You Get What You Pay For: Why Social Media Isn’t A Strategy

​Too often, we find businesses that have drank the “social media is all we need” Kool-Aid. They’ve gone to seminar after seminar. They’ve listened to Chamber members tell them they need to be active on Facebook. And yet, they’ve done everything they think they’re supposed to do, and nothing’s bringing in the revenue.

Does this sound familiar?

Everyone’s talking about social media’s importance, but no one seems to know what they’re talking about.

More than 60% of small business owners can’t prove a return on their social media activity – yet half of them will dedicate increased time and money to social media instead of cutting back.

Our question is – WHY?

We understand the power of social media. We built Insilico on our last $100 – investing in business cards, a web server, and our email addresses. And in just over 3 months, we had 8 clients. We built a business that brought in over 60 clients within the first 2 years, and had the opportunity to bring on eleven talented individuals to represent our brand.

However, we coupled our social media marketing with search engine marketing, email marketing, and good old fashioned guerilla marketing tactics, including sales calls.

Companies that are relying on social media because it’s “free” are missing the point of social media. Social media should compliment your advertising strategy. It is not a strategy. It’s not a standalone medium to advertise.

Small businesses have flocked to social media because it’s free. Who doesn’t love to cut costs, right? But what they’ve forgotten is that social media is free, and you’ll get what you pay for (or don’t pay for).

Social media’s increasingly making it harder for brands to be successful. Even if Facebook didn’t continually make changes to their algorithm to “keep it social on social media”, local Mid-Ohio Valley small business owners forget one important battle they are fighting: social media hoarding.

Think about how long Facebook has been around:
2004 for colleges and universities, 2005 for high schools, 2006 to anyone over 13 with a valid email address.

Since then, users have began a digital hoarding pattern.
Friend hoarding – who doesn’t love seeing how many “friends” they have on social media? So much so, that Facebook had to limit “friends” to 5,000. And many people have at least 1,000 “friends” on this social platform. Though Facebook says the average number of friends (across all users – worldwide) is 338, that’s still a lot of friend status updates to compete against, as a small business!

“Like” hoarding – users accept requests from anyone who sends an invite to “like” a page. Facebook users “like” an average of 70 pages. That’s a lot of pages to compete against.

Think about all of the activities people can be exposed to on Facebook:

  • Updates from friends
  • Updates from people they’re not friends with, but “follow”
  • Updates from brands they “like”
  • Updates from brands they “follow”
  • Updates from the groups they’ve joined
  • Updates from the groups they’ve been added to
  • Updates from events they’re “going” to
  • Updates from events they may go to
  • Updates from events they’ve been to
  • Notifications of people who have interacted with them

Additional statistics that may open your eyes:

  • 49% of users like a Facebook page to support a brand they like
  • 40% of users don’t like any brand pages – meaning paid adverts are the only way to reach them
  • Average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes. What this means for you: You could have a short time period to make your impression, so use it wisely with relevant, interesting and unique posts and offers in order to get the most return on your efforts.

To be successful in today’s oversaturated social media-reliant world – you’re going to have to use social media the way it’s meant to be used: to socialize with your potential customers.

You can’t rely on social media as a standalone marketing strategy.

Ideas For Good Content Creation For Your Small Business

Nearly every time we ask a small business owner to produce content for their website, we get that eyes-glossed-over look. From the outside looking in, we always wonder, “why is it so hard for a business owner to write about their business?”

We’ve created a multitude of worksheets to help the business owner take their content beyond the “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how” that are no-brainers (well, we hope, anyway).

We do understand that writing interesting content for your business is tough. You have to keep the content professional (or, at least on-par with the environment the customer will experience while working with your brand), and you must keep it enjoyable to keep them engaged.

One way we suggest businesses can create great content is to make a chart with three sections: “critical”, “important”, “extra”.

  • “Critical” is all of the information that is critical for the customer to know, which includes: whether that is about your products/services, your hours/location, team members, or even just your “why pick us” elevator sales pitch.
  • “Important” includes all of the supportive text for the “critical” level: MSDS sheets, information regarding your weather closing policies, refund/gift card information, alternative routes to your location if the main route is currently blocked (construction, weather obstruction), etc.
  • “Extra” is anything else you feel necessary.

Once you get the basics out of the way, remember to factor in your audience. Are your customers well-educated, or should your content speak to the “everyman”? Are you selling to businesses, or to customers, or both? Do your customers plan their purchases in advance, or are your products/services more ad-hoc? Are your customers trying to find you when they’re in immediate need?

While creating content might seem like an “easy” thing to accomplish, many business owners immediately become overwhelmed when they have to answer a lot of our questions regarding their business.

If you’re in need of content creation, contact us today to receive our whitepaper, and see if we can be of service.

Need advice? Contact Nicole at nicole@insilicomediagroup.com.

Need a proposal for services? Send an email to info@insilicomediagroup.com.

Need to schedule a meeting? Call 304-615-8921 to reach a real person today.

How Do Facebook’s Changes Impact Your Small Business?

Facebook’s recent announcement has left many Mid-Ohio Valley small business owners running circles around their thoughts, wondering “how can my business overcome this?”  And, as predicted, we‘ve received several inquiries from our clients, and our non-client friends, about this new Facebook update and what it means for your business.

Honestly, we’re optimistic nothing seriously world-shattering is going to happen. Why? Because this has been happening as early as January 2015. (source: an Article “straight from the horse’s mouth” in November 2014: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/update-to-facebook-news-feed)

While some local social media consultants may be running scared right now, trying to organize paid seminars to regain some of their lost revenue due to client cancellations due to their overall ineffectiveness, the Insilico Media Group team is excited to be in the middle of another productive month for almost all of our clients (and we’re maintaining momentum for those routinely impacted by the winter weather months).

We’ve been saying this for years – YOU NEED MORE THAN SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TO BE EFFECTIVE FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS.

We’re still focusing on a minimum of 7 social media platforms, plus the major search engines, over 25 local search engines, local marketing (geofencing, beacons, etc.), email marketing, and website maintenance for all of our clients, for as low as $500 per month.

One of the most popular questions we’re receiving is “should I put up a post to remind my followers to engage with my page?”  Our answer: NO.

Businesses have been posting these status updates periodically for years now. If your followers see that post, chances are they’re seeing your other posts. If the followers don’t see your posts anyway, chances are they’re not going to see that post. Why bother your followers with an irrelevant, and seemingly pathetic bandwagon jump attempt to get your followers to briefly interact with your brand?

“But, but, but…. we can always sponsor this post, right?” Sure, waste some money. Sponsor a post to your page “likes” to beg for them to continue to like you. Beat the dog while it’s down.

What will this post do? Well, it’ll spark those already seeing your post to engage with it once. Successfully, maybe you’ll get these people to engage with your page a little more often for a week or two. Then, they’ll gradually fall off and get interested in the next latest-greatest-shiniest. What then? Make another post? Waste more time? More tactics to get “liked”?

Newsflash – Facebook’s big crack down is based on brands shamelessly begging for likes and engagement.

Want to know a better way to go about this? IMPROVE YOUR CONTENT. ENGAGE YOUR FOLLOWERS. SPARK CONVERSATION.

Facebook is cracking down on business posts because (SHOCKER) they’re a SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM. They want to keep their users using Facebook. They want their users to be social. Make your brand social.

You don’t need a marketing team to run your social media. You don’t need to pay a consultant to join some “training” seminar filled with high-level “DIY tips” you can get for free off of a Pinterest infographic. You can do this 100% on your own, for free.

What do you need us for?

  1. Engaging content that gets that 200%, 600%, 3,000% weekly increase in engagement, conversation, views, likes, shares…
  2. Eye-catching images that are going to make people stop swiping up for a minute to see who’s posted something witty, pretty, funny, emotion-sparking, thought-provoking…. well, you get the point….
  3. We stay on top of trends so you don’t have to. That means things like this, where people think the sky is falling down on them, we can be there with the lollipop and remind everyone that, no, really, it’s all ok.
  4. We’re just really cool people to hang out with. We make people laugh.
  5. We also have a very cute little office baby.

Need advice? Contact Nicole at nicole@insilicomediagroup.com.

Need a proposal for services? Send an email to info@insilicomediagroup.com.

Need to schedule a meeting? Call 304-615-8921 to reach a real person today.