Social Media Sucks

Twitter waste of timeIf you’re looking to make a quick buck using social media, think again. If you think your foray into the land of twitter and facebook will gain you significantly more customers, think again. If you are obsessing over how many likes or followers your brand page has, forget it. Social media sucks for small businesses and you’ll just have to learn to deal with it.

Social media sucks because it’s not nearly visible enough. Sure, we could overwhelm you with statistics about how much time certain demographics spend on the major networking sites but those are points are moot. Sure, people spend time on facebook but did you know that more than half of that time is spent looking at photos of their friends? So unless you business is in a facebook photoshoot (now there’s a good marketing idea!) it’s unlikely that your followers are spending all, or even any significant portion, of their time looking at brands.

So is it really worth it to have a presence on social media at all? Why is there so much hype about all of this? Well, for the brands that really understand social media and build buzz around it – it does work. And it can work big. But you’ve got to have the extra time and resources to put into it – something many small businesses lack.

That’s still not to say that smaller businesses SHOULDN’T be in the social media game, however. They just need to adjust their expectations. The media hype has led many a business owner to believe social media will bring them in significant new revenue. False. Social media sucks for that. But what it does excel at is customer retention.

Use your twitter feed and facebook friends to post your latest specials. Highlight these specials in your physical presence and make certain information exclusive to social media. Don’t just smack a facebook logo on the bottom of promotional material, either. Display your social media prowess loud and proud and make it known you’re serious about it.

If you do this and are willing to go all in, you’ll see your customer retention and engagement soar. If you’re not – and be honest with yourself about this – then it may be time to cut back. Social media can be great for small business customer retention, but only if you work at it. Otherwise, social media sucks.

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David is an avid social entrepreneur and Boston sports fanatic. He founded Diversified Data Technologies way back in 2009 and stuck around to see it grow. His party quarks include unnecessary dancing and being an overly hospitable host. When looking, he can be found capturing the twitterverse at @DLanphear, being professional on LinkedIn, or bouncing around town with Foursquare.

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