Four ways to use social media even when you don’t need the business.
Updated: Sep 2
“I’m too busy and don’t need more business: so why should I use social media?”
Last year, we sat down with a business owner interested in possibly hiring us to help them with their social media presence.
But, here was their sticking point: We are at capacity. We don’t want more business!
We don’t want to promote our services, and if we have a consistent social media presence, we’re worried it will increase inquiries.
Well, great problem to have, for the record.
But, it’s also a good chance to look at WHY you’re using social media for your business.
It depends on where you want to go with the business, but social media doesn’t necessarily have to translate to making business instantaneously.
First ask yourself: what are your business goals (and how can social media help with that?)
Write down two or three business goals, and then think about how you can use social media to help meet those goals. This exercise gives you clarity on why you’re using social media (other than, “because we think we should”).
Here are four business goal examples and how you would use social media (even when you don’t need to generate more business).
GOAL: We need to hire.
Social Media Tactic: Use it to show your work culture.
If you’re looking to fill positions with the company or you’re constantly having high turnover, maybe you need to tell your story better in order to attract qualified candidates. Social media is a great tool to showcase the work culture you have got going on. If you do potluck lunches, take Friday afternoons off in the summers, or loving sharing giphys as a team (guilty), then show that part of your business! Hiring is a two-way relationship, so you may attract the best person for the job once they see how the office/work location operates.
GOAL: We want to better connect with our community.
Social Media Tactic: Show your hometown pride.
Are you feeling a bit isolated from your community? Holed up in your office more days than you’d like? Missing your TGIF drinks at the pub? Even if you’re at capacity, but you have all the love for your community, use social media to demonstrate your support, engagement and commitment to the local area. It doesn’t mean you only post when you’re handing a giant cheque over to a local charity (though valid), you can also share and comment on local organization’s fundraisers and events, take photos of your favourite locals who help the business (your UPS driver, the local bakery), and share photos of your favourite spots in and around town. Great example? Susan Storie of Mariposa Design is a champion at supporting local businesses through her social media presence.
GOAL: We want to pivot/change/expand the business in the future.
Social Media Tactic: Connect with industry leaders through social media.
Let’s say you run a kayak rental shop by the water. Most customers usually come for day trips and rent by the hour. You’re so swamped each day, you can hardly keep up. But, you need to make a bigger profit and reduce your burn out. You’re ready to switch gears with what you’ve already got.
You have an idea for a business pivot: you want to start to create guided tours packages that sell for more and require less customer management. You see that gap, but don’t know where to start.
Use social media to research and start to connect with others operating similar business models. Send them direct messages, asking for a phone call or coffee to pick their brains. Also, join relevant Facebook groups or look up relevant hashtags to see what else is out there. This isn’t an opportunity to steal ideas; rather, it’s a chance to connect with a community that already exists and can provide opportunities for mentorship, connection and support – that will help you transition in a smooth way.
GOAL: You want a new kind of customer.
Social Media Tactic: Try out a new social media platform.
If you’ve been dealing with and attracting crappy clients for a long time, we bet you’re tired. Great news: you can shift your client base using social media marketing!
Here’s what we mean: let’s say you’re an accountant and majority of your clients are high-needs entrepreneurs who never get back to you. They exhaust you, but you’re grateful for the work. However, you’ve always wanted to work with organizations and not-for-profits. Well, these players are usually hanging out on Twitter and LinkedIn as opposed to Facebook and Instagram. Start to create activity on Twitter, interact with these ideal clients by commenting on their posts, and provide value with well-written LinkedIn Articles – and you’ll start to see a shift in inquiries, ultimately allowing you to respectfully break up with the clients you don’t like working with today.
These are just a few examples of how you can use social media to shift your business – even if you’re swamped, haven’t sat down for lunch since Saturday, and don’t remember your dog’s name (it’s Teddy). Ultimately, you have control over your busyness, and maybe social media can help you solve that problem.