Why Your Social Media Work Doesn’t Scale and Why that Doesn’t Matter

20130610-124615.jpgAs a business owner, you want to spend your time in the most valuable places. It’s called leverage. It’s not a new concept, but it’s a very important one. So does social media for small business make sense? No. And…yes. Well dammit, it depends on what your goal is, so let’s get straight to it and settle the matter once and for all, shall we?

Btw…why the heck is there a picture of me right after this morning’s workout on this blog post? Makes no sense at all does it? Well here’s the deal…there’s this rule in the blogosphere that blog posts do better when they have a picture. And I’m busy. I don’t have time to search for some uber-fantastic stock photo right now. And to be honest I’d rather look at a pile of dog crap then look at another blog post with stock photography. And that’s not an exaggeration. My last blog post featured a picture of a pile of dog crap. Look it up!

Sooo, anyway. The PROBLEM with social media in a small business context is two-fold:

  1. You can only talk to so many people one at a time. Bottom line, social doesn’t scale. It just doesn’t. You can try blasting all your friends with promotional stuff, in an effort to MAKE it scale. See how long you can do that before you’re banned from the network.
  2. As a small business owner, it’s likely you don’t have a budget set aside for a fancy company to manage all your social stuff. And besides, outsourcing your social media presence may make sense for Pepsi, but not for you or me. Very few people are going to take you seriously if you can’t be bothered to even show up for yourself.

So what gives? Where’s the win-win here?

Social media for small business makes sense when…

…you realize that OTHER PEOPLE are what makes social media scale. Social is the ultimate platform for facilitating word of mouth. There are myriad other benefits which I’ll be discussing in other posts, no doubt. But when it comes to whether or not social media scales, remember that it DOES scale. It just won’t be YOU that makes it happen.

You showing up to the table means a lot more than you think it does. Just show up, meet and greet. Yeah, there’s a learning curve. But since when do awesome new tools have no learning curve? Yeah, it’ll take a minute to get a hang of how twitter works. It’s worth your time.

You can’t talk to every single person in your target audience. And you don’t need to. This is the paradigm shift a lot of small business owners are missing. Old advertising meant you try to reach everybody. These days, just reach out and engage with everyone you can.

Do right by a few, and you’ll earn true advocates for your brand. And then they tell others…word of mouth has a beautiful simplicity to it. It also has a beautiful free-ness to it. I can tell you first hand that it works.

And you don’t need to buy any dang $2k strategy courses or any guru-endorsed “social media secrets” products either. Unless I’m the one who publishes it. Just so you know:) Peace and have fun with it!

Psssssttt…

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