Social media is a necessary evil. I’ve lost count of the number of small business owners who’ve told me that, and I get it. You didn’t start your business to worry about the algorithms and engagement rates. But did you know that 57% of internet users turn to social media to research products?
I love seeing just how powerful social media can be, and I’ve had a chat with Sharon Parry, of PupCakes Dog Bakery, to get her thoughts on the subject.
“Social Media didn’t help my business it built it. Strong statement I know but it is true and will be for many others, I am sure. Whilst we all sit here and moan about algorithms, updates and paid ads etc without social media so many of us would not be doing what we are doing now so I am incredibly grateful for the platforms which are available.” -Sharon
The power of social media
I once really wanted to go to a shop that I saw on Google Maps, but they didn’t have any opening times displayed so I checked out their Facebook page. They hadn’t posted for a few years. I assumed they had shut down during the pandemic and didn’t go. A few weeks later, I happened to be passing and they were actually open. They nearly lost out on a £50 sale because they’d neglected their social media presence. Now I know that’s just one instance, but that sort of thing happens all the time!
I often say that the job of a social media marketer isn’t actually to make sales, but to create a community around your business. And of course, that does lead to sales! In fact, more than 50% of total revenue across 14 major industries is generated by social selling.
“Love it or hate it, it is without doubt an AMAZING space for small businesses. This week alone my business has been seen by over 7000 people. Now to some that may not sound a lot but to me that is huge. Where else can we go to show our products or services to over 7000 people for FREE? We get to show people throughout the UK what we do from the comfort of our own homes for absolute zero cost, I mean that’s just incredible when you think about it.” -Sharon
The different purposes of social media
The average daily time spent on social media is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Yes, that’s a lot! But that’s nearly three hours a day that someone might discover your business. As I said, social media isn’t just about making sales, it’s also:
♦ The modern “word-of-mouth”. It’s a space for people to recommend their favourite businesses to their friends and family.
♦ A way to connect with the business owner. Unlike a website where you can just buy products, on social media you can find out more about the person that you’re supporting.
♦ A way to attract people and direct them to your website.
♦ An easy way to contact a business. 33% of internet users would rather contact a brand via social media than call them.
“Using the two main platforms is like having two shops with no rent. All too often we sit and complain that our posts have only been seen by 20 people, but think about that as being your shop, 20 people just walked round your shop for a nosey and now know who you are! Doesn’t sound so bad when we think of it like that hey!” -Sharon
Find the right space for your business
If you think of your social media profiles as your shop window, then you can only imagine how busy the street outside must be. 11 new social media accounts are created every second! Having your shop window on the right street is such an important decision to make. Who’ll be on that street? Why are they there?
It’s also worth considering having a shop window on a hectic street like Facebook, and another on a quieter street. You’ll hear a lot about Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter and Pinterest because they are the most popular platforms. But they are far from being the only ones out there!
“I have a clear and up-to-date presence on most social media platforms as I feel it’s important to claim the account in your business name. However I am only actively using Facebook & Instagram. Try to remember although it’s your business and we are the most important person in it we need to work with and suit our ideal clients. Choosing to work on only one platform because it’s what we like isn’t always best so I would recommend choosing two platforms to give yourself a wider audience. Remember social media is nothing to be afraid of, you just do what you are comfortable with and at your own pace.” -Sharon
Running your own accounts
Running your own social media accounts can be really daunting. I think it’s important to remember why you’re doing it. What are you hoping to achieve? It’s also important to remember that you’re not alone. Only 22% of overall social media marketing activity is done by professionals.
If you are running your own accounts, you should be proud of yourself. And please remember that if you ever get stuck, or need a bit of support, give me a shout!
“Connect and interact with others on social media not just to make sales but because being self-employed is a very lonely place so picking up some business besties online is a brilliant way to create yourself a little virtual office.” -Sharon
My Featured Guest
Sharon Parry is a dog cake specialist and has been baking cakes for lucky pups for over ten years! PupCakes was actually the first approved and regulated dog bakery in North Wales, isn’t that cool?
If you want to hear more from Sharon, find her on Instagram!
If you’d like to be a Featured Guest on this blog, please send me a message. I’m looking for people who have experiences or thoughts on various social media related topics, but you don’t need to be an expert!