“Should my business be on social media?” “Should we have a blog?”

As a digital marketing consultant, I’m asked these questions on a regular basis. Almost all marketing firms who sincerely want your signed contract will always say, “Yes!” Often times, however, large firms aren’t familiar with the reality of a uniquely specific challenge of small business life.

The Reality of Small Business Life

My mother was a small business owner of a large gift store, flower shop, and cafe in a very small town in the South. She invested hundreds of thousands of dollars, worked 6 days a week, took care of 3 kids as a single mom, and regularly dealt with the terrifying concern that the business would go under (which, it did).

Unfortunately, this is the life of most small business owners. Not enough time, not enough money to invest in marketing, and too many bills and responsibilities. Would my mother have had the time to write blogs and post on social media? Definitely not.

4 Simple Questions to Help You Decide

Do You Have the Content?

The most important question to ask is whether your business has enough content to share. Can you think of 10-20 pieces of content (blog posts, social media posts, etc.) off the top of your head that you’re ready to share? If not, don’t start a blog or social media unless you’re bursting at the seams to share what you have to say or offer. Your community doesn’t need a billboard of your business. That’s what websites are for.

Do You Have the Time?

Do you, or one of your employees, have time on a regular basis (every 1-4 days) to post something? Do you have a smartphone or computer at work available for you or an employee to do it? If a device is not available at work, you’ll likely not have the energy or time to post once you get home.

If you allow your employees to post about your business, get them involved! Encourage them to have a sense of ownership about it, especially if they enjoy social media. Create space so that they have at least 15-60 minutes per day to invest in social media marketing for you.

Do You Have the Desire?

Honestly, truthfully, do you even want to be on social media? Do you want to do it because it’s what you “should” do? Or because everyone else is doing it? You may have the time to post, but do you really have the desire to get involved? Social media is not difficult, but it takes time to invest. Most of the time that investment pays off. Are you ready to get your hands dirty? If not, are you willing to be brave, go out on a limb, and encourage your employees to have the desire for you?

Do You Have the Money?

If you don’t have much content, you don’t have the time, and you don’t have the desire, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your business shouldn’t be on social media! If you have some marketing funds to invest, hiring someone like me to post to social media for you is a great investment. Whether you need full blog posts written for you or simply quick pictures of what’s happening on a daily basis, my team will take care of everything for you, from creating your pages, to researching, posting, and delivering analytics.

If you answered “No” to all of these questions, perhaps blogging and social media isn’t your best use of time and money. And guess what? That’s okay! Just because a marketing platform is out there doesn’t mean you need to be on it. Hone down the best use of your time and focus on what works.

Perhaps you’d like to test it. Good for you! You may find that people respond well to your services which result in achieving your business goals. You may find that you absolutely love posting on social media once you see positive comments on your posts. If you own a gift shop, Instagram and Facebook are probably appropriate. If you own a tax or bookkeeping office, quick tips on Twitter may be more appropriate. Don’t spread yourself too thin. But if you do want to test it, go deep, don’t give up quickly, and work hard. Join social media platforms that make sense for your business.