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One of the killers of small business is Bright and Shiny Object Syndrome. Allowing yourself to be distracted by the latest marketing fad is a recipe for disaster. When something new comes out, everyone is talking about it, and you can’t help but wonder if you’re missing out on THE thing that will change your business.

And when it comes to social media, it’s even harder not to be distracted. It seems like every week there is a new platform that is sexier than the last and you’re bound to hear experts say that if you’re not on board then you’re in trouble.

Add to the confusion the fact that there are countless companies popping up all the time who claim they’ll take on the workload for you so you can use all the platforms without actually using them! They’ll create content, post regularly, no fuss no muss. For just a few hundred dollars a month, you can get daily Facebook posts done for you, scores of Tweets, status updates on LinkedIn, photos on Instagram and Pinterest…there’s nothing they CAN’T do for you! You want 5,000 Twitter followers? Done. You want to double the Likes on your Facebook business page? No problem.

So why WOULDN’T you hire a social media or internet marketing company to take care of your online presence? Here’s a baker’s dozen of reasons why you might want to say NO or NOT NOW to hiring a social media expert to get you going on one or more platforms you’re either not using or not using consistently:

  1. If you don’t really like using a particular platform yourself
  2. If you don’t know if your ideal clients are using the platform
  3. If you don’t know how using social media fits into your overall marketing strategy
  4. If you don’t know if and how your competitors are using it
  5. If you don’t understand exactly what the social media provider will be doing for you
  6. If you can’t get recent testimonials from their clients about actual results
  7. If you don’t know how you will monetize more followers
  8. If you don’t know how you will measure the ROI
  9. If you don’t have the budget to do it long enough to make sure your ROI is sufficient
  10. If you have to take money away from a marketing strategy you already know works
  11. If you think using a particular platform is going to totally change your biz success overnight
  12. If your website is outdated, ugly, or has nothing worth driving people to
  13. If you’re just sick of the whole thing but you’re afraid you’re missing out on something

Believe it or not, it’s better to do 3 things consistently—even if you don’t execute perfectly—than it is to do lots of things inconsistently. You really only need about 3 marketing strategies in use at a time, but the secret is to do them over and over again, track results, make adjustments, and do them some more.

I’m not saying to stay off social media. What I AM saying is don’t feel pressured to use it and don’t jump in until you’ve done your homework. There are many great internet marketing companies out there, and there are also many who are not so great, even some who are incompetent or dishonest.

One thing you SHOULD do though? Claim your company name on all the platforms, just to make sure they’re yours in case you DO want to use them down the road (don’t forget to buy important internet domain names as well).

Finally, get yourself a good business coach who doesn’t have a financial stake in talking you into using certain kinds of services or companies. You CAN build a successful business without social media. If your biz isn’t where you want it to be, social media won’t solve the problem. Get a clear business plan and marketing plan and brand identity. Don’t worry. The internet will still be there when you’re ready.
photo credit: Social Media Icons via photopin (license)

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