I read an article this week that made my jaw drop! It talked about how 64% of small businesses don’t think social media is important. What?! If this is the case, this means these business aren’t incorporating social media into their marketing strategy. My only caveat: there was a small sampling of business owners, and stats can always be misconstrued. However, these stats are alarming, sample size and industry aside, so I was compelled to discuss.
I could write a thesis on the value of social media but neither of us has time for that. I will give you some answers to help bridge the social media divide, from the perspective of a person who started a marketing career before the age of the internet and social media, back when we used phone books, land lines, and unannounced drop-ins to prospect for clients.
So what’s wrong with this notion that social media is not important? Understand the correlation between “traditional” marketing and social media as a marketing tool:
- Small businesses look for inexpensive ways to communicate their products to the public. If you have time to market your business, you have the resources you need to use social media. You can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc. and shell out $0 monetary costs. Don’t believe me? Ask me and I’ll show you.
- Small businesses thrive on word of mouth marketing. Social media is the most organic form of word of mouth marketing there is. The whole point of social media is to build your street credibility through word of mouth. That’s why you can message, repost, retweet, comment and share, it’s all about communication, no physical boundaries required!
- When you run a business and marketing is not your strength, you usually hire someone for marketing, correct? This marketing person usually teaches you some tips and tricks you can use on a daily basis, and then they build the bigger marketing plans and strategies. So why are you not using your hired marketing person to learn how to use social media?
- Your brand is your image. It doesn’t matter what you think of your image, it matters what your clients think of your image. What does your brand, your image, look like when it’s stuck in the twentieth century? I’ll let you ponder that for a moment.
So why am I disturbed by the statistics of small business owners who refuse to adopt current marketing practices?
Because they are missing out on a huge opportunity to catapult their businesses to the next level. Because small businesses provide a big chunk of the private sector jobs in this country. Because I recognize that small businesses are the life blood of our economy. This is no secret! Thus it is very important, not only to me but to us, for small businesses to stay strong, adapt to a changing business climate, and rebuild our country.
Know a small business that’s falling by the wayside because of their inability to adapt new, broader means of communication to grow their business?
I will almost bet it’s because they don’t understand the value of using social media. I just have one favor to ask of you: email this post to your fellow business owners that have this notion, since they’re probably not regularly using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. so they won’t see it online. Or better yet, print this post and drop it in snail mail if you can actually find a postage stamp.
If you or someone you know fits in the 64% category, I implore you to join us on the other side. How? Call me. I happen to be a Social Media Strategist!