The former head of SMB Marketing at Facebook on why social media can no longer help small businesses reach customers.
Many small business owners are have gotten serious over social media over the past year or so, but maybe it’s too late? If you consider the opinions and information shared by Chris Lou, former head of SMB Marketing at Facebook, things do seem bleak for small businesses seeking to win traffic (on and offline) through social media. If you are a reader of this blog, you know this isn’t “new” news. If you read my February post, “Have You Adjusted Your Social Media Approach for 2015,” you already know how practically nonexistent organic reach is now through Facebook. Luo’s article on FastCompany seems to indicate Twitter is dwindling in reach possibilities, too, for local business.
What’s a small business supposed to do about social media?
It’s important to understand what you should “own” versus what you should use or lose. Social media platform crazes will come and go. Remember MySpace?
Don’t make the mistake of relying solely on social media and free email services to build and conduct your online business. It’s essential for that you own the following:
- Your own domain
- Email using your own domain
- A blog to accompany your corporate site
- Your own content & collateral — ebooks, slide decks, videos, blog posts, email campaigns, etc.
A social media network is something you should think of as a way to connect to potential and existing customers. It’s like a road. Just like you don’t own the road, you don’t own a social network (unless you create it, of course). Start using the best “road” (social network) available to you to reach your destination. Today it may be Twitter. Tomorrow it may be LinkedIn or a whole new site that hasn’t even launched yet. Maybe it’s a toll road — Facebook ads.
You may also want to take a page from Robert Frost and take the “road less traveled.” If a platform is congested or saturated, try a different, yet relevant social media network.
You need to stop spinning your wheels on any site or tactic that doesn’t yield results. Facebook may have driven a ton of traffic to you in the past; however, it may not be effective anymore. That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to kill your brand page. However, you do have to kill your current approach to utilizing it.