Having a social media strategy is very much a part of most business marketing strategies.  But should it be?   Is social media everything it’s cracked up to be? As a marketing speaker I often get asked how important is social media for business?  I sense from the people asking the question that they really don’t like social media and wish it never existed.  Life is too short to do something you don’t want so have a read of this article I wrote for Inside Small Business in 2017 – it might just let you off the hook.

Approximately half of all Australian small to medium size businesses are on social media (Sensis Social Media Report 2017).  Should all businesses be on social media?  I am going to be blunt and bold and say the answer is definitely no, particularly if they are doing social media badly.  Here are five reasons businesses need to be off social media.

  1. You have no strategy.  Many businesses don’t know why they are on social media and what their objectives are.  Social media takes time, money and energy so without a purpose and plan of attack how do you make the most of those resources?  Without a strategy it’s all just random acts that may or may not result in positive outcomes for your business.
  2. You don’t like it. There seem to be three reactions from business owners to social media they either love it, like it but are confused by it or don’t like it at all. As humans we tend to avoid things we don’t like for example how many of us rush at the chance to do cold calling? The things we love to do, we do. When we don’t like doing something we generally don’t do it well either.  The same can be said with social media.  Doing social media badly doesn’t deliver results.
  3. There are privacy issues with staff. Some businesses are on social media but are hindered by issues surrounding privacy.  It might be a staff member who for security reasons may not be able to be identified or the type of work you undertake requires a level of anonymity.  Social media is most effective when a transparent, authentic conversation can take place.  If there are too many limits on what can be shared, it dilutes the power of social.
  4. No resources have been allocated. Social media doesn’t just happen.  It requires an investment of time or money if it’s not your time then you are paying for someone else’s time either staff or outsourcing.  Like any marketing it requires focus and energy to deliver benefits back to the business.  If too few, or no resources are allocated to social media it’s better to get off until more resources can be devoted to it.
  5.  Your customers or potential customers don’t want to engage with you. Businesses that have been successful with social media are usually ones that are of a social nature and what people enjoy. Fashion companies, children’s clothing, entertainment businesses, health, beauty, travel, food and restaurants traditionally do really well. Other businesses with a good strategy and appropriate engaging content can also be successful but there are some businesses that will find it harder than others.

If you’d like to read more check out the book I co-authored with Jo Saunders, Get Good or Get Off. Also check out AP Marketing Works Social Media Planning Day Workshop.