Many entrepreneurs know that they need a social media presence if they want to grow their businesses.
They know this, but they still hesitate.
Or they stumble.
Something keeps them from going all in.
This is very normal. But if you want to make an impact using social media, you have to be committed.
If you have your social media profiles online, and they’re all filled out, but you don’t regularly update them, or you don’t engage, or you don’t approach them with an overall strategy, then you might as well not be on social media.
Just because you have a Facebook page and you sporadically post what you had for lunch one day, and then a special promotion you have three weeks later, doesn’t mean you have a social media presence.
You’re not fooling anyone.
This isn’t a social media marketing campaign. This isn’t a strategy. This is silence.
Most business owners who are silent on social media will use the excuse that they just don’t have the time to maintain it.
While not having time is a valid excuse – more often than not, it’s not the real reason behind the silence.
Entrepreneurs are doers – if they really want to do something, they’ll typically make the time for it (or hire someone to do it for them).
The real reasons why entrepreneurs go silent on social media usually run deep.
It’s often one or more of these 5 culprits…
1. You don’t know what to say
Great content starts with knowing your audience.
Who is your audience? Who do you want to reach and engage? Who are these people who you’d eventually like to convert into paying clients or customers?
Once you know who your target audience is, you need to identify what problem(s) you solve for your audience.
The best content fixes your audience’s problems.
Next, you need to figure out what is unique about what you provide.
If you’re not the only person to deliver a particular product or service to a certain group, you’d better be doing it in a way that stands out.
And finally, knowing what to communicate with your audience is just as important as knowing how to communicate with them, and where.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and stay a couple of steps ahead of your audience!
2. You’re overwhelmed
Overwhelm is real.
There are so many different social media platforms, and new ones are popping up all the time.
You do NOT have to be on every social media platform in existence. In fact, it’s better if you’re not, because if you go this route you’ll dilute your resources.
Your time, your money, your focus are all limited resources. It is much more effective to be present on a handful of social media platforms and do them well, rather than to spread yourself too thin.
So which platforms do you want to focus on?
Depending on who you ask, the majority will agree the Big 5 are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.
The Big 5 are social media’s current heavy-hitters because they have proven track records as powerful marketing tools for business owners.
These social media platforms aren’t disappearing any time soon, and pretty much everyone and anyone you are trying to engage is on at least one of the Big 5.
You don’t have to be on all five of the Big 5. Be on the ones that serve you best, and the ones that you enjoy being on.
3. You’re stuck in your old ways
I see this one a lot with older businesses.
They’ve been doing things the same way for generations. Maybe about 10 years ago they shook things up and built a website and since then, not much else has happened in the marketing department.
These business owners have an especially difficult time understanding why they should shake things up and try social media, because things have been working so well for so long.
Why rock the boat?
Because things change drastically and quickly these days.
Nowadays, if a client or prospect has a question or issue with your product or service, they won’t pick up the phone or send you an email. They’ll call you out on social media.
They do this because it’s public and they know you’ll have to respond – and respond quickly. And if you don’t, or if you don’t have a social media page for them to interact with, they’re going to lose trust in you and tell everyone about their negative experience dealing with you.
You don’t just need to keep up, you need to keep ahead. You need to be cutting edge, or you’ll lose track of your target audience.
Not having a social media presence today is like not having a website 10 years ago – it’s ridiculous if you expect to stay in business.
Do not allow your business to get complacent and stuck in old ways just because something’s been working for you for so long.
4. You are a perfectionist
This one is close to my heart.
Perfectionism is an admirable trait in a business owner. It means you have high standards.
But sometimes perfectionism can be debilitating.
Many perfectionist entrepreneurs fall into the trap of wanting to get their message – their branding – 100% perfect before they start posting on social media.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good idea to get a strong handle on your brand first.
But it’s never going to be perfect.
You need to realize that.
And for some of you, this is going to be scary.
Just get your branding as close to 100% as you can and then launch your business on social media.
At some point, you will have to bite the bullet and trust that you know all that you can at this stage of the game.
Then, at some point, you will have to revisit your branding.
Accept that your branding will change based on feedback you get on social media. Pay close attention to what’s working and what’s not working on social media. Engage with your following and observe what comes up in conversations and comments.
Even bad feedback is helpful – just think of it as an opportunity to hone your brand.
5. You are afraid of being plagiarized
I get a lot of clients who just flat-out don’t want to post anything business-related on social media because they’re afraid someone’s going to steal all their great ideas.
And that’s valid.
Having someone steal your content is frustrating for a variety of reasons.
When earning likes, shares, and comments are imperative to your ranking, you can actually be looking at a dent in your online visibility when someone takes your articles, images, or videos and re-purposes them as their own.
In other words, it’s not just about bragging rights – those Facebook likes can translate into book sales, seminar engagements, product sales, interviews, and all kinds of related financial compensation. In business, stolen content is stolen dollars.
Besides, having your hard work ripped off is just demoralizing.
Know that there are things you can do to protect yourself from plagiarism.
Don’t publish anything you want to keep proprietary, know that you can contact the plagiarizer and reason with them, and if things get out of hand, you can always threaten legal action.
But you cannot use the threat of plagiarism as an excuse to not create content.
Get in the game, because that’s where you belong. Don’t be afraid to fight for what is yours.
When a business owner says they don’t have time to engage in social media as a means to grow their business, there are usually greater underlying issues than lack of time. These excuses include not knowing what type of content to create, feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of social media platforms that are available, being stuck in an old school marketing routine, being debilitated by perfectionism, or a fear of being plagiarized. None of these excuses are valid enough to excuse an entrepreneur from benefiting from a social media campaign. If you are a business owner, you need a social media presence if you want to grow your business – don’t let anything stop you.