Jamie ran a small bakery in North Jersey. Her and I met at a charitable event, and were sharing the same table. I happened to be giving some brilliant marketing advice to another small business owner when she began listening in and drinking from my endless pitcher of knowledge. Anyway, she eventually asked me what advice I could give her, with regard to marketing, which would shock her. I told her to set up social media accounts for the sake of external linking, but never waste your time maintaining them. She was shocked alright.
“Jamie” went on to tell me how successful social media has been for her. She said, “I get customers all of the time who come into the bakery because of something I post on social media.” I asked her what she posted, and she told me, “I give away free birthday cakes” – no wonder they come in.
Jamie then went on to tell me she would spend 4-5 hours each week writing posts on Facebook, and adding pictures to Pinterest. I asked her how much money has she actually made in 6 months with either Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.? She said, “not much, but I know it is important to maintain.” When I asked her why, she looked very confused. I told her to stop with the social media crap, and start blogging instead.
Social Media is worthless for business. I think the reason social media has become so important for business is because of all the unemployed youngsters out there trying to turn a profit by setting up Facebook pages for a living. This is not marketing. In reality, I have never seen a small business or marketer who has had social media perform better than any other promotional tactic in terms of return of investment. If you disagree, I’d love to see your figures because you are lying.
Social Media appears free but it is not. It requires time, and time is valuable. You always need to be ensuring that each hour you spend working: a) fixes a problem, or b) opens up new opportunities. That’s it – nothing more. If you want to update your customers, send them an email. If you want to increase customer service, improve your product. And if you want to get feedback, send out surveys. Social Media is there to increase your site’s search engine optimization, and that is really about it. The reason for this is now every business is on social media, and people tend to resent the influx of advertising when they simply wish to be… social.
Just ensure you create several social media pages that link to your website, and periodically post a link for the SEO (search engine optimization) benefit. That’s about it. Hell, sales calls have a better return of investment than Social Media.