Social media isn’t free. There I said it.
One of the biggest mistakes small businesses owners are making in the modern business world today, is investing all of their focus on social media, because it doesn’t cost them anything to do so.
Whilst social media certainly is free to create an account and free to post to an account, there has always been a cost that has to be incurred. A secret hidden cost that people tend to forget about. Time.
When factoring in how much time is being spent on social media for marketing purposes, it’s often surprising to see exactly how much money is spent here – usually because there is no physical dollar amount to measure it too.
As a business owner, it’s understood that time equals money. When you’re spending time in one area of your business, you’re taking away time doing something else. So, it’s a delicate balance of doing what’s right to best build your business for maximum exposure and growth whilst actually still working in the business.
Business owners spend hundreds, if not thousands of hours on social media. From creating the content, writing captions, posting, writing / researching hastags, engaging with customers, engaging with other accounts, “researching” content ideas (aka watching reels / Tiktoks etc).
All these things add up. They all take time… lots of time.
To give you an idea of just how much time, here’s a rough break down of time spent on social media for an average small business owner (note this is for a single platform only).
Based on this, you could be spending a min of 7 hours per week on social media (but let’s be realistic… it’s likely way more than that, especially if you’re across multiple platforms).
Let’s assume your time is worth $100 per hour. Multiply that by the amount of hours you’re spending on all things social media and bam… this is how much you’re actually spending on social media each week.
Is it a couple hundred? Is a couple of thousand? Are you surprised with how much money (and time) you’re actually investing in these “free” platforms. Are you happy with the time invested versus the amount of leads and sales coming in?
If social media is working for you and your leads and sales are soaring, then continue going gang busters. But if it’s not and you keep spending the same amount of time (or more), secretly hoping the next video will go viral and change everything – it’s time to take a step back and see how much time (and money) you’re actually wasting.
If not social media, what then?
We’re not here to take away from the importance of social media and tell you that you shouldn’t be using it – social media plays an integral role in any marketing strategy.
What you need to do is challenge yourself to think outside the social media bubble on ways to best market your business, to get you maximum reach to achieve your desired outcome.
- Could you be spending less time on social media and more time focussed on PR?
- Could you be spending less time on social media and more time networking and building relationships?
- Could you be spending less time on social media and more time building and nurturing your email marketing?
All of the above cost the same amount as social media… but could be a game changer to your bottom line.
Give your marketing a shake up and start thinking outside the social media bubble. Because social media isn’t free – it never has been. And anyone that tries to tell you otherwise doesn’t fully comprehend the costs of doing business.
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