Why Your Business Needs Social Media – Even If You Detest It

I visited the cinemobile crew in Galway a few weeks ago to do some training and website work with them.  One of the things we spoke at length about was why they as a business should use social media.  They have a Twitter account and a Facebook account and have been using it occasionally but had several reservations about  social media which are very common.

They Think There is a Lot of Rubbish on Social Media

There is no doubt that there are lot of pictures of cuddly cats on social media channels..  But in addition there are a lot of potential consumers and advocates on these channels generating great content and worth following and interacting with.

For many people it is their first port of call on the Internet and they visit it for fun, information and in more and more cases to influence their purchasing decisions.

The key word here is influence.  Of course if I am buying a new GPS I am not going to rely on Twitter to help me buy it but I may poll my channel for opinions on it and take them on board.

And of course like the Tweet above, many businesses are happily providing information to consumers to help them with buying decisions.

What people tend not to realise as well is that you control what you see as much as what you share online.  So if you get fed up of someone talking about what they did on a minute by minute basis then you can of course turn them off and never see them again.

Power Tip: Don’t  follow the people who are sharing the cat photos (unless of course you love cat photos.

They Have Nothing to Say

We all encounter this problem.  We want to engage online and share something that shows what we do or are doing but draw a  blank.  This is OK as social media isn’t always about sharing what you are doing.  Depending on what statistic you read really only 10-15% of what you share should be about yourself.

The best example that contradicts this immediately are news sites.  They usually stream headlines all day.  This works for them as we want to see short news snippets,  The same applies with the top blogs in your niche that have writers wriing all day long about your business area.  They usually push articles all day (Mashable is one that springs to mind).

Lots of people just read on social and don’t  engage too much.  While that is perfectly acceptable on a personal level it just won’t work on a business level.  You have to be seen.

If you really can’t think of anything to send that is original just talk with other people.  Have some interaction with other people in your niche, area.  Take a little time every day each day to do it.

Power Tip: Take 10-15 minutes a day to open up social and at least watch it pass by.  Don’t  form opinions just watch and perhaps learn!

We Don’t  Have the Time – We are Massively Busy

I worked with a guy who we used to call Spiderman as he always said he was “up the walls”  he was always rushing around with a folder in hand, creased forehead and when at his desk had a look of steely concentration as he looked at the screen.

Most businesses are wearing Spiderman costumes these days and say they don’t  have the time.

All I can say is that you need to make the time.  Allocate 10-15 minutes per day to learn how to use the social tools you plan to use and improve your understanding of how people are actually sharing.  As you learn how social works you will grow more confident with it.

Using social media will at a minimum grow your brand exposure.  Choosing who you interact with and being,helpful, sociable and perhaps even fun online can over time bring a whole new raft of people inside your circle.

I am not saying they will be reaching for their credit cards to buy your products – of course not – but with hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland using social media a little work can expose you to a small percentage of them wit ha modest bit of work.

So start today.  Get working on your business account for Facebook and open or reopen your Twitter account.  Dust them off, create a space on your daily calendar and commit to doing those 15 minutes per day for the next 4-6 weeks.

I would love to know how you get on so leave a comment below if you have time.

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