I just had a reader send me an email with a problem that I think a lot of you are facing so instead of sharing this with only him via email, I decided to write this post. His issue is that he’s a small business owner with no employees, that wants to start using social media to grow his business. But the catch is he really has no time for social media and wants to know if it would be worth his time to hire someone to post updates for him on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Any of this sound familiar to y’all?
If you are in a similar situation with limited time and resources, you need to remember two things:
1 – You don’t have to do everything. You don’t HAVE to be on Twitter and Facebook and blogging, and on Instagram, etc etc. It’s far better to start small and grow bigger.
2 – You WILL need to invest time in your social media usage. Or you will need to pay someone else to do it for you. In almost every instance, I would rather see your business use social media itself since no one can speak in your voice as effectively as you can.
So since you have limited time (and money) but still need to find time, we need to start small, but also make smart usage of the limited time you have. In other words, it would be nice if the time we had to devote to social media was spent on activities we are already engaging in, so that way we can effectively ‘kill two birds with one stone’.
For these reasons, I would recommend starting out by blogging. Your mileage may vary, but for most small businesses that are trying to get their name out there, a blog is a great vehicle. As for what to blog about, here’s some ideas:
1 – Common questions you get from customers. What are the 5-10 questions that you are answering from customers all the time? Write a blog post for each question, and then you’ll have the answer on your blog. Because if people are asking you this question in person, they are likely going to Google and looking for the answer as well. And if your customers are asking these questions, the customers of your competitors are probably asking the same questions. ‘
2 – The 3-5 reasons why customers won’t do business with you. This is scary to deal with straight on, but a fabulous way to convert a skeptical customer into a new customer. Think about the reasons why customers won’t do business with you, and address those reasons head on. For example, customers might not want to buy your home improvement product because it’s 20% higher than the chain department stores. But what customers don’t realize is that your product is made of better quality materials that will actually save customers 15% more per year in energy costs than the product that the chains sell. So if you educate customers on the cost savings of your product over its lifetime, you may earn their business once they realize the actual savings from buying your product.
3 – Industry news. You are likely already reading up on the latest news in your space, so why not share that information with your readers? This isn’t quite as applicable in a B2C setting, but is a great idea if you are in the B2B space. Also, sharing industry news creates a valuable resource for current and potential clients, which helps establish your expertise. And again, this is likely information you are already searching for on your own, so just share your findings with your readers.
So the key with a small business is to start small with social media, and then grow as you can. You don’t have to start using 3 or more social media sites at once, in fact that’s often the fastest way to kill your social media strategy. Start small, and focus on the 1 or 2 channels that give you the best way to reach your goals for social media.