I’d been consulting for several years before I decided to take the time and launch my J. Genow Marketing website.

Suddenly every rule of marketing went out the window.  I became so focused on my website as the “product” that I blindly started trying “this” and “that” in order to drive traffic to my site.  I would lose days getting lost in a rabbit hole of links, tutorials, and articles learning how to navigate all of the twists and turns of Facebook, Pinterest and the art of the well-placed hashtag.

I’d become so entrenched in the details of each social media platform that I forgot to heed my own advice.

Start With A Plan!

Planning your Small Business DIY Social Media Strategy

The difficulty with do-it-yourself social media – handling social media on your own – is that the rules of the road are constantly changing.  You may finally feel like you’ve gotten a firm grasp on what to post, when to post and how to post and the BAM!  Facebook changes how posts show up (or don’t show) in news feeds or you read that hashtags on Pinterest might be pointless.  In the world of social, what is true today may be considered taboo by in just a few months’ time.

Dan’s story

During a meeting with a client to brainstorm ideas for new service offerings for his business, Dan admitted he didn’t really want to be on Facebook.  The whole idea of it stressed him out, he was losing focus and wasn’t able to put his best energy into the things that needed to get done.

So we took a step back and looked at where his current clients and website traffic were coming from.  The majority were from LinkedIn, and a good percentage of site traffic from Pinterest.  Facebook didn’t even register.

Since most of Dan’s business was naturally coming from LinkedIn and Pinterest, I recommended he leverage those two platforms rather than investing what little time he had in figuring out Facebook – much to his relief!

The thing to keep in mind with social is that not every platform is right for your business.  And if you’re a small business owner trying to do it on your own you absolutely need a plan – and picking 2-3 platforms (at most) to focus on is a good place to start.

3 questions to ask before embarking in “DIY” social media:

  • Is “social” taking time away from something you should be doing instead
  • Are your efforts contributing to an increase in leads and/or sales?
  • Is it cost effective? How much do you need to bring in to make up for the time you are not spending with customers?

If you find that the time you’re spending trying to master social media is not contributing to your bottom line, or if social is a big part of you campaign strategy, you may want to consider hiring a Social Media Expert.  If budget is a concern, have them come up with a plan that you execute on your own.

The up-front investment can yield far better results – and definitely less headache – in the long run.

So was my time in the social media rabbit hole time well-spent?  For me, it was.  As a Marketing Consultant specializing in integrated strategies it’s my job to have an understanding of current trends in all marketing tactics.  It is necessary for me to stay educated in order to make the best possible recommendations to my clients.

But, is it time well-spent for you?

Have you been using social media for your small business? Share your experiences in the comments below!

 

For more interesting reading on social media:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-guide-small-businesses/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelfertik/2014/08/21/is-social-media-worth-it-for-small-businesses/

http://maximizeyoursocial.com/options-help-small-business-social-media-podcast-ep-97-478/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140716151914-176152935-3-reasons-why-your-business-should-not-be-on-facebook?trk=tod-home-art-list-small_1