Why you don't need social media for your business to thrive!
And what you could be doing instead...
I have pondered the ins and outs of the social media world for years now. When it comes to business, it’s a love hate relationship that I have with pretty much all platforms. When it comes to entertainment however (or pinning my wedding inspo), I am more on the love side of the radar.
I have read so many posts in business community groups about entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and freelancers in particular who are struggling to continue with the upkeep of their social accounts.
I mean, these are women who are running their own social media management businesses, but haven’t posted to their own account in weeks. Their scheduling is out of whack, or their ‘profile styling is under-done at best. They are virtual assistants, business coaches, mentors, writers, graphic designers and creatives. These are professionals and intelligent women who organise, give advice and create beautiful visuals for their clients. But when it comes to their own?
Now the reasons are many and varied, with some just so time poor and wanting to focus on their client’s businesses (I mean, they are the ones paying the bills) others perhaps just have no inspiration left over at the end of the day to manage a social media account that, at times, feels like a losing battle when it comes to the dreaded ‘algorithm’ (shudder). And then there are those who just forget about their own altogether and the to-do list grows so much that it becomes very overwhelming.
I am one, if not all, of those examples above. I know what to do, how to do it, I’m well researched (enough) on the algorithms, I can give clients advice on when to post and what. I can even give some well-intentioned advice on how to tackle the sponsored posts and digital advertising strategies.
But when it comes to my Instagram and Facebook business profiles? I got basically nada.
Now, I am a bit of an old-school marketing type. I did my study years before the digital and social worlds ruled the roost when it came to advertising and targeting your customers. So therefore, I have developed a bit of an old-fart mentality when it comes to the time and effort that people are putting into these platforms. I see them struggling and I just think why?
Because guess what?
YOU DO NOT NEED SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOUR BUSINESS TO THRIVE.
I am serious.
It is not a necessity.
My opinion is in no way based on years of countless research, or market research statistics. It is simply that of someone who grew up in a slightly simpler time and gained most of my marketing and advertising (and business) knowledge while the focus wasn’t all about ‘The Gram’.
I have also developed this belief due to my own experience with trying, and miserably failing, to manage the upkeep of my own social media accounts, while studying at University, working part-time, raising two babies and trying desperately to hustle up my own side business.
I would spend so much time strategizing, coming up with post ideas, colour schemes, sourcing stock images, scrolling through my own photo library to try and find something appropriate, writing captions and don’t even get me started on hashtag research!
It got to the point that by the time I figured out everything for one single post, a whole hour had passed! Then I’d be overwhelmed by the fact that I ‘should’ be doing at least 3 posts PER DAY!
That’s 21 posts for 7 days! Which roughly translates into 21 hours of work a week. I mean, that’s a part time job people! I already have one of those.
I certainly did not have 21 hours per week to sort out my own social media accounts. I know that in reality it wouldn’t take 21 hours, as some posts would be easier to compile and once you already had a good hashtag list to copy you’d be a lot quicker. But either way, it is not a simple task on the checklist to tick off at the end of a day’s work.
It takes time, strategy and a lot of creative thought.
While I do not deny that having a social media presence (and a good one at that) is certainly of extreme benefit to a business in this digital age, I don’t believe that it is of the upmost importance.
Depending on your business, you should consider other means of promotion. Take a little bit of the pressure off with social media and think about other places your target audience may hang out.
Grab a pen and paper. Roughly rule it up and create about 20 or so squares.
Set a timer for 60 seconds.
Once you hit go, I want you to write or draw something that represents your target audience in every square. Do as many as you can in 60 seconds.
Don’t over think it.
Just scribble a thought in any way you can to visualise it and then move to the next.
Example target audience could be – stay at home mums who run their own business
So just start visualising these mums. Where do they go? What would be the places they frequent? Who do they hang out with? What kinds of shops are they visiting regularly? What sort of things are they reading?
Picture a mum who runs her own business in your mind going through her busy day. Getting kids ready for school, packing bags, driving kids to school, taking them to bus stops, getting groceries, grabbing a coffee from a local café, running errands, working on her computer, making calls, checking emails, mowing the lawns. On and on it goes.
Each of these tasks that she does, will involve her being present somewhere. The Supermarket. Bus shelters. Cafes. Hardware stores. Listening to the radio. Watching the TV. Reading the news headlines in a newspaper or online news platform, looking at websites.
This is just the very tip of the iceberg.
There are so many places you can put your business to get in front of your target audience.
Yes, social media is a virtually free platform to advertise or showcase a beautiful visual representation of your business. However, you still need to utilise advertising at some point. Whether you pay for a sponsored post, create a Google AdWords accounts, run digital ads through Facebook etc. Eventually, you may be paying for advertising anyway.
Consider the places you can advertise and set aside part of your business budget to utilise this. You could even target your audience into an even smaller profile. In fact, it’s better if you target smaller. You will have more opportunities to reach them.
Perhaps just start with your local area? Do you have an audience there? If so, why not run a small ad in some of the free magazines that circulate the local area? Or get right back down to basics and design yourself some A5 flyers, print them yourself and walk around your local businesses and drop it into their mailbox. Marketing 101 = mailbox drops. Not everyone throws away advertising that is delivered to them. Trust me.
If you are a busy business owner, trying desperately to keep up with perceived pressures of social media posting, then why not branch out and try something else for a while. Schedule in 1 post a day or every couple of days to keep your content fresh, then just put some of that saved time aside to work on a different advertising method.
Your target audience are likely also super busy, which is why you are offering them a service in the first place. They may not have time to research all the service providers available to them, compare rates and send enquiries. Give them back that time and take your offering to their doorstep.
You may be pleasantly surprised.