Have you thought about your social media efforts lately? Everybody says you should devote time to building your presence but how much? Your business grows by concentrating your efforts on tasks that generate direct revenue but if you’re not investing time into growing the business, the business will slow to a halt.
You can find more articles about social media for entrepreneurs than you have time to read and most say the same thing: by investing time into likes, retweets, and pins, your business will grow. But the reality appears to be much different. Social media is saturated. Getting noticed is about as easy as standing in a stadium full of business owners and being one of the few that stands out.
Let’s look at a few social media strategies that you won’t find in the bulk of the advice articles.
1) Don’t Use it!- Does it feel like small business blasphemy? It should because if you went to a conference and told your peers that you’re not using social media, they would look at you like you were stuck in the 90s.
As a business owner, you should use the tools that grow your business and some businesses simply don’t need the tool. Does a local plumbing business really need to tweet? What is a logistics company going to do with an Instagram account?
There’s also this angle: What if you aren’t very good at it? What if you don’t even know what Pinterest is? You could pay somebody to help, you could invest time into training yourself, or you could drum up business using the old fashioned networking skills that have served businesses for centuries.
2) Ditch Facebook. Again, blasphemy but consider this: Maybe you can’t get noticed in that big stadium full of business owners but what if you went to a smaller stadium or a local park? You might get noticed there. Smaller sites like medium.com or others might result in better ROI than Facebook or twitter. (And with less time commitment)
3) Go to the Images. Recent studies have shown that social media users are growing tired of text. They wants pictures, videos, infographics, and other forms of media that they don’t have to read. Are people getting lazier? Maybe, but what’s important is that you deliver content in the way your customers want it. Check out Viddy. It allows you to record short, 15 second videos. Think of it as the video version of Twitter.
4) Combine the low tech with the high. If you have a retail location, use a contest or drawing to increase social media engagement. Make up cards to give out to customers advertising the contest. Maybe it’s a free product for the people who post the best picture using your product. Get creative and don’t just use online advertising to gain online traffic. Go offline too.
Don’t fall into the social media trap. Trying to get noticed in the social media world can take up far too many hours if you let it. If you’re business calls for a big social media presence, hiring somebody to help you may be the best course. If it doesn’t, consider ditching your efforts and concentrate on what drives revenue.
Don’t listen to the noise. You don’t have to have a social media presence. Let your sales figures drive your decisions.
Don Miller is the VP of Marketing and Consumer Advocacy at CreditCardForum, which is a leading card comparison site that is regularly featured in leading business publications and websites. Click here to see Don's favorite cards for small business, like this one.