I am not a social media expert, but you know who is? Renowned guru Mari Smith.
After much encouragement from her audiences, she finally wrote a book on everything she knew about social media called “The New Relationship Marketing” and it was pretty eye opening. The first thing I realized was:
Social Media is NOT for Everyone.
Yes, it’s accessible to everyone, the companies don’t charge you for creating a site and it’s easy to use. So why would I declare sites like Twitter and Facebook might not be for you?
Because Social Media is EXPENSIVE.
To get a new social media platform off the ground takes a lot of work, a lot of time and effort. ‘Build it and they will come’ doesn’t work. If you think you can just make a Twitter account, post some ads and get results, you’re wasting your time! If you think building a Facebook fan page will make you an instant success, think again!
Mari Smith explains that social media is about relationship building, and building relationships takes time, a lot of time especially in the beginning.
When you’re a small business, is that really the best use of your time? How much per hour is your time worth? If you charge $50/hour for services rendered and you’re spending 10 hours a week on social media that’s $2000 invested per month, $24,000 a year! Are you reaping a profit from that investment?
Don’t get fooled because you don’t physically drop $100 bills into your computer. Social media can drain money out of you via lost potential.
As a small business owner you need to be absolutely certain that your target audience will respond well to a social media investment. If not, don’t get tricked into that massive time-sink.
Maybe down the line there will come a point where your audience really wants to engage and you have the time to spare to make that happen. Maybe you have a target market that loves Twitter and will retweet your clever posts, spreading the word and advertising your company. There certainly are benefits to social media if you’ve got the right people and enough time to make it work.
But if you’ve fallen for the lie that social media is “free publicity” I beg you to reconsider the costs.