Social media is one of the few places where a small budget may still make an impact. Even though the impact is rarely enough to support a business, it can offer a small revenue stream that may be matured over time as the company establishes its online reputation.
Here are six social media tips that are counter to what you may have read online, and part of the reason they contradict what you read online is because they are specially tailored to small businesses.
#1. Use Statistics Because People Will Believe Them
According to John Gardenier’s and David Resnik‘s 2002 paper called, “The misuse of statistics: concepts, tools, and a research agenda,” people are more likely to believe statistics because they are commonly associated with the conclusions of research, and because they convey a very simple message.
If you have a message to disseminate, then consider using statistics where possible. Also, remember that people are rarely willing to research into how correct something is, even if their job is to research, repeat and report. Lemmino highlighted and exposed this perfectly in his seminar called The Eight Spiders.
#2. Social Media Is A Good and A Terrible PR Representative
Using social media as yet another way to communicate with your customers and answer their questions is a good idea in theory, but social media attracts a larger number of time wasters than your customer service department does.
People may not contact your customer service department to tell them that they like the new carpet in their shop, but they will happily do it over social media.
Much of what you reply to will be a waste of your time and your users’ time. Plus, the more you engage with trolls, the more you encourage them to return and soak up your valuable time.
Bigger businesses may be willing to pour resources into using social media as an online PR representative, but smaller businesses cannot afford such a waste of resources.
#3. Do Not Be Authentic
There is a lie that you have been told from a young age, and that is that you should treat people how you wish to be treated yourself. It is very much focused on feelings rather than logic or pragmatism. It works on how you feel rather than what is right.
Do not treat people how you wish to be treated, instead, treat people how they wish to be treated, and that means you cannot be authentic.
You may authentically wish to post about how you find Marijuana more damaging than Aids and communism combined, and posting on such a subject would be authentic for you, but it may scare away your customers if they are leftwing students or pensioners who used to be 1960s hippies.
Post exclusively on the subjects that your target consumers find interesting, which means you cannot afford to be authentic.
#4. Social Media Is Not Free
Let’s firstly consider the time you put into it. The hours you spend on social media are hours you could have spent doing something else that actually generates revenue.
For example you work for $7 per hour, and you spend 3 hours per day either creating social media posts, editing, or on social media. Over five working days, it totals at a modest 15 hours per week, which comes to $105 per week, which is means your social media efforts are costing you $5460 per year, and that is only if you spend a small amount of time on social media.
A company called the Content Factory showed that outsourcing control of just one social media profile could cost between $7000 and $20,000 each month. A company called Essayontime writes essays and online content, and they showed that even if you only outsource the content creation side only, that small businesses pay as much as $18,000 per year.
Viral content seems to be more expensive, since it seems that the most successful viral campaigns have also been the most expensive. Red Bull’s Stratos Mission was one of the most expensive viral campaigns because it cost in excess of $10,000,000. The cost of viral content on social media can be staggering.
#5. More Fans Do Not Equal Success
Where did the rumor come from that more fans, more likes, and more thumbs up means more success? What is usually means is that the company behind it has spent millions on advertising.
Let’s say that you have just created the most successful children’s Facebook profile of all time. It is more popular than the Bronies craze and the Teletubbies craze combined, yet you do not make a single sale because you sell travel insurance. Plus, Page Lever (now Unified Marketing) claimed that only 3% to 7.5% of Facebook fans actually see your posts.
Let’s say that you have created an online following that is full of people that are perfect for your product, how are you going to sell it to them? Creating a large online following is not that difficult if you do not have a target audience in mind, but if you do, you may still struggle to convert the people that call themselves your fans.
Remember that acquiring new fans is only the first step to achieving your goal. It goes, Awareness, Reach, Engagement, Amplification and Goal. More fans doesn’t mean more success unless you are dedicating just as much time to Reach, Engagement, Amplification and Goal as you are to Awareness.
#6. Social Media Hasn’t Changed Marketing, So Be SMART
Marketing is the same as ever, it is just the marketing channels that has changed. The principles are still the same in that you manipulate people’s thoughts and actions based on what they see or hear. Use SMART on social media – Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time.
Many of the marketing tactics that still work within traditional media will work on social media, so long as you are using and adopting the correct channel and are targeting the correct audience.
Don’t be so quick to believe what you read on the Internet. Consider the fact that many of the points made on this article are contradictory to what you tend to read on the Internet, and yet with just a little probing and thought, you can see why this article is correct.