This came back to me full force yesterday at a networking meeting.
The conversation centered around the failure of so many small businesses to utilize social media. There were a lot of reasons but the two most offered were time and fear.
There is absolutely no question that marketing takes time. Marketing is a strategy to make or keep a brand top of mind. It can’t be accomplished without a strategy and ongoing effort.
Many business owners believe they can’t devote time to any type of marketing because they’re so busy working. I get that. Every dentist knows when there’s no drilling there’s no billing. Still there had to be a way to get that person with the aching tooth in the door.
Every entrepreneur is an optimist. You have to be. That’s different from believing your product is so incredibly useful/innovative/time-saving/fill in the blank that people will come rushing to you. Money in hand. Screaming for your product. Without you lifting a finger to promote it.
Another comment was fear. The online world doesn’t support ongoing B2C efforts at least not for long (spam filter anyone?). The online world is C2B©. Customers are in charge here. They search for what they want when they want. If you happen to have what they want when they want it everybody wins! You’re not online? Well somebody wins just not you.
It’s scary to put yourself out there. Have you really considered what would happen if you became extremely successful? It changes your life. Maybe that’s way scarier than commiserating with others who are “doing okay, surviving, keep their heads above water”.
How do we support small business owners to get past these false reasons for not taking advantage of the opportunities of social media?
Caught Web Handed is an article on FOXNews.com’s website detailing how law enforcement is using social media to catch criminals.
Yes some of them make it easy. Stopping on the way out of a crime spree and checking a Facebook page is oh, let’s say hmmm, moronic. Uploading video to Youtube detailing all the loot you picked up. Yeah another real brainiac.
These are frightening situations and under no circumstances am I diminishing the pain and stress these situations cause. But there are bigger fish to catch and social media is making it easier.
It’s a stretch to include email specifically as social media but it can get passed around the internet, mentioned in a Tweet or posted on a blog. Even when it isn’t viral it can be archived until the tenth of never or whenever the sender/receiver needs it.
That’s how they tracked down Faisal Shahzad the man who set the Time Square bomb scare into motion. The VIN was tracked to a teenager in Connecticut who had the car for sale on Craigslist. Mr. Shahzad emailed her and then bought the car.
I’m glad he emailed. It’s how he was caught. It’s also a stark reminder that online there are no casual conversations.
A study by the University of Maryland indicates college students are seriously addicted to the internet.
I’d like to know what addiction isn’t serious but I digress.
A class of 200 students disconnected from all electronic media for 24 hours after which they blogged about their experiences. The accumulated 110,000 words were centered around “bored, distracted, dependence, difficult” among others. The infographs in the study are great visuals.
When I saw the first paragraph of the results of the study I couldn’t believe it. Are you kidding me?
Then I got down to the part that made complete sense. This wasn’t about gaming or finding a new bar or any of a million other things you can do with a phone or social media.
They said they felt disconnected from their family and friends.
Wow. I get that. It’s just that I get it from being online all the time.
Talk about your generation gap.
The five highlights in the article are amazing! They spell out the future of communication. Ignore at your own risk.
When planning for January and the rest of 2010 I had to really think. Google says it’s trying to get rid of SEOs and that’s my hammer.
Here’s the thing…
I love what I do. Helping business owners use the exact right words to position their online activities and attract new customers they could not have found otherwise? Empowering businesses to use the internet for sales and marketing instead of just using search to find other people’s stuff? There is no better feeling in the world! At least not for me.
Should I “re-invent” myself? Honestly I would like to just continue to be. But that’s not the world I chose. Seventy percent of all current workers are in no growth jobs (that means no wage growth either) so staying the same really means going backwards. Doesn’t sound like much of a plan for me. I prefer the chaotic, never stops changing, mad world of the web. So I guess I’ll take a deep breath instead of a breather.
My current nail is invisible websites. What else can I use my hammer for? Don’t know yet but one thing is for sure. The world is not going to slow down just to let me figure it out.