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Social Media for Self-Employed Small Business Owners

Q: There are so many website to be a part of, I am not sure if I should be on Facebook or Twitter or Both?  Which is better and what do you recommend?

A: Great question.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a small business owner tell us how much they market their business on social media but they don’t seem to generate new business or higher sales.  A common reason for doing this is because social media is free and as small business owners, we always try to save money.
However, just because social media is free, does not necessarily mean it is wise to spend a lot of time with it.  Yes, it can be helpful, but spending too much time can lead to neglecting other aspects of your business.

Determining which social media network is best for your business is hard to answer without knowing what your business is and what types of services you provide.  You need to research what type of customers you have and then match that with a social media network.  If you have a consulting business and deal with a lot of professionals, spending time on LinkedIn may be your best route.  If you have a local restaurant or sandwich shop, you may try Foursquare.   Sell a lot of goods or crafts online, try Pinterest.

Facebook has established itself as the “go to” for social media, and with good reason, it is very popular and easy to use and understand.  You probably won’t go wrong with creating a Facebook page regardless of what type of business you have.  In fact, having a Facebook page is almost mandatory in today’s environment.  With that said, you probably should have one and update it regularly but you should not treat it as your only method of advertising.  It should be one of a few different avenues to spread awareness about your business.

Again, you should have a Facebook page and you should engage with potential customers through social media but you should not make it your sole focus online.  Be smart, be creative, but don’t be obsessive.

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