Millions of Americans use their various social media accounts every day, and yet many small businesses seem to be hesitant to get involved in these and other digital platforms that may make them more capable of connecting with potential customers. These avenues may be vital to ongoing success, and therefore it’s important for entrepreneurs to make sure their companies are doing all they can to get involved.
There are many reasons why a company might be hesitant to become involved in social media and other online dealings. For example, the time it may take to devote to such efforts may be prohibitive to achieving other company goals, or simply the worker’s other responsibilities which may be more in line with their job descriptions. However, it has been noted by many different sources in the past just how helpful it can be for owners to make sure their companies are involved in at least some online dealings, whether that means having a website that’s updated regularly or social media platforms that are monitored throughout the day for activity.
Why can social media in particular be so important for small businesses to harness and use to their advantage? The average American consumer spends close to 15 hours per week using these platforms, according to a report from USA Today. That number is expected to grow to 19.3 hours a week within the next three years or so. Despite this fact, though, many small business owners are stubbornly remaining on the outside looking in where their own social efforts are concerned; today about 30 percent of these companies still aren’t involved in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the like, and one in 10 say they don’t even have a website.
What’s vital, what isn’t?
Even if small businesses are hesitant about getting involved with social networks, experts say that there’s very little reason they shouldn’t at least have a website that looks and feels modern, the report said. This is how many consumers will try to find out about the kinds of goods or services a small business provides, and if the site looks old – as many companies’ Web portals still do – or hasn’t been updated in a long time, that may serve as a turnoff to potential customers, who could see these facts as evidence that a company isn’t keeping up with the times. The cleaner and more recently updated a site looks, the more attractive it might be to the public.
Further, it’s important for companies to at least think about how they will try to approach social media, the report said. Even if they’re hesitant about getting involved, it might be wise for them to at least make sure they have the accounts and pages they want reserved for them in case they do ever choose to start using the platforms. Facebook, for example, is probably the best starter social site to use, because it has the most users and broadest base of demographics who visit it every day, and therefore it may be easier to connect with the most people on that level. Meanwhile, other sites like LinkedIn, which is mostly use for business purposes rather than promotion to the general public, and Twitter, which is relied on primarily for social interaction, will have more niche markets.
As owners consider their options with relation to their online presence, they may also want to think about what their costs are for small business insurance. These policies can grow very expensive, but finding reduced premiums for workers’ compensation or general liability insurance may be a significant boost to any independent enterprise’s bottom line.