What are the benefits of Social Media?

Talented, tiny business owners are often overwhelmed with the idea of how to use social media for their business and what the real purpose of social media is in their business. I’m going to explain why social media can be beneficial to most talented, tiny business owners (not all. It’s never all.) and how you can use it to help you in yours.

To start, I’ll share that I used to live in a town which was not inside of a major city. I lived about 45 minutes outside of New York City. The biggest city in the United States and 45 minutes outside of it felt very isolating. It was difficult to find a lot of people that I could hang out with that also were as passionate about their tiny businesses as I was about mine. I had a hard time really finding a group that I could talk to about things business-related at all.

This was before there was social media. Thankfully forums were created and there was a wonderful place called the Switchboards where I had the pleasure of finding, I would say probably about a hundred people, mostly women who were in similar work. They also owned tiny businesses, or they were talented, tiny business owners. And we would use each other as resources. It was long before all of these business books for tiny businesses came out, which there are still very few of and way before the internet became such a wonderful resource for learning. Social media came out a few years later and the activity on the forum stopped, but I’m connected with all of those women now, and they are still wonderful resources.

One of the big benefits of social media is being part of the community. It’s that even if you live in the middle of the country, where you’re not 45 minutes away from a major city where you can drive in and connect with people. You really can use things like Facebook groups as a way to connect with people, to learn, to get the resources you need, and they can be so incredibly valuable. So that’s one of the biggest benefits of social media. You can really find your community. You also can use it to keep in touch with your people. What I actually suggest to most tiny business owners is that your network is probably going to be your biggest marketing strategy. The thing that brings the most money back to you, because when you’re a tiny business, people get very attached to you. So they connect with you, the owner of the business. And they really want to help you. They know, like, and trust you. They want your business to grow.

Networking can be just being involved in the community and maybe volunteering or knowing your neighbors, talking to your friends and family about it, things like that. Having then a bigger network, if you are somebody who is attending events or being in groups or things like that. And of course, all the people that you’re meeting in the sports or workouts that you do, or the church that you go to, or through your kids’ school and all of that, that all create your network. Now it’s really hard, especially as we grow bigger networks because there is actually a number, it’s like130 people. That is how many people our brains can be close to and remember things about. So some say it’s not natural to be on social media as your friend circle becomes too large.

For me, it’s great because it’s a way for me to stay in touch with way more people than I have the bandwidth to let’s say, even have the quarterly coffees that I do with about 60 people. I can’t do that with the 2000 and something people I’m connected with on my personal Facebook page. I certainly cannot do that with the 13,000 people that follow my business Facebook page. So it just gives you a wonderful way to show all these people in your network and your extended network, what you’re doing, what you’re up to, how you can maybe help them solve their problem.

Of course, we don’t want to be using social media just to sell. We want to be using it to educate, entertain, or inspire. That’s really why it’s so important to remember that your content that you’re putting out there should be 80% education, entertainment, or inspiration. And 20% can be really talking more about the selling side of things, because you are basically using social media to stay in touch with your network and to give your network a way to share what you are doing and to put you out there.

You can then take this up another step and also create content that you can then share on social media. It gives more to share, but really just putting posts out there nowadays, just a couple of posts a week are fantastic. Make sure you’re putting a call to action in those posts and as your staying in touch with the people that want to hear from you, remember that you’re not prospecting. You’re not selling. I’m just saying; “Oh, you were curious enough to follow me? Let me keep you abreast of what is going on. Because I don’t have time to call each of you individually and catch up.”

You’re not needing to post all day long. You can post quality content twice a week. Your stories can give a little more behind the scenes and fun stuff and you can post all day long in there. If people are in your network and they want to tell other people about the cool stuff your doing, they can share it.

These are the ways that social media can really help you in your business and a very good strategy to start using it. If you want to learn more about this, I actually do tiny workshops on a lot of the specifics of social media and can always work with you to help even more. But this should get you started. I’m Sierra Bailey with Doers Shakers Makers. And I have been back with another business tip. I’ll see you next week and Hey, maybe I’ll see what you’re up to on social media and you can find out what I am too on mine.

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