We think everyone must be suffering from social media overload these days. How about you? How much is too much?
Social Media Overload
When we first started our business, social media was just beginning to emerge. In order to be successful, our website developer told us we needed to have a presence on the major platforms. So we did as we were told. We captured our spot on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to name a few. And, of course, we developed a website.
Not knowing whether we would develop an online store or not, we established an e-commerce friendly website. We also established a Hootsuite account to facilitate our social media posts. Education was the key when we started. What, when, and how to post was the big deal.
Four Years Later
Fast forward to today, nearly four years later. We post 3 to 4 times a week on Facebook and Instagram. Rarely do we post anything on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. We have several boards on Pinterest that we post to periodically. We don’t use Hootsuite very often and are considering cancelling the application. The majority of our contacts come directly from our website.
Advertising is something we have done infrequently. It hasn’t given us a noticeable return on investment. The old “you have to spend money to make money” doesn’t hold true in our case.
Maybe we just aren’t social creatures. We enjoyed doing the trade shows for two years, but tired of keeping extra inventory that didn’t sell. We have boosted a few posts on Facebook (yes – we know you’re supposed to actually create an ad…). Not much return there either. We have a few loyal fans that like our posts, but most of them are actually friends we started with.
So What Gives?
Is Social Media just hype from social media marketers? We’re beginning to think so. It may be a way to let people into your day to day life, but the website blog posts can also do that. We’re also a bit older than most entrepreneurs. Our 50’s and 60’s have led us into this business starting as a hobby. Mike enjoys keeping busy, and I can spend a bit of time each day keeping the website active. If we were younger and hungrier, maybe we’d be more aggressive in terms of developing leads.
What’s The Answer?
For us, it’s creating an active website with contact forms built in. We use a product called “Wufoo” that allows people to send a contact from the website. We respond quickly to these contacts, because they notify us through our phone. It’s a fairly inexpensive solution with pretty good returns. And, you can capture all of the emails if you are setting up email contacts. Probably 95 percent of our sales come through these Wufoo contacts.
We also make a point of writing blog posts every week on a variety of topics. Products are added 3 or 4 times a week. We use the Yoast SEO Premium to help us with our search engine optimization. It’s a pretty easy way to stay up in the google search. (But don’t tell anyone…)
We’ll continue to maintain a minimum presence in the social media arena. As mentioned earlier, we just don’t find it to be worth the effort of generating new business. It is only social for us. And that is fine by us.