By Darcey Wilde
There’s a lot of buzz these days about how great social media can be for marketing and promoting your business. But nobody talks about how terrible it can be for the small businesses out there. Small businesses are, well, they’re small. They’re just not equipped to handle all of the drastic effects social media marketing can have on them. Here are just a few of the reasons you should avoid social media marketing if you run a small business.
Everyone knows that marketing should always be expensive, but social media marketing will save you 80% of your lead generation costs. Creating accounts on social media channels is completely free, and most of them have extremely affordable paid advertising options, which only cost about 1/3 of what you’d pay for traditional marketing efforts.
If you really want to play with the big boys of the business world, you should pay big bucks. Sure, billions of people are on social media every day to be precise, 73% of adult internet users are on social media, and 64% of them check it daily, giving you a huge pool of potential clients. But you know what they say: “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” So you should definitely pour your hard-earned cash into some other, ridiculously expensive marketing options.
Better Customer Service
If you run a small business, you probably pride yourself on the great, personalized customer service that you offer. You give face-to-face and over-the-phone service to all of your customers. Shouldn’t that be enough? You work hard to keep your customers happy, and you probably don’t need a way to make them even happier.
With social media, customers can post questions and complaints online, and you can quickly and easily respond to them. Not only does this make your current customers happy, but it’ll show your potential customers that you respond to issues quickly, and of course, they’ll start expecting that all the time, and you don’t want to deal with that sort of expectation, even if it is easy to do.
On top of those problems, your improved customer service will make your current customers more loyal to your brand. Studies have shown that 53% of people who follow a brand on social media are likely to be loyal to that brand. You don’t want them to spend all their money on your brand, do you? They should be spreading their money around to multiple businesses, including those chain stores that already take a lot of business from you.
Hey, you’re a small business. That means you want to make small profits. There’s just something so quaint and poetic about the small business owner who barely makes enough to keep his doors open and put food on his family’s table. Don’t you want to be that guy? Of course you do. So don’t use social media!
Companies that get into social media marketing and build an online fan base can generate sales from as much as 71% of their followers. And the longer you’re on social media, the bigger your fan base will get; about 1/3 of American consumers learn about new products and businesses through social media first, and nearly half of all online consumers trust social media ads more than other forms of online advertising.
Social media is going to expose a lot of people to your brand and make them more likely to purchase your goods and services, which can make your business grow exponentially. If you’re not careful, it could ruin your small business by making it a rousing success. There goes all the poetry of the struggling small business owner!
Owning a small business should be hard work, and getting new customers and keeping loyal ones should be the hardest (and most expensive) part of the job. Social media marketing just makes it all too easy, and it gives you too many opportunities to grow. If you want to feel the satisfaction that comes of struggling for years before making a profit, then don’t use social media. It will make you much more likely to be successful early on, and nobody wants that.