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October 11, 2016

Is Social Media Really Worth It for a Small Business?

As a business owner and solopreneur, it’s really important to know the time, energy and resources you invest in your business provides a generous return on investment.

Social media platforms are a powerful tool that can help you market your business but, unless you know how to use it to generate tangible ROI for your business, is it really worth it?

This article will provide you with a clear breakdown of all the information you need to make the best decision for your business.

How Much Time Does Social Media Require?

Even though having these accounts is free (unless you spend money on ads), that doesn’t mean there are no costs associated with using these platforms to your benefit.

Since time costs money to business owners, let’s look at the amount of time the average business owner spends on this entity.

According to a survey by Vertical Response, about 43 percent of small businesses spend about six hours per week on social media.

Writing and posting a weekly blog post can take one to three hours. So this means it takes a full day to write, schedule, and post plus write and post a blog article each week.

This is assuming you, the business owner would be doing everything required to fulfill these two marketing tasks. If you decide to hire someone to help, then the money you pay out needs to be the ROI factor as opposed to your time.

The Benefits of Social Media

On the flip side let’s look at the advantages of social media for your business. In general, there are five benefits a business owner can count on when using this type of marketing:

1. Relationship Building: This is an excellent way to build relationships with prospects. It provides an opportunity for multiple exposures to your fan base by using a mixture of information and calls to action.

2. Lead Generation: Add followers to your e-mail marketing list by sharing links to downloadable freebies on your accounts. This allows you to send follow-up e-mails and information that can lead to sales.

3. Traffic Generation: SEO optimized blog posts can help your website rank higher for important keywords in the search engines. Plus, when you post blog articles, you can tell your followers about them and share the link to your blog to read more.

4. Consistency: Staying top of mind requires frequent marketing touches. With many people spending hours a day checking their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts on their Smartphones, social media gives you lots of exposure to your target market.

Sharing daily posts and weekly blog articles keeps the relationship with your customers strong.

5. Customer Service: This offers an easy way for customers to reach you with questions, problems, or complaints about your products and services.

This gives you a chance to respond immediately to address the issue. Plus, giving the VIP treatment to customers in need shows that you are a company that cares and that goes a long way toward building your reputation online.

Tactics That Drive Results

What actions should your business be doing regularly on social media to generate the best results?

Here are just a few of the tactics you should be employing on your social media channels:

• Strategically planning content in alignment with sales goals;

• Curate content on a regular basis;

• Promote LinkedIn Pulse and blog posts on social media;

• Interact with other pages and groups to attract new followers;

• Create and share graphics, photos, videos and infographics;

• Listen and respond to comments on your own social media posts;

• Engage in social listening and respond to those who mention you;

• Promote high engagement posts with ads;

• Review analytics and reporting on engagement posts and reach;

• Plan opt-in freebies to share for list building;

• Write and post blog posts;

• Look for guest blogging opportunities.

So you can see to really stay ahead of the game, realistically, you need to have a dedicated person or hire some help to do it right.

The ROI of Social Media

Because the benefits of these efforts are often intangible, such as the amount of brand exposure your business would get, it’s often difficult to put an actual number to the ROI of your social media efforts.

But if you look at it this way, just a few new customers every month (depending on what you sell) would more than likely pay the costs of doing social media marketing for your business.

Plus, if you hire someone to manage your social media, it frees you to focus on other revenue-generating activities.

Bottom line, if you aren’t on social media, you are missing out on business. The opportunity cost of not marketing within this realm is with lost visibility, less website traffic, slower list building, and weaker relationships.


As the founder, Susan Friesen brings a unique advantage to eVision Media clients by having earned a Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Computer Information Systems through the Thompson River's University. Her experience in the Web development industry since 1999 has gained her much insight and knowledge in how to effectively brand a business and then translate that to a user-friendly, search-engine friendly, custom designed website. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School multi-media program and also earned several certificates in technology through the University of Victoria and Athabasca University. She won the 2003-2004 Governor General's Bronze Academic Award for achieving the highest academic standing in a diploma-level post secondary program.