Let’s talk about one of the most common questions I come across with my clients, and in my entrepreneurial communities. The most common questions revolves around the importance if a social media presence. And, although a lot of time is spent asking how to grow a business on social media – what some people should be asking is…
How social media done wrong, can hurt you.
First of all, what is social media presence?
One’s social media presence refers to how they post and engage on all of their accounts. It refers to how frequently you post, the type of content posted, and the levels of engagement on your social media accounts. And, this doesn’t just mean having an account. It also means being present on those accounts.
Let me qualify why it can hurt.
Do I think that any brand not represented on social media is missing out? Yes. Do I also think there are a ton of brands and/or businesses out there potentially doing more harm than good? Yes, I think that too.
The answer to that, is simple. Develop a social media presence strategy, and execute it. Now, if you are not someone who is an expert in that field there are a couple of things you can do. First and foremost, seek out who is an expert in the social media arena. Find out what they are doing, jot down notes about what you like, and even what you don’t.
‘Small businesses need to have a solid online presence if they expect to be successful.’ – Small Business Report, 2016
Secondly, you can reach out to an organization like Entrepreneur House.
Connect with others who have been where you are – can offer insight, tried and tested tools or strategies. Although some areas of entrepreneurship or small business ‘can’ be treated like a wet noodle (throw it at the wall and see what sticks), social media shouldn’t be done that way.
There are too many resources available to be done that way. And, there are effective strategies that can take your business and its social media presence to new levels when done properly. What happens though, is we live in a world of ‘now‘.
A place of wanting things to happen immediately. And, because of that many people (and brands) don’t stick with a strategy long enough to see what works, or what doesn’t. Or, consistent enough to see measurable results that can be scaled up, or back.
Let’s look at a few interesting stats.
The Small Business Marketing Trends Report (2016)
- Around 50% of small business owners are increasing their spending on their websites this year
- Approximately 50% of small business owners are spending more on their online marketing and advertising
- Close to 25% of small business owners are increasing their spending on direct mail and print advertising
- 14% of small business owners are increasing their spending on person-to-person marketing and telemarketing
- While almost 60% of small businesses have a social media presence, fewer than 50% are producing other types of content for lead generation
What does this mean for you?
Marketing spends have, and probably will always be on an incline. However, there have been significant shifts in online social media presence, and offline marketing presence. There is also a lot more focus on engagement and follow up online than there ever has been. When people leave feedback, or communication with a business – they want a reply.
Even a simple ‘Thank you for your feedback!’ or if a comment warrants more dialogue ‘Thank you for your comment, we would love to connect with you more on that please send your contact information‘.
Both, equally powerful.
Customers like to feel heard. And, this is where the clear distinction in being ‘online’ versus having ‘online presence’.
And hey, I was at a place just like you are. Social media is still an area that continues to evolve and as a result, we are constantly learning. We continue to experience growth in areas, and we are focused on all outlets – because, we understand immensely different platforms, fit different people.
Brands, businesses, companies and individuals should all strive to have a social media presence that embodies these three (3) characteristics;
- Are they there? (mentally, literally)
- Acting or delivering in an effective way (or appropriate)
- Are they responding or generating engagement?
Please keep in mind, these three (3) characteristics are subject to opinion – specifically that of the target demographic you are after. This also includes what platforms you should be focussing on. Although I am perhaps bias to Facebook – if my target was new millennial’s, I’d be living on Snap Chat (so to speak).
If I can leave you with something tangible today it is these few things.
Building a social media presence? Great. Develop a strategy, and implement it. Ensure that it’s measurable, tangible and that you are consistent with its execution. Seek out advice, guidance, a coach, mentor, etc. This will save you considerable time, and money (if you plan to run paid marketing later).
We call it social media presence, because you should intend on being present. Simply creating an account means very little, except maybe securing the name – for no one to see?
Think about it.
Would love your comments, feedback, insight and all things in between!
And, if you are looking for a group of entrepreneurs to share with , mastermind and strategize with – and who can lead you to the right mentor for your business, spend time with us here at Entrepreneur House.
And make sure to visit us on Facebook too!