Tag Archives: Twitter

Why Are Small Businesses Afraid of Social?

If I had a dime for every time a small business owner told me they were uncertain about social media, I’d buy Google. Dozens and dozens of SMBs have told me they know they should be on social media and they see the incredible value of it, but for whatever reason, they haven’t made that leap.

Social media buttons

Interior designers, contractors, dentists, painters, and many more are keeping their audience from valuable insight in important fields because of the obstacles facing small business owners when it comes to social media.

With a little digging and good conversations, I’ve found the fear of social media for small business owners ultimately comes down to three main factors.

New/unknown

Last year Forbes.com reported the average age of American small business owners to be 50.3 years. This is over 20 years older than the average Millennial, the generation most familiar with social media. Social media is constantly changing business culture and commerce and the learning curve tends to be steeper for generations, namely most small business owners, who didn’t grow up with social media. Add in the fear of the unknown and many small business owners are at a loss at what to do and where to start with social media.

Time requirement

Regardless of age, social media is an investment of time. Most small business owners believe the lie that actively engaging their audience through social media requires two hours of their work day. “If I’m tweeting, posting, sharing, and on Facebook all day long, when will I have time to actually run a business?” In truth, a solid approach to social media should take no more than a total of half an hour per work day. Starting small and building slowly is a tried-and-true way of building a quality digital footprint.

No direct correlation to sales

Most small businesses would rather spend their time on work directly tied to sales. Calling customers, sending invoices, and working on projects are easy opportunities to see direct results in the bank account. Indirect marketing, such as social media and blogging, carry long-term investments. Content creators may not see the results initially, but a constant farming of quality content and audience engagement will grow a thriving community over time, a community willing to pay for your insight and services.

So, where’s a good place to start?

First, I recommend finding the right platform that fits your brand. If you’re an interior designer, decorator, or artist, I highly recommend using Pinterest as your primary platform. If you’re a thought-leader, idea developer, communicator, or writer, I’d recommend blogging and Twitter. Whatever your industry may be, focusing on one to two quality platforms is better than shotgunning a dozen uncertainties.

Second, I’d suggest getting good resources, like ebooks, blog posts, webinars, and videos to help educate you on good social media practices. These tools can help empower you to unlock a very important part of marketing for your business.

Another great idea is investing in a social media coach who can share their experience with your business. I’ve worked with a variety of entrepreneurs, small to medium businesses, and nonprofits to develop a solid social media strategy and the payoff is huge! A simple four-to-six week course can help small businesses take charge of their online branding and share their value with an audience waiting for their message.

Click here to ask Jon about social media.

Six-Packs and Social Media?!

Crunch

Six-pack abs take work!

It’s one thing to see a 20 year old claiming to be allergic to his shirt while flashing a six-pack on Daytona Beach. It’s another thing to see a 40-something not ashamed to show the world they are the 1% of their age group with a fantastic core.

Shaping a six-pack takes months and months of exercise, diet, and discipline to get the results you want. The same is true for social media.

Many businesses and entrepreneurs invest too little effort in hopes for overnight success with their audience. Trying to carve out an hour of time for social media and expecting instant results is like expecting six-pack abs after your first day in the gym. It takes time, discipline, and focus.

When I coach different businesses and entrepreneurs about social media, I recommend finding two, maybe three social media platforms with a great potential audience for your brand and becoming fantastic with those platforms.

If it’s Facebook, pour your efforts into leveraging your Facebook page for contests, fan-gating, increase likes, build into conversations with your audience, and invest in your audience.

If Twitter is where your brand is gaining traction, take the time to develop your Twitter following. Use a social media management tool, like Buffer, Hootsuite, or TweetDeck, to interact with your audience, engage in conversation, and space your content strategically.

Thinking you’re going to share 30 posts a day if you’ve never posted before is unrealistic and unsustainable without the right discipline in place. I personally carve out 30 minutes each day to curate my Twitter feed and email to find content relevant to my learning and helpful to my audience. My Twitter following isn’t nearly as high as others yet, but it is a very strong audience.

Start with one post a day, then move to two, and slowly build as you’re able to sustain that pace. Whatever your platforms are, start slow, build strong, and hone your platform to perfection over time… just like a perfect six-pack.

I provide coaching on how to build social media platforms to best fit your brand. Getting the right education can empower you to share your message to build a powerful platform for future business.

Click here to ask Jon about social media.