The two excuses I hear the most from small business owners who don’t use social media for their businesses are “it costs too much money” and “we don’t have time for it“. Unfortunately for them, both of these excuses are a result of a lack of education about the power of social media. That lack of education among business owners is one of the reasons I started offering social media consultations and workshops for business owners. As a business owner, you know your business better than any consultant ever could. And while I do offer content management services, I feel these consulting sessions leave business owners with the knowledge and tools necessary to create content that brings in meaningful and engaging interactions between businesses and customers.

Now, let’s take a look at the excuses above:

“It costs too much money”

Does it? The last time anyone checked, the most popular social media platforms are free to signup and free to use. Do some platforms offer paid advertising services? Yes. However, you don’t have to pay for those advertising services if you’ve established your brand by building an engaging fan/customer base that is willing to share your content with their networks. If you expect to put your business up on Facebook or Twitter and instantly become popular, that’s your first mistake. Follow/Like seeding services are costly and often load up your numbers with either fake accounts or users who don’t have any interest in your business. Social media marketing is a long-term investment that requires time and attention, which brings us to the next excuse:

“We don’t have time for that”

While a solid social media presence requires time and attention, the idea that it should take up all your time is one that just doesn’t hold true, especially if you’re just starting out as a small business owner. Unless you’re in the marketing department for a big already-established brand, it’s okay to lower your expectations a bit. Start small, but be engaging. While it feels like most of your potential customer base would be on Facebook, I’ve found Twitter to be the most engaging for really targeting your audience on a budget. Because Facebook is so reliant on privacy settings and permissions, Twitter gives you the ability to make connections and foster engagement with whoever you wish to connect with. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with how much content you think you need to be posting, take it down to one tweet per day, or a few Facebook posts a week. Think big, but start small. You’ll find that you actually do have time for social media, and you’ll start seeing the benefits of your efforts.

To find out more about Northside’s social media offerings, click here.

Josh Springer - Founder of Northside Web Services

Josh Springer is the founder of Northside Web Services, providing small businesses and individuals with professional web-based services that include web design, logo design and branding, SEO, and social media consulting.