Why Small Businesses Should Avoid Social Media
Get on social media or you will fail! That’s the message that is being rammed down the throat of businesses today. It reminds me of a high school popularity contest. The reality is that, right now, social media only makes sense for some businesses, some of the time.
Social media is not some magical solution for a business. It is a tool to connect with customers or to advertise. It can be incredibly powerful when applied correctly to the right situation, but a waste of time if done poorly.
Social media is a transformative medium for the 21st century, much the same way the printing press was for the 15th century. The Gutenberg press revolutionized the way that people communicated. Suddenly, ideas were able to be passed easily from one person to another through broadsheets and books.
Social media has had much the same impact. We now have the platform to share our ideas and build communities online around the world.
Learning how to best use an innovation can take time. Back in the 15th century, not every business would have instantly succeeded by marketing with the printed word. A store owner in the city who sold plows to farmers would not have gotten a good return by passing broadsheets at the street corner. For starters, many of his customers probably couldn’t read; not to mention that most farmers were probably a 3 days ride out in the country.
It was not until times changed and Sears mailed their first catalog that stores were able to advertise to far-flung customers. This took over 400 years to happen.