Do I Really Need Social Media to Build a Business Online?Mar 31, 2022
What would happen in your business if you ditched social media?
The question on so many service-based entrepreneurs' minds these days is, “Do I need social media to build my business?”
My answer: It depends!
Ha! Did you think I was going to give you a yes or no answer? You should know me by now!
First things first, let's get clear on a very important business rule ...
Every entrepreneur's business is different and will require different strategies for growth!
Where you focus your marketing and sales efforts depends on several variables with the most important being
- What type of business you have
- Who your customers are
- Where they consume content related to what you sell
- How they make buying decisions
- What kind of content YOU love to create!
That being said, social media has been a thorn in many entrepreneurs' sides for years now and it's one of the most common questions y'all ask me,
"Should I use social media for my business?"
The second most common question on the opposite side of the same social media coin is, “Can you start a business without social media?”
Should I use it … Do I really need it … Can my business grow without it?
There’s no doubt that busy entrepreneurs are sick and tired of spending hours creating social media content, posting, engaging, or going live consistently every week.
Add to that the never-ending worry of which social media for small business should I use?
THE REALITY: Social media is a fabulous tool for building your business!
However, as with all tools, you have to know how to use it AND you have to ask yourself if it's the right tool for the job!
THE ALTERNATIVE: SEO-friendly content like blogs and YouTube videos often far outperform social media posts and continue to drive organic traffic for weeks, months, and YEARS after your original social media post has long since been forgotten.
Here's a super simple breakdown of the difference between social media and SEO-friendly content so you can finally answer, do I need social media to build my business?
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
Great at Building Brand Awareness.
Social media allows you to create bite-sized pieces of content that showcase your brand, personality, expertise and testimonials. When the right audience stumbles upon your account you have the opportunity to entertain, educate, and engage with them in real-time
Did you know social media can actually help your SEO rankings? Read the 7 Ways Social Media Can Improve Your SEO Results
Nurtures Your Existing Audience and Followers
Once your ideal customers have come into your world, no matter through which channel, you are able to continue to develop the know-like-trust factor with your regular social media posts, lives, and stories.
Fabulous for Networking and Finding People to Connect with
Think of social media not as a medium for replacing real connections with people, but as a tool for FINDING the right people to connect with offline!
Allows You to Engage Directly with Your Audience
Host lives, ask questions, respond to comments and hop into the DMs. If you’re active on social media and you have an engaged audience you’ll get ample opportunities to engage directly with your folks
Cool Collaboration Opportunities
Whether it’s official brand partnerships, inviting guests to hang out on a live, guesting on other people’s lives, hosting an online summit or panel, or … really … whatever you can think of! Social media is a great way to connect and collaborate with brands, creators, and leaders with a common goal, interest, or audience.
Shorter Lifespan than SEO Content
Posts are often forgotten and engagement drops off dramatically after 48 hours. Social media requires consistent and constant content creation.
Pay-to-play Hurts New Entrepreneurs with a Small Budget
Posts created by those with the biggest budgets, biggest audiences, and biggest content teams to mass create content get prioritized.
Growing Your Audience Requires Consistent Effort and a LOT of Time Spent on Social Media
This is where a lot of entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed or simply exhausted. Growing your audience and engagement on social media becomes burdensome when paired with all the other work you put into growing your business!
Free Labour that Profits the Apps Long Before it Profits YOU!
You spend a lot of time creating content for free while the apps themselves make a lot of money from your hard work. Yup, the more time you spend on the app posting and engaging the more money Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok make.
SEO content is Searchable on Google
Content like Blogs and YouTube videos that are searchable on Google and have a specific location or page people land on that you can optimize for SEO with keywords.
What Is SEO? Read this 2022 Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Clickable Links Drive Traffic to Your Email List and Website
Because there is a specific page people land on when consuming your SEO-friendly content, unlike social media, you are easily able to include clickable links so folks can sign up for your lead magnet, join your email list, go to pages on your website, and more.
Not sure how to use lead magnets to build your email list? Go to my How to Grow Your Email List with an Unforgettable Lead Magnet bonuses page for videos, guides, templates and more!
Drives Organic Traffic to Your Website
When folks are looking for a product or service they search on Google not social media.
Think about it, who types in “swim instructors near me” or "yoga poses for plus size women" on Instagram?
If you are creating SEO-friendly content your blog, YouTube video, or website is more likely to come up at the top of those searches.
Need help writing an SEO-friendly blog? Download my Anatomy of an SEO-Friendly Blog template!
Builds Your Subject Matter Authority
By creating blogs or YouTube videos that answer specific questions people are Googling you get to share your experience, skills, and thought leadership and show your ideal customer that you're dayum good at what you do.
Repurpose Your SEO Content for Social Media
Never run out of content ideas for social media again! You can turn your SEO content into dozens of bite-sized social media posts or other assets to use as marketing and sales tools
Longer Lifecycle than Social Media
Unlike social media where engagement and visibility drop off dramatically after 48 hours, your Blogs and YouTube videos will continue to show up in search results for weeks, months, and YEARS after you originally created them, continuing to drive organic traffic to your website and build your email list.
Every Single Piece of Content You Create Will Continue to Work FOR You for Years to Come!
Unlike social media which requires constant content creation in order to stay relevant and in your audience's feed (ie. you become a slave to the algorithm and the content creation hamster wheel, forced to play by social media apps' rules) every single piece of SEO-friendly content you create continues to work for you online ... even when YOU'RE not working!
Still don’t know what content repurposing is? Read Why Every Smart Business Should be Repurposing Content
Let's go back to your original question, "Do I need social media to grow my business?"
First, decide if you want to be a
- Social media influencer with 100,000 followers
- Content creator with 100,000 subscribers
- Service-based entrepreneur with $100,000?
(Hint: there's no wrong answer!)
Next, depending on your answer you'll want to focus on the following:
- If you want to be a social media influencer you’ll want to focus on creating, collaborating, and engaging on social media.
- If you want to be a content creator you’ll want to focus on creating SEO-friendly content based on keyword research and use social media to repurpose your content and help your SEO
- If you want to be a service-based entrepreneur you’ll want to do both with a higher percentage of your time spent creating SEO-friendly content. When on social media you’ll want to spend more time engaging and collaborating on social media and less time posting original content.
SEO-friendly content and social media posts are tools and you need to make sure you're using the right tool in the right way for YOUR job!
Once you decide what you want to focus on growing you can get clearer on which strategy will best support your goals, social media, SEO content, or a combination of both!
Good luck and happy creating!