In our online poll we conducted a couple of weeks ago, we asked what the best piece of advice a SMB owner needs to help them grow their business and the second highest response was “engage in social media”.
Despite the fact that SMBs’ continue to increase their spending on social media, the reality is that thousands and thousands of SMB owners are frustrated and disappointed in the results they receive from social media. However, it should be noted that most SMBs’ implement social media with the wrong expectations. Ted Rubin, Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bias, says that social media isn’t about sales generation, it’s about trust. “If people trust you they’re going to be loyal. If they’re loyal, their average order will be higher, the frequency of their purchases will be higher and the life expectancy of them as a customer will be longer.”
Based on my experience in providing social media to SMBs’, I’d like to share a few absolutely critical items you’ll need to accept when your business begins engaging in social media:
- Setting up a few social media sites and hoping the sales will pour in is unrealistic
- Social media is not direct marketing and you cannot expect the same results
- Social media is “social”, so you need to have a dedicated person or agency spend the time to listen, track, and engage with potential customers
- Social media requires a lot of patience to build loyalty and trust
- Think return on relationship, not return on investment: It takes time to nurture relationships online, time worth investing.
- Social media is not primarily a lead generation tool, it’s a place to build loyalty, answer customer service questions and build community
- Building trust and loyalty takes time and commitment, which will result in an increase in revenue.
We all know that loyal customers who trust us are customers for life! So set your priorities and accept the long-term commitment of social media and your labour will result in increased revenue.
Do you engage in social media for your SMB? Have you run a business without using social media and if so, why? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.