4 Reasons Why Most Local Businesses Shouldn’t Invest in Social Media
If you’re a local business one of your main concerns is how to get the word out about your products or services. You don’t have a huge budget like some large national corporations and need to be smart about what you spend on.
Hopefully you’ve invested in creating a website that has pertinent information your customers need, and perhaps you’ve also been advertising via traditional media or started investing in digital advertising.
Now you might have also begun wondering whether you should be doing even more by investing time, energy, and resources in social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat...the list goes on and on.
Many businesses have the idea that if they simply create a Facebook page and spend some money promoting a few ads, they’ll see lots of activity and business will start pouring in. Unfortunately that’s not the case.
So as a local business, is it worth spending your time and budget on social media?
Here are 4 reasons you shouldn’t invest in social media:
1. You’re not in the right place
Think about your business’s customers. Who are they? On average, how old are they? What do they enjoy doing in their free time? These types of questions can help you create a buyer persona.
All social media networks have rather established baselines for their user base. Is your buyer persona in alignment with the demographic using that social media platform?
If you’re targeting a younger demographic who needs up-to-date information on a service you provide, then perhaps Twitter is for you. If you have a law firm specializing in divorce, Instagram which provides visual content to a generally young demographic, probably isn’t the social media solution for you.
In fact, assessing whether or not your customers would actually be interacting with you on social media channels is a fundamental question you have to ask yourself seriously. And is every channel honestly necessary?
If your services or products lend themselves to visuals and your customers tend to be younger - then maybe Instagram and Pinterest are all you need. Or perhaps as a law firm - a LinkedIn page would be enough.
2. Your messaging is off base
Let’s say your business actually does have a younger demographic and you’ve chosen to use Facebook as a way to get in front of them. What are you posting? What posts are you spending money on promoting?
Remember the keyword in social media - it’s social. It’s where people go to exchange and share information and opinions. Your messaging needs to be informational or your audience will quickly tune out and you might even ruin your reputation.
Start providing relevant, useful, and timely information and your following will grow. It’s all about content marketing in whatever medium the platform you’re working with specializes in.
If you’re a car dealership that creates videos providing viewers with information about the various cars you’re selling that would actually help them in the decision-making process, then your messaging is on point. If however you’re only using Twitter to constantly post your contact information - then you’re off track.
Evaluate how you can provide value to your customers. Identify their pain-points and craft your messaging in such a way that gives them beneficial information.
3. You can’t commit
Social media isn’t something you set up and then step away from. It’s not a commercial you spend money on producing and then let it run its course on TV. It’s something you have to be constantly engaged with and will require significant resources.
Whether that’s money to sponsor certain posts or produce some material, or the time it takes to respond to customers’ comments and questions - you’ll need to invest effort into your social media channels consistently.
If you’re spread too thin, reevaluate again. Is this necessary? Is this something that’s actually helping my business?
4. You expect too much
As a local business seeing immediate returns on your social media efforts is unrealistic. You have to realize that although you’ll hopefully garner engagement, your profits might not immediately see a spike.
Seeing return on investment will take time and it might not always be in the form you expect. You might not necessarily see a direct correlation, but having your name out there and helping spread positive sentiment about your brand on social channels is one of the best things you can do for long term business success.
If you’re committing to the right networks, producing quality content, and having realistic expectations about your efforts then your business is a prime candidate for using social media with true impact. However, if you can’t say with certainty that you’ll be able to use social media to it’s full potential and do justice to your business’s products or services, then maybe it’s not the right time to invest.