Our Take: Social Media and Small Business
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
It seems that most people use social media in some form. Many businesses no doubt do very well, by targeting audiences and selling their products or services directly to said audiences. However, does it work for all businesses? Must all businesses have a social media presence? The following opinion piece looks at our personal experiences with social media as a small, service based business.
Social media can obviously be a very powerful tool. The platforms have basically put the people in front of your business, all you need to do is reach out to them. Sounds easy, right? Facebook in particular, operates a paid system for getting your brand/products in front of people. This is great, but just like Google Adwords, the bigger guys always have a bigger budget. The Facebook algorithms now appear geared towards pages that pay to be put in front of people, organic views have severely decreased over the years. Nothing wrong with that, Facebook exists to make money after all. From the point of view of a small, same day courier company, there doesn't seem much point however. Great if you are a dog groomer or florist perhaps, not so much for the likes of us.
The likes of Twitter and Instagram offer a way of getting noticed without paying, but it is usually an extremely time consuming process to build up a base of followers. This is brilliant, if you have the time to make regular posts and interact with those followers. This could almost become like a full-time job. In fact, it has and many large businesses employ social media staff and influencers.
We have the following accounts:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/CKCouriers/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/ckcouriers/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/CKCouriers
We also used to have a YouTube channel and a Google+ account. It is however fair to say, that we are not massive social media users. We have recently started to use our Instagram page more, as it allows us to post pictures of the things that we see out and about. It also appears to be less full of things we would rather avoid seeing (unlike Twitter and Facebook). Other than that, we basically make token posts. So, why do we approach our social media in this way? As previously mentioned, Facebook has massively reduced the organic reach of page posts, so we see little point in posting regularly anymore. Twitter is a good way to interact with others who are discussing similar things, but we generally don't have the time to do so. Unfortunately, we can't employ someone just to run our social media accounts, which is basically what is required now to be heard in the vast expanse of noise on there.
We also operate on a strictly business to business level. This means that unlike retailers, hair salons etc, we do not deal with the public. How many businesses look on social media (other than LinkedIn) for a new supplier? My guess is not too many, I know that we certainly don't. This is another reason why we have never really put our all in to social media. It is difficult to show case a courier service, well, more difficult than a nice t-shirt or pair of sunglasses anyway.
With all of these things in mind, why do we use social media accounts at all? There is a simple answer to this. Social media allows us to show that we are a real business, with real people. For that, we thank the various platforms. We won't be buying any advertising any time soon from you though, sorry.