Read an interesting article earlier today:
I suppose the headline is self-explanatory, as all good titles should be, but I was quite surprised to see that 50% of small businesses don’t use social media at all!
And those that do, don’t do it very much. It’s not a priority for them.
Of the businesses surveyed, 19% said they were using Facebook (Why?! I want to ask them) and just 4% were using Twitter. LinkedIn came at 15%.
First off, I’m curious what kinds of businesses were surveyed, and the industries they belonged to. Additionally, I wondered how big these companies are, in terms of employment.
But still- it strikes me as very odd that in rather desperate economic times for many, businesses aren’t reaching out to new methods of marketing, or exploring new promotional tools.
If I had to guess the reasons behind this, I would think that most of this apathy is from a lack of education about what social media is and how to use it. Social media, right now, is the domain of the younger generations, and few of those people (relatively speaking) are heading companies.
In my life, I witnessed this divide most clearly at one job I had a few years ago, which was in a small insurance firm. The owner was in her 50s and didn’t know what Facebook or Twitter was, though she heard “it might be useful.” Still, she was always too busy to learn anything about it or implement a strategy using it. Her marketing efforts were spent advertising in trade shows and the like.
On the other hand, my subsequent places of employment have used a much more active role in social media, particularly using Facebook. The company I currently work for has an active Facebook presence and a sizeable Twitter account, but we don’t do very much Tweeting as far as I can tell.
Since most people like informative Tweets and posts, I think we take the information we could have Tweeted, and instead disseminate it via a monthly newsletter.
But I must point out: we are a company of just three people. We wear a lot of different hats and stay quite busy and have plenty of work for three people. Perhaps social media, while helping us to expand, would lead to a case of too much of a good thing and overwhelm us.
This reminds me of something else I noticed at a previous job: my co-workers would get so overwhelmed that they would speed through things, and invariably make mistakes. It become clear to me that they were working inefficiently, in that they were taking on more than they could handle and things were getting messed up.
In essence, they were inefficient.
Wouldn’t it be better, I thought, to know how much you can do, and only do as much as you can while still doing an excellent job? Sure, you’d take on less work, but the work you would take would be done perfectly or nearly perfectly; in essence, you would be working at the top of your efficiency.
Isn’t that a much better goal than to use the “overwhelm yourself” approach? I believe it is.
Perhaps this is the reason that more small businesses have not employed social media to a fuller potential: doing so would take some effort, yes, I’ll give you that, but on the other hand, sometimes you don’t know what you are capable of, until you take on something new and discover new limits within yourself.
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