This morning I attended a powerful presentation which offered a dynamic overview of social media and which of the major social media sites offered the best outlet for different types of businesses.
In attendance were approximately 50 small business owners; all listened attentively to gather as much information as possible. Near the beginning of the presentation the presenter asked how many had a business plan; a few hands went up. The next question was how many people had a marketing plan and even fewer hands were raised. A third question asked during the presentation had to do with the importance of accountability and no hands were raised.
Social media, as was stated in the presentation, is only a part of a successful marketing program. It has to be integrated into the rest of the marketing plan which flows from a well-developed business plan.
My concern is that those in attendance (my impression is that the majority were nonemployer firms) will end up being part of the following statistics:
- Between 50 to 80 percent will fail in their first five years
- Around 80% of them will report an annual gross income of less than $50,000.
Social media marketing has received so much “hype” in seminars, books, on-line, etc. that many new business owners believe that if they have a social media presence they will be successful. I will admit that a few businesses may “strike it rich” using only social media marketing. Unfortunately, when you consider the thousands of other businesses that did not reach their business success dreams when relying only on social media, the actual success percentage is very small.
I believe that those using social media as their only marketing efforts are afraid of people contact or feel that it offers a much easier way of growing a business than going through the “difficult rituals” of having to consider all the aspects necessary to grow a successful business.
Yes, embrace social media for what it is meant to do and augment it with a full blown system which looks at the rest of the success puzzle pieces, including accounting, legal issues, business and marketing plans, internal and external systems, and resources, just to mention a few.
Most importantly, find a support person, mentor, coach, or consultant, who will walk with you and help you focus on all the essentials needed for growth, profitability and sustainability.
If you think you have all the answers, you don’t!