A recent Small Business Trends article shared some pretty surprising statistics about how small business owners view social media. In the article, it cited a report that said 47 percent of small business owners don’t think their customers use social media and 24 percent didn’t think their customers research online before finding them.
Based on these numbers, it’s pretty clear that many small businesses are in denial about the power of social media despite how mainstream it has become. And, even if small business owners are willing to admit that social media is a viable marketing channel, they are still reluctant to dive in.
So, why are small business owners so gun-shy about social media? Based on the conversations I’ve had with small business owners, here are my thoughts:
They’re worried about time constraints.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t have the luxury of a large corporate marketing department (or even a marketing budget for that matter) to study and understand the value of social media, let alone development of a strategy and implementation. For many small business owners, they are CEO, bookkeeper and receptionist all rolled into one. How on earth can they find time to learn how to tweet, blog or create a YouTube video?
They’re concerned about ROI.
There’s a lot of debate in the social media world about the return on investment of social media. Small business owners aren’t convinced that spending time on social media will impact their bottom line. It doesn’t help that return on investment can be a tricky thing to quantify with social media.
They don’t understand how to use it.
Although social media in concept is easy to understand, there’s much more to it than simply setting up a Facebook page. Perhaps they are intimidated by the lingo or they don’t know what to say when they get there. Look at all of the social media accounts that flounder and sit empty because the business didn’t know what they were doing.
Although I believe social media isn’t the best fit for every small business, I think many others are missing out on huge opportunities to engage with their customers and attract new ones.
What do you think is the biggest thing holding small businesses back from social media? What’s holding YOU back?