Social Media for Small Business in Start-up Mode

The million dollar question small business owners in start-up mode continuously ask: what social media channel(s) should my business be on?

There are many different options, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. There is no right answer; however, there is one rule to follow: don’t let this decision overwhelm you.

Oftentimes, I see small business owners committing to more than what is feasible, desirable, or necessary. As small business owners focus on growing their business, their responsibilities naturally gravitate from solely focusing on product or service delivery. This can be a scary proposition, especially when navigating uncharted territories.

As part of the growing list of responsibilities, many small business owners take on the responsibility of engaging with prospective and current customers on social media. Instead of joining one channel, small businesses join multiple channels to ‘touch as many potential customers’ as possible with the hopes of generating more revenue.

Engaging more customers should be a good thing; however, when a small business owner’s commitment to multiple channels on social media compromises product or service delivery, the process needs to be reevaluated. Unfortunately, one of the the ‘quickest and easiest’ solutions is to seek the services of an independent contractor or outside company specializing in social media.

This may seem like a good idea; however, I want to throw caution to the wind here.

When starting up, small business owners should be hesitant and reluctant to work with an independent contractor or company for social media. I don’t doubt their knowledge, but I question whether they will ‘live and breathe’ what you’re doing on a daily basis. Do they understand and appreciate the challenges that you, as a small business owner, face on a daily basis? Further, will they be best equipped to answer your customers’ questions or concerns?

I personally wouldn’t simply hand over the keys to one of the most important aspects of your business to someone who doesn’t ‘live and breathe’ what you do, especially as this is a strategic initiative that can directly impact your business’ livelihood.

Instead, I would identify the platform that would generate the small business the most return on your investment, and from there, become an expert at said platform so you, the small business owner, can engage with your customers. From there, if you identify further opportunities to engage customers on additional platform(s) and it won’t jeopardize your commitment to your primary platform and not hinder other business functions, expand your social media reach and master additional platform(s).

The concept truly applies that a team is as strong as its weakest member. If you’re not fully committed on all of your social media platform(s), it’s time to recommit and start from scratch. Every touch point your customer interacts with your brand is critical to your small business’ success, regardless of whether you are in start-up mode or not.

Make your customers’ time worth it, and make yours worth it, as well.

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