Why Social Media for SME Businesses is Not a Gold Mine

Everywhere you look online, there is discussion on the magnificence and potency of social media. There are renowned authors churning out books on how to use social media for businesses. There are also self-acclaimed experts showing off their “achievements” with case studies of businesses that they helped to achieve “success” using social media. This picture is enough to make small business owners grow a fixation for social media marketing. But it is not all fine and dandy.

This survey showed that over 60% of businesses haven’t seen any return on investments on the social media activities. Even when most of them increased time spent on social media.

Ineffective social media
photo credit: Pete SImon / Flickr

So should your SME business be bursting at the seams to get on social media? Here are reasons why you probably shouldn’t.

Your Audience Lies Elsewhere

Nearly a third of the world’s population uses some of social media but that doesn’t automatically mean your target audience is on social media. A local mobile food vending business for instance will be better served using other means of marketing to spread word about their business around their usual route instead of investing in social media marketing. That you spend time on a particular social media platform doesn’t mean you should find your audience there, but knowing how to implement social media within business is still vitally important.

You can find a few but the efforts will not be rewarded consistently in the long run. So before you deploy a social media desk for your business, understand your target audience. Social media is not for every business.

In fact, some businesses will be better served using social media as a small part of a bigger marketing strategy that incorporates radio and TV ads, billboards and other forms of print advertisement instead of using social media alone. It is harder to gain audiences by just relying on social media, even for businesses with a sizeable audience there because consumers today are able to tune out business related content.

You Don’t Understand It

As a small business, your immediate need is to grow your business and hit your KPIs. It is highly unlikely that you understand the inner workings of social media. Can you afford to employ a full time social media agency? Social media use goes beyond creating a profile with all the whistles and bells and leaving it standing. In fact, a business social media page paints a negative picture about the brand. It screams unpreparedness. It is best, therefore, to push social media to the lower rungs of your marketing scale until you are ready.

Missed target

You Can’t Measure ROI

As an SME, your longevity hinges heavily on accountability in the early days. If 61% of businesses can’t measure social media ROI, there is every chance you can’t as well. So before you get on board the social media bandwagon, decide what will have to happen for you to count your investments as worthy.

Social media has its benefit for businesses. An SME, however, could be better served looking elsewhere in the early days – if they don’t know how to plan and execute their social media strategies and tactics.