For Small Businesses, Social Media is Work!

It seems you can’t browse anywhere on the internets these days without someone shouting at you about the power of social media. You can’t survive without social media, they say. Or, what’s your social strategy they ask? Or, social video is growing ridiculously…

Which is all good. And, true… But if there’s any one certainty in our clients’ digital lives, it’s this – at some point, maybe more often than they would like, they arrive at a realization. It’s inevitable.  Now, for our larger corporate clients, this realization is irrelevant because they pay someone to do the social thing for them. But for the smaller businesses, the ones that are doing each new task in addition to the thirty other things they do to keep their companies afloat… the realization is that the blog or tweet or facebook page or whatever is not getting quite the influx of love that they had anticipated. And now, they’re looking at the ROI of time spent doing the social marketing and saying, “forget the one hour rule– this $#^@ isn’t worth 1 minute of my time!”

It wasn’t always this way. When they started, there were so many things to write about, so many stories and ideas to share, so many followers and fans waiting to be had. But then, as with all things that were once new and shiny and exciting, the social glow inevitably starts to fade. Is it because creating the content is hard? Is it because it is hard to determine the value of the work? Is it because only ten people (or five or none) retweeted your last post or liked your status update? Who knows why. But here’s what I do know - social media is a monster and it has an insatiable appetite for new content. To put it bluntly - Social… is work. A lot of work. That’s not necessarily fun.

And that, ultimately, is the point. Rushing headlong into the digital space without a clear understanding of the actual work that it entails – ongoing work! – does a disservice to yourself and to your business. So, in the end, do listen to the pundits and experts (and yes, bloggers) and develop a social strategy. But, as a wise man once said, when doing it… make haste slowly.