Social media promises so much, the numbers online are staggering and everyone’s involvement is on the rise, but why is the average small business finding it so hard to realise the potential of social channels, like Facebook?
Being the beginning of a new financial year, it’s timely to question whether the continued changes being made by Facebook (presumably due to the IPO); will be to the detriment of smaller businesses trying to use Facebook in a cost effective way to promote their business?
It’s very difficult to get any real information about small businesses failing in their social media actions. The predominant voice in the marketplace is overtaken by businesses who make money from those “struggling with technology and digital marketing strategies” and “all you need to know about being success using social media” approaches! We are being so drowned out by the marketing messages above, that small business is rapidly losing their voice (and reach) on Facebook. Why? This “Facebook selling” industry is driving social media and there is no room for facts and data because they are selling a dream (and you should know that by the number of times every day the word “dream” appears in posts!).
It’s time to face some facts:
Social Media is not free and costs are increasing! If you are a business and your time is worth something – time spent on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Pinterest/Youtube has a cost to your business. To be even moderately successful, requires time and commitment, to regularly engage; and keep up to date on your own core subject area, to be able to craft good quality content.
You need skills and knowledge, often about subject areas that are new and ever changing. Mastering these skills takes you away from your core job of running your business. Solution: hire someone to manage social media for you; but these people value their time more than you do and they actually charge for this enormous investment in time.
It’s often hard to gauge this but not every social media channel is right for every business, because it’s depends which channels your customer engages in? Not understanding this fact, is like throwing cow pats at the barn door and hoping some of it sticks!
Very few small businesses actually define “Measures of Success” to evaluate their social media marketing efforts! Is it more sales leads, more likes, great brand awareness? Failing to identify your marketing promotion objectives, means that you can’t measure; and therefore you don’t know if your time and efforts have been rewarded with a measurable result?
Much of what I see on Facebook are businesses talking about using Facebook to promote Facebook. Have you ever thought of not just using social media to promote your website, but instead combining the power of the Internet with traditional marketing concepts?
Marketing promotion through any media, is based on four concepts, commonly referred to by the acronym AIDA: First, you need to attract the customers Attention; you then gain their Interest in your product or service by highlighting the benefits it will bring to them; following this you create Desire (the “must have” message); and finally you motivate customers to take Action (make a purchase). The most effective way to move through each step of AIDA with your customers is by blending traditional marketing with social media marketing.
It is possible to improve your business results in this next financial year using traditional marketing concepts with social media; if that’s the channel that reaches your customer market effectively. This is where the use of an empowering marketing action plan will keep you focused on achieving your business goals, with measurable results from effective and appropriate use of social media marketing channels.
Are you a small business using Facebook? Do you think Facebook is failing small business? Please leave your comments below:
About the Author: Teresa Bassham of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing inspires small businesses to develop and use an empowering Marketing and Communications Plan for Business Profitability … see my full services at www.zenworkz.com
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