Social Media for Small Business

Social Media for Small Business 5 Reasons You Fail

Social Media for Small Business: Your Complete Guide To Not Sucking

As a social media strategist, I would take an educated guess and say about 90% of the people I speak to about social media fall into the category of small business. To be fair, there is over 27.9 million small business in the US alone. Even more surprising, or disheartening is that 43% of all Americans have less than $10,000 in their bank account and will retire broke.

This means as a small business you don’t have a ton of money to spend, and you have a ton of competition to beat. In other words, you need a strategy that is both effective and inexpensive to keep your lights on. Most small business owners look to turn to social media but have no idea what they are doing. They pour money into hiring a team and expect a return, yet they inevitably fail.

There is a reason that small businesses fail at social media marketing. Today I will share with you the five main reasons small businesses fail at social media.

Social Media for Small Business: Smaller Targets are Better

Imagine you are a local restaurant in the greater Los Angeles area, and you want to market your business. When I speak to the small business owners in this situation, 90% of them will say “everyone is my market.” Let’s give that small business owner the benefit of the doubt when he says everyone is his market and say, everyone in his area is his market.

A quick google search shows me that currently there are 3.976 million people in the Los Angeles area. Can we agree you don’t need 3.976 million people to know about your local LA restaurant to be successful?

As a small business owner, a large portion of your business will be from a local audience. Less than 5-10 mile radius. If you narrow down your marketing to only speak to the locals within 5-10 miles of your restaurant, who also happen to fit your demographic info, you will have a target of maybe 50-100,000 people.

If 50,000 people knew about your restaurant, would you be packed every single day of the week? By eliminating markets, you stretch your social media marketing budget much further. A single campaign can hit 50,000 people for less than $500.

For example, let’s say that a restaurant is in Beverly Hills California, you could target everyone 18-65 who live in those area codes. That is a total of 32,000 people that are most apt to go to your restaurant.

Social Media for Small Business: Pay to Play

Social media marketing has a pervasive lie that keeps getting perpetuated by so-called “experts.” People think social media marketing is the end-all and be all to fix all your problems. Just make a couple of posts on Instagram and people will start buying from you.

I am sorry to break it to you but that mindset is flawed.

Social media marketing for small businesses should 100% first be focused on the pay-to-play model. That means advertising your business to increase the bottom line. The truth is that Facebook advertising is crazy inexpensive, especially compared to tv, radio, and print.

If you advertise a quality video on Facebook, you could be generating views for 1-2 cents. Small businesses will get the highest return in social media marketing when they focus on local advertisements to generate awareness.

That previous example could advertise to all 32000 people in Beverly Hills for only $320 a month. If your clientele is the locals, that advertisement is the very best investment you can make.

Social Media for Small Business: Don’t Outsource to The Intern

Want to have a PR nightmare on your hands? That is what is going to happen when you give your social media marketing over to your intern or local “millennial.” Just because Tom the intern knows how to post on Facebook doesn’t mean you should give him the reigns to market the business.

I recommend that the business owner takes the time to learn what it actually takes to market their business using social media. I also recommend that you hire a social media consultant to help you set up your social media marketing.

Outsourcing to the intern is a giant waste of time, energy, and money. More often than not, outsourcing to the intern is going to cost you more money than it will give you. Your audience isn’t dumb and can 100% tell when you gave the intern the work.

You are allowing the reputation of your business to be in control of some kid fresh out of school. He or she doesn’t understand how hard it is to grow a business and doesn’t have a vested interest in your success.

Social Media for Small Business: Create, Measure, Adapt

The best social media strategy you can possibly learn right now is the create, measure, adapt the strategy. Very simply, you must create content on social media. This may be blog articles you publish, video content for Youtube, advertisements you run on Facebook. The key is to first start with the content and create what your audience desires to know.

From there, pick 1 to 3 metrics and start measuring. For instance, let’s say you decide to create cooking videos for your restaurant and share them on Youtube. Then find 3 metrics that you want to track:

  • Subscriber count
  • Watch time
  • # of Comment

With those metrics use the information to test and adapt what you are doing. See how your changes affect those 3 main metrics you are tracking. For example:

  • When you change your headlines and thumbnails you notice watch time increases and subscriber count increases.
  • When you ask what recipe to make next in your video, you notice that people are leaving comments.
  • When you do a hands-only video your views go way up but you don’t connect with the audience as much compared to when your face is in the video.

Small business fail at social media marketing because they refuse to adapt. They are to slow at learning new social media marketing techniques and as such are left in the dust.

Social Media for Small Business: The Money is in the Email

Social media marketing is the most successful when you don’t try to sell right away. Instead, focus on generating awareness for your business. Create content that shares why you are a great choice and what is unique about you. Then and only then will sales start to walk in.

People, especially Americans hate being sold to. But… we LOVE buying. If you have a great product that resonates with the market, sales are going to walk in the door.

With all that said, the best use of social media marketing is through micro-targeted ads to collect emails. If you want to generate the most gains from social media marketing especially for a small business, collect email addresses. For every $1 you invest in email marketing you get an average of $40 in return.

That is the case even with email open rates dropping. If you don’t want to mess with email marketing, then check out chatbots. They are operating as a new form of email marketing and are very effective.

The 27.9 million small businesses in the USA don’t all have to fail. A large majority of them can focus their social media marketing efforts on their local area and will be able to achieve much greater success.


Share with us what your thoughts are, what do small business need to know about social media marketing?