You don’t have to be a professional marketer to grasp the power of social media marketing for small business. According to a recent study of small businesses across the U.S., more than two-thirds of the owners say that they are using social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ to market their businesses. Yet a whopping one-third of these same business owners cited a lack of time and resources as their top online marketing challenges,
If you are among those struggling to get the most from your social media, the odds are that you are wondering if it might pay to have a professional marketer in your corner. Here are three questions small business owners must consider in order to determine cost versus value when it comes to social media marketing support.
1. Do I have the time to design and manage an effective social media marketing strategy?
A majority of small business owners report that they spend between 6 and 20 hours per week on social media marketing. It’s a daunting investment of time and effort especially added to the enormous pressure many feel to spend the majority of their waking hours engaging in revenue generating tasks. If you own a small restaurant, for example it’s likely that you are busy 12-14 hours a day dealing with all the front and back-of-the-house management issues that come with owning a restaurant. Can you really afford to spend an hour, let alone a day per week, figuring out what to post, where to post and how many times per day you should post? On the other hand, can you really afford not to, given that a majority of customers now report that they search for local businesses on-line?
2. Do I have the expertise to get the most from my social media marketing strategy?
Regardless of how good your game is you can’t win if you are playing in the wrong ballpark or by the wrong rules. No two social media sites are created equal. They differ greatly according to audience and purpose, as well as by the marketing tools they provide. LinkedIn, for example, is a smart choice for professional services providers such as independent insurance agents and attorneys. But personal services providers such as dog sitters or hair stylists will find Facebook’s real time communication tools indispensable. Failing to fully understanding the subtle differences between today’s rapidly evolving social media platforms can mean the difference between building your clientele and wasting your time and energy.
3. Can I accurately track the Return On Investment on my social media investments?
Are you getting a reasonable return on your social media investments? Are you sure about that? Nearly two-thirds of small business owners have revealed that they are unable to measure the impact of their social media activities. The fact is that it takes effort, knowledge and tools to do it right. You’ll need to know what it is you want to measure, before you can select the best analytic tool for the job. Generally speaking the closer aligned your social media strategy and business objectives are, the less time and money spent on your analytics.
If you answered “no” to even one of these questions, you may be paying more and getting less than you should from your social media strategy. You would not wait until your boat capsized to put on a life jacket, right? As a small business you know just how difficult is to keep your business afloat these days. For a free 30-minute social media strategy review, call me at 575-322-5159.