Written by James Crittenden
Small business owners wear many hats. Sales, customer service, accounting, inventory management, human resources; the list goes on and on. Some tasks deserve the owner’s time, while others deserve outsourcing to an industry expert. Social media falls into the latter category. Why? It can be tricky, time-consuming, and require constant focus.
One thing that is not debatable, social media platforms are where your business needs to be. Nowadays nearly 80% of all online adults use at least Facebook and over half use two or more social sites. In fact, every age demographic is represented heavily on social media and showing significant year over year growth. There can be zero doubt that your business’s target market is on social media.
To reach your ideal customers, you’ll need a focused strategy, native content, and a significant time investment. Read on to discover why your business needs a skilled social media manager.
1. Social Media is a platform for Storytelling
Increasingly, consumers buy your business’ story, rather than just the product or service. Storytelling is of particular importance if you own a small business. Research shows that artful storytelling is far more compelling than statistics alone. Why is this important? Social media allows you to reach a large audience consistently and with relatively little expense, compared to traditional advertising. This means you can tell your story seven days a week, 365 days a year. As long as it’s unique and engaging, people will care.
Platforms like Facebook and blogs allow you to tell your story in a deep and meaningful way. So what’s your story? What passion led you to start your business? People care. And if people care, they’ll want to contribute to that story, in the form of buying.
2. Traditional Advertising is Fading… Quickly
As social platforms continue to show growth, traditional mediums that used to hold customer attention continue to erode. As they erode, the cost for these mediums will keep increasing, as the results keep decreasing. Think about the last time you watched TV. When a commercial came on, did you sit and watch them patiently? Or did you use DVR to skip them? Change the channel? How about pull out your phone and check Facebook? As consumer attention shifts, so should your business.
The days of just running a 3-month advertising campaign on TV, radio, or billboards are long gone. The battlefield has changed, but the mission is the same, get the customer’s attention and get them into your buying funnel. At the same time, the tactics you employed for traditional advertising do not translate to this new battlefield. It’s like the difference between traditional battlefield warfare versus modern urban warfare. With traditional advertising, you beat the customer over the head with your product or service, until they relented (example: Papa John’s seven commercials every NFL game. If you’re like me, by halftime, there’s no doubt you’re craving “better ingredients, better pizza!”). Social media, like urban warfare, requires tact, skill, and a more sophisticated strategy. Here’s where a social media manager comes in.
3. Native Content that Stands Out, for the RIGHT Reasons
So a small business owner gets on a social platform because they know it’s important, “I mean that’s where all my customers are, right?” They jump in and start posting. The problem: their content stands out, for all the wrong reasons. I see it all the time, and it doesn’t take a social media expert to spot non-native content. Users notice it, and users hate it.
Imagine this: an Instagram user scrolls through their feed, seeing artful, creative photos, only to get slammed with a heavy-handed, photoshopped sale offer for “20% off all thingamajigs! Buy now!”. Yeah, that’s not going to win you many followers. A social media expert can bring your strategy up to 2017 consumer expectations.
4. The Name of the Game: Content, Content, and more Content
Or better yet: value, value, and more value. It can’t just be content for the sake of content. If you own a restaurant, using an iPhone to take a blurry, unappealing photo of your customers’ favorite dish, won’t do you any favors. Instead, it has to be a photo, a video, or written content that brings real value to your followers. It’s an inspiring Instagram photo of that favorite dish in the sunset. Or a well edited, eye-catching video on their Facebook feed. Or a witty, comical tweet. When you consistently bring value to your followers, that well-timed “call to action” will make a real impact.
5. Protect your most valuable resource…Your Time
Now if you’re a small business owner, like me, then you read that last section not as: “content, content, and more content,” but instead “time, time, and more time.” And this brings us to the number ONE reason you need to hire a social media manager. It protects your time. Between making original content, engaging with followers, handling complaints that drive down your star rankings, and avoiding the temptation to get sucked into the “black hole” that is social media, where does a small business owner find the time?
The simple answer is, they don’t. This is why so many businesses make a Facebook page, post for a week or two, drift into inactivity, and ultimately obscurity.
For a relatively small monthly investment, you can have a team of social media experts working on your behalf and help you reach the customers your business needs. Learn more about our services and let us start working for you today.