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Social Media Overload

 

Does my business need a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace, and Google+ Page? How do I Periscope? What is a snapchat? How am I supposed to do all of this and manage my business at the same time?

These are questions I hear many small businesses ask on a daily basis. In a world with ever changing social media platforms, it can become overwhelming for the small business owner to utilize every marketing avenue online.

Each platform has its pros and cons and can offer many benefits to small businesses. However, trying to please everyone and use all of the platforms can set you on the fast track for failure.

How do I answer these questions, you might ask? My answer is simple; it depends on the situation. In most cases, when properly utilized, Facebook and Google+ are effective in connecting a business to the digital word. First, let’s talk about Facebook, the biggest no brainer for any small business, in my opinion. According to Facebook’s website, at the time of this writing, 968 million users are active daily. Facebook is by far the largest social network and chances are, no matter where your business is, or who your target market is, a large percentage of your target audience will be active on Facebook. If this isn’t enough reason on its own, we can also add that Facebook is user friendly and allows companies to establish their own presence on the platform while advertising to potential customers. Facebook not only allows for ease of marketing, but it also provides you with insightful information about your campaign instantly. You can monitor your page’s performance, unlike advertising in print, radio or TV.

Google+ is important for businesses with a storefront. Google+ is how Google associates your business hours, phone numbers, menu, and other information with the Google Search Engine and Google Maps. Just today at lunch I heard a small business owner mention that Google still thinks they’re located across town. I’d be willing to bet this is because they never updated, or created a Google+ profile to reflect the change. It’s also easy to link Google Plus with Facebook or your website to share the content that you are already producing, unlike other platforms that rely heavily on images or restrict the amount of text you can use.

You are already busy trying to manage and grow your business; adding multiple social networks with a minimal following on each one can be an additional stressor. To summarize the 80/20 principle for this specific topic – 80% of your customer engagement will come from 20% of the actions you perform on social networks. If you are in a small town or have a small market you will be able to reach the most people, with the least amount of effort, by using Facebook. Spending hours cropping Instagram photos, updating your pinterest, or creating a snapchat story is probably not in your best interest. There will be exceptions to this rule depending on your market share, type of business, and target markets, but in general this will hold strong.

People may try to convince you that you need a Twitter account, but when you spend the time to try to expand your reach, you will quickly realize you’re spending hours a day and hardly reaching 100 followers. Don’t get me wrong, I love Twitter for personal use and I often engage with large national or international brands on Twitter. However these brands have teams of employees focused solely on maintaining their social networks. If you have those resources this article may not be for you. However, a one employee shop with 8 social media accounts, worries me and is not as uncommon as you might think.


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