The other day I read a blog article that spent several hundred words arguing that Social Media may not be a sensible option for certain businesses, for the reason that it might not bring in any income to them. Unfortunately this article failed to name examples, because I am still sitting here trying to think of some.
I don’t believe you can make such a sweeping statement – because Social Media has potential for everyone. And to think that you shouldn’t take it on because you won’t see an immediate return of investment is daft. Even if your company was a little more obscure and, say, targeted a market that were less often online, like the over 50s, there are several points still in favour of Social Media, mainly:
- What do you think is going to happen in 20 years when those in their 30s now will reach their 50s?
- Do you think the over 50s don’t socialise with younger folk who are online?
- Maybe you actually have the potential to widen your customer base and have some younger members.
- And what about the rest of your industry – do you not think it a good idea to start communicating your brand to them?
This all comes from the ignorant assumption that Social Media is about sales. It’s not! It is unbelievable to me how even particular creative agencies seem to miss this point, let alone businesses. As soon as you start to use Social Media to directly sell products, your audience turns off. Instead, Social Media is the art of communicating your company and brand to consumers and other members of your industry (and beyond).
The argument I hear most often for not tackling a Social Media strategy is time. Yes it is clear that for a very small business who get their clientele solely from offline channels, perhaps digital marketing can wait a while. But for many, lack of time is just an excuse. You’ve heard Darwin’s idea, that survival of the fittest is to the one most responsive to change? Well the same applies here – Social Media is no longer something most of us can afford to write off as lacking priority within marketing. Make the time.
Indeed, I would be inclined to advise to do it all or nothing – i.e. either make the time or leave Social Media alone. I say this because it can be more damaging to make a half-bothered attempt – e.g. if you aren’t regularly responding to your consumers’ comments on your Facebook page then it might reflect badly on your customer service. If this concerns you, perhaps the more potent question should be – what Social Media channel should I concentrate on? But this is a whole new topic…