In my experience, when it comes to social media, there are 5 types of small business owners:
1) the never touch it, never will type
2) the can’t get me enough of it type
3) the I’ll join as soon as… type
4) the it won’t work in my business type
5) the ones who get it, who understand it and use it properly and effectively, or not at all
1. There are always people who join the fun late in the party and those who never do. I know at least one small business owner who gets enough (for now, right now) business from referrals one or two who get enough business from referrals and networking or direct mail or some other type of marketing. They think they don’t need anything else. They think they never will.
I don’t know their inner desires and ambitions, maybe they do. But it’s not a good way to do business.
One of my brothers used to be a banquet waiter. At the same time, I had friends who were waiters for a particular (one) restaurant or hotel. My brother was a lot more relaxed; if he messed up he stood to lose only one stream of income.
2. The second type are people who have recently discovered social media and are excited and eager. They get a Facebook page for their company. They want everyone in the company to have twitter accounts, Linkedin accounts, a blog. They want to get lots of followers fast and throw lots of stuff at them.
If they have a shoe store, they tweet 10 times a day about the sale they have going on or the one they’re going to have tomorrow.
If they run a law practice, they want every attorney in the practice to write 10 article a month, some to be tweeted about, some to be posted on Facebook, some to be posted on Linkedin.
In their eagerness, they forget what social media is about: creating relationships. You don’t create relationships by always screaming: “Buy my stuff! Buy my stuff! It’s great!”
They forget that Tweeter, Facebook, Linkedin and the rest are platforms where you get a chance to show people what, who you are so that those who like what, who you are can connect with you, follow you, eventually buy from you (if you don’t try to sell to them, if you show you care about them).
3. The third type. The reasons for postponing things are many: some are lazy, procrastinators, some have a bad set up and they’re forever behind the curve. Some are just bad at prioritizing. They’re all losing. But they’d be losing if social media wasn’t around too.
4. As regards the fourth kind, I meet them often. They tell me, ‘That doesn’t work in my business” with conviction. Sometimes, just after I come from a client who’s in their business and whom I helped do just the thing they say cannot be done in their business.
I even know small business owners who say “That doesn’t work in my business” because they’ve tried it and failed.
To the first type, all I have to say is this: If it’s worked in any business, it can work in yours. Might need tweaking, but the principle, the technology, the idea, will work in your business too.
To the second type: Hello! One of the main pillars of success is assigning effects to the right causes. Hello! Just because YOU messed up once doesn’t mean it doesn’t work in your business or that it will not work in your business, for you, if you did it correctly.
5. There are then those who understand social media and either are using it correctly, or have chosen not to use it. The difference between them and the first group is that their choice is based on good reasons.
Good reasons would be: you’d over-extend yourself if you did it right now. You have determined that you hate getting business that way, or that it’s more cost-effective for you to go with the marketing campaigns you’ve been using for now.
Social media offers you platforms to ‘make a stand,’ get people, prospective clients, to know you inexpensively. But it needs consistency (in terms of how often you post, tweet, answer questions and in terms of tone). It’s a numbers game but you get the numbers if you concentrate on quality relationships. Relationships are created between people not between people and companies or between companies and companies.