What is the biggest issue small business have when it comes to using Social Media for their business?
Why is it that small businesses don't use social media in their business when its free? Is it time, know how, or not seeing the value? Or is it something more?
It is too too too . . . too many tools, too many possibilities and too many conflicting suggestions as to how to harness this emerging group of technologies and techniques. Someone who is marketing locally has very different needs than someone interested in national or international commerce. A business that can afford a sales person is different than a small operation that the owner is too busy selling products or delivering services.
Boiled down to one line: the biggest challenge a small business has when it comes to implementing Social Media marketing is KNOWING WHERE TO START. Once they've found the end of the thread, if they are systematic in reeling it in and don't get side tracked by the hundreds of other threads all meshed together but focus on the thread they started with, they'll figure it out gradually and find the time to make it work.
Many small businesses (especially the ones I have worked with) do not fully understand the ins and outs of social media how it can exponentially grow their client base. Businesses should know that Social Media is primarily about creating a web presence that is engaging to the consumer while also making them feel personally connected to you/your business. I'd love to talk with you further about ideas and ways I can help you reach your client base. Please contact me!
I think the biggest complaint I here from clients is time. But what they don't know - you can manage an AMAZING social presence in just 5 hours a week.
Businesses have yet to fully understand Social Media and therefore they don't know how to successfully turn their usage of these platforms into conversions. In the past few years people passing themselves off as Marketers promised companies a lot of traffic for little cost. Most of the companies bought into that spiel and it left a bad taste in their mouths once the Likes/Follows/Connections didn't turn into conversions. However, a company can use Social Media successfully, they just need an experienced Marketer who also has Social Media expertise to help them build a Social Media Marketing Strategy, which will consist of a different strategy for each Social Media Platform, while connecting them at the same time.
I think it is time consuming but very worth it. People lead busy lives and it is hard to stay active on social media. However, time management can help. Perhaps setting aside some time to engage on social media.
The thing about social media is that you have to be a good sharing participant. Meaning, share information from other people or comment on articles. This makes you appear generous and unselfish. That is a great way to represent yourself and your business.
Honestly because they don't listen. Social media is a community platform, not an advertising space. A lot of businesses think if they don't have anything to contribute to the conversation, they shouldn't participate at all, which is completely untrue. Follow your influencers, see what they're posting, and react and interact accordingly. Social media has an 80/20 rule - 20% of your content can be to promote your brand, but 80% should be things that really interest your audience and engages them in conversations.
It's hard to limit to one "biggest issue," but two general issues small businesses face with with SM is:
1. Lack of resources
2. Poor understanding of deriving tangible benefits from SM
Doing social well takes time. Personas need to be developed, understanding of the buyer's journey, content curation and creation aimed squarely at each persona. These steps alone are often times ignored in larger organizations as well, but in the small business environment where resources are tight and time short, they tend to not prioritize SM in their go-to-market strategies.
When they do, two problems are typically prevalent:
Problem 1: Overestimation of what 'Good Content' will do
So many get it wrong by believing 'good content' is what is needed. For businesses that believe that's the key, I typically ask them how often they read excellent information, but can't remember where exactly they got the information. The answer I hear back most often is "All the time!" We all can relate to that. Increasing the frequency of 'good content' can certainly help, but that doesn't mean a progression in the sales cycle. For content to really have meaningful impact, it most lead uniquely and specifically back to the business without making it about product.
Problem 2: Selling in the places where people go to learn
As I just mentioned, businesses both small and large, have a product-centricity when considering SM, and think of it as cheap advertising. Conversion rates with this approach are abysmal, and as such small businesses lose patience and bail with the belief that SM doesn't work as they fail to recognize the chief importance of social engagement. Instead, they use a bumper sticker approach to SM (i.e., one way communication that blurts information).
Those are just a couple examples of what I see from small businesses seeking growth with or without Social Media.
The biggest opportunity for small business is education. Social media is NOT just posting. The number one vaiabale to the success of SM is engagement. A business can post all day but if they do not engage with their audience they lose. Small business needs to use the "Boost post" option. They can set their budget and choose key words relative to their product or service. I spent $5 today and over 16K people saw my post in which 30% engaged. No engagement, No ROI!
Lack of direction, and the difficulty to differentiate the business social from the personal. Which in turn eats up your time with very little to show for it.
Even if they get hundreds of Likes, they don't know how to monetize it.
I think its time versus the returns. Small Business are generally looking for quick returns and social media requries investing time in creating and maintaining dialogue with your audience.
I guess this amendment would make a better sense with the question.
Instead of sounding out as a "Biggest" issue, this can be spelt as "Dominant" issue. This is because, the subject seem to prevail all over the business market unless it gets leveled up.
The key factors that I'd like to comment here is -
1. Lack of time to engage with the group / communal dynamically. Certainly, this makes them hold out of their business updates as well in increasing their reputation and other activities.
2. Unaware / exotic of the advancements in social media.
3. Or, may be that the business still requires an expertise alongside; who can be handling the goings-on.
Might be the one of the aspects depicted above will have a chance to influence (major) in small business.
I've heard this again & again: shortage of owners' time, bottom of ever-growing priority list, and their networks are not yet cashing in on bottom-line results. Those who require ROI data first are still reluctant to jump onto the SM express because the shift in business paradigm of thought leadership, collaborating with customers and taking on more perceived risk are altogether overwhelming. Email and texting are the go-to's for many smart but overworking owners with good enough results that they focus their attention on the "known" factors. Break it into one tool at a time to make it user-manageable. Get results in one venue and it's more Compelling To add another SM tool that can deliver on the business's objectives.
I think social media saturation is part of it. With so many businesses and people having great social media accounts, its harder for people to differentiate themselves. And it will likely continue to get tougher as more social services sprout up and more people create accounts.
Another angle is how Facebook increasingly favors personal posts or paid business posts over free business posts. And I can't blame them. People would likely prefer to see posts from their friends vs posts from a company. And Facebook needs to make money. But for a small business, it turn social media marketing into a more costly proposition. And there's a good chance other companies like Twitter will continue to go in this direction.
Well, probably a little of everything. Of course building a reputable social media presence takes a lot of time. It doesn't happen overnight. Building your connections or followers can take months unless you go through the "cheating route"---buying followers---which I do not recommend at all. It doesn't provide REAL leads. Social media also needs research, there are strategies which can be effective for one but not the other and doing trial and error might be too tiresome for business owners.
However, if enough time and dedication is invested in social media then I think it will really help businesses. It certainly did with mine.
Dedication! Most owners do not understand the time investment that "free" advertising takes like social media.
If you do not do it correctly and post relevant information there is no use doing it. The other huge issue I see are business constantly selling. Info is not a sales pitch.
Hope this helps!