with easy access.
Next, log into each account and check for any messages from potential clients you may have missed. Depending on your business, and how much time has passed since those messages came in, it may still make sense to follow up on some of those messages.
After you do that initial review/damage control, plan how your business will use social media going forward. You may decide you want to take a “keep the lights on” approach, posting a few times a week, and checking the accounts once a week for messages. For many businesses, this is the starting point.
Or, you may decide you want to do more thank keep the lights on – you may want to fully explore one or two social media channels, develop a plan to bring in business through those channels, and then get to work on it.
No matter your decision, decide to do something on social media for your company. You won’t know what your company has missed out on until you become active on social media.
Sometimes Assumptions are Accurate
Still haven’t persuaded you just a little bit? Well, we’re the first to admit you may be right.
While we feel strongly that MOST small businesses benefit from ongoing social media marketing activity, that is not always the case. We’ve been in business since 2008. In that time, we have seen a few small businesses that received very little benefit from being active on social media. Those instances have been few and far between – as of writing this, we’ve encountered only 5 businesses that would not benefit from social media in some way.
Ultimately it is up to you – the entrepreneur or small business owner – to decide if your assumptions regarding social media for business are accurate, or not. If you have never invested consistent attention and effort in social media marketing for your business, for at least 6 months, we caution you about sticking with your assumption.
Do you really know what opportunities your company misses out on because of that assumption? If the answer is no, now is the time to find out.