The “No time for Social Media Marketing” Small Business Person
As I talk with potential clients I find myself hearing the same thing time and time again. All to often the small business response to investing in Social Media Marketing is “I don’t have time for all of that” or “I’m too busy to play on Twitter and Facebook”. These are the same people that I see throwing good money after bad money year on year advertising in the yellow pages, buying newspaper advertising, going to numerous trade shows, direct mailings, or advertising in print magazines where they are dwarfed by big budget advertisers. Tony Robbins states that we don’t achieve wants, we achieve needs, well I contend that the issue with the “no time” small business person is that he/she has yet to make Social Media Marketing a need. It’s very interesting that the same small business person can justify an unquantifiable “need” like attending a massive trade show where you are side by side with 300-500 of your closest competitors but can’t justify the time to network and engage on facebook, twitter, or other social media platforms.
I contend that the “No Time” excuse is just that, an excuse. I believe if one were to really understand the reasoning behind the “No Time” excuse it is more about comfort zone and understanding. If you have been going to trade shows your whole life, or putting the same ad in the yellow pages year after year you are comfortable with that. When I attempt to dig into this issue with potential clients I find other things like:
What should I say.
People don’t want to hear about little ole me.
Why would people want to see pictures of me and my family, kids, co-workers, employees, etc.
What do I do on Facebook.
I feel like I’m talking to myself on Twitter.
I don’t have any followers on Twitter what’s the point.
All too often the end result is a small business owner who creates a Facebook page, Twitter account, etc and then does nothing with it. Nothing tells the story better than many small business Facebook pages with 9 or 10 posts, the last one being 3 months ago and all of them are typical “Broadcast” messages. Ads you would see in your local newspaper. Even better is the three people who did engage on their pages never received any feedback or recognition for the time they took to post / reply. In this case I contend it would be better for these businesses to have remained out of the Social Media Marketing environment as they have actually told their customers they aren’t worth taking the time to respond to their comments.
It’s really not hard if one were to think of their SMM presence like they would think of any face to face conversation they might have at the trade show, or better yet like the face to face conversation they would have with a friend or family member. I think breaking the broadcast marketing mentality is key to learning to engage and utilize social media marketing effectively in the small business world. The rules are really quite simple but the mental barrier for many small businesses is nearly insurmountable.
How much time would it really take? I contend that a person could use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite and schedule 4-5 Facebook posts per day and do it in 30 minutes or less. I also believe you could very effectively monitor and respond to your followers in less than 30 minutes per day. So really and honestly can you find an hour per day to engage and involve current and potential customers. I believe you can, I believe if you consider the time you spend prepping for the the trade shows, attending the trade shows and the associated costs, your money and time might well be better spent on Social Media Marketing.