Social Media is everywhere. It seems like everyone is asking you to “Like,” “Follow,” or “Pin” them. Our personal feeds are inundated with sponsored ads asking us to buy products. Leaving many small businesses to ask, “Do I really need social media?”
Do Small Businesses Need Social Media?
In fact, the Score Association, a nonprofit organization of small business counselors and mentors supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, recently said that only 51 percent of small businesses even have websites! Of those who had websites, 82 percent were not using social media. Yet, 97 percent of consumers search for products and services online. If your customers are there why aren’t you?
Some Companies are Successful without Social Media
Currently, retail, telecom, and financial services are the largest adopters of social media, so if your business falls in that category you really ought to hop to it! According to Forbes‘s list of the top small businesses in America, companies like IPG Photonics, Landauer, and Future Fuel, are doing just fine without a social media presence, although that may have a lot to do with the nature of their business. IPG Photonics makes fiber lasers for telecom and medical companies. Landauer provides radiation safety devices and services. Future Fuel is in the chemical and biofuel business. These companies say “our customers know where to find us,” and “we don’t see it as advantageous for our marketing.” Maybe they are right, because Forbes certainly thinks they are doing well. The bottom line is if you have a specific product with a narrow customer base you may be successful without social media.
Creative Small Businesses Succeed with Social Media
I don’t know about you but I don’t sell biofuel or fiber lasers. I’m a creative person, and chances are you are too! Small businesses that sell creativity like Sensu, a marketing and film agency, are finding social media essential to their success. When the company was asked to promote recording artist Ben Howard’s next music video, they created a Facebook event page advertising a free concert with free beer. It drew more than 500 people! The YouTube video of the event has gotten more than 1 million views and almost 8,000 likes. Promotion success thanks to social media!
Social Media is an Opportunity!
What about all those small businesses we talked about at the beginning of our post, the 82 percent not using social media? Well some creative types see this as a huge opportunity! Pittsburgh based consulting firm Up To Know Good is helping these businesses achieve success with new media. For small businesses the firm recommends WordPress or other easy to manage sites, Facebook pages, and Google Analytic to learn what content attracts customers.
Are you in the business of creativity? Maybe you are a graphic designer, musician, crafter? Then social media is a wise investment in your success. If your creative and social media savvy you may be able to help other small businesses achieve success while achieving your own! Post a comment below and let me know how social media has changed the way you do business!