“This jewelry is so beautiful! It’s magnetic? Are you on social media? How come you guys aren’t as big as Lokai?”
… I was asked this question by Alyssa, who is 20 years old and works at the Vape kiosk. My initial thought was because a social media presence was non-existent, so yes, I interpreted her question to really translate to, “How come I have never seen you on Facebook?” (Or insert Twitter, Instagram, etc.).. I was recently hired as the Sales and Marketing Manager for MagneHealth jewelry, and I had this encounter with Alyssa while dropping off a display to the Rockingham Mall in Salem, N.H.
Now readers, MagneHealth is a health and wellness company that creates and markets a line of products for health and healing. It is a small business that hired me to implement a social media strategy where I hope to increase sales, but more so increase brand awareness because I find it rewarding that their magnetic jewelry can help people physically, emotionally, and spiritually, so to inform a larger population of people who would benefit from their products, was enough to make me accept.
Whether it is scientifically proven or not, the beaded jewelry is beautiful with an inspiring concept backing it. MagneHealth jewelry is sold nationwide in a number of hospital gift shops, spas, boutiques, natural food stores, and pharmacies, so the lack of social media activity could explain a lot.
Today, we live in a world where online sales are quite important to businesses. To be introduced to a company that has a great product that is not using a social media marketing strategy, was quite shocking. My job is to advertise and promote MagneHealth’s Official Site and MagneHealth’s Amazon Storefront, but there are still some factors that small businesses like this may have to overcome while trying to fit in with the social media phenomenon that exists nowadays.
So fellow bloggers, digital artists and authors, and those with an interest or the expertise in company branding, below are three obstacles I have found that make it difficult for small businesses to achieve desired results. Despite the obvious differences such as industry, product, and/or services differences, the following three obstacles exist but can be worked on with a little patience, positivity, and preparation:
1) Audience and target market demographics:
It may not be possible to rapidly establish a following as quick as other companies may be able to for a number of reasons. Don’t get discouraged! Social media is about trial and error, and I use the company I work for as an example because MagneHealth, although it is largely popular with an older demographic due to its association with health and healing, the majority of its customers may not be social media users. Keep in mind though, the children and grandchildren of the target market use social media and they:
• Will eventually evolve into that age group,
• May have family members that they can purchase gifts for, and
• Change is not necessarily a bad thing,…
…So if you dive into social media with the goal of increasing your target market fan base of women and men 35-65+ years old and you inherit an audience of 13 years old to 65+ years old, don’t be discouraged! Allow this to contribute to new goals.
So be patient, positive, and prepared!
2) Competition that already exists on social media:
Lokai, Alex & Ani, Pandora – I am sure you readers have heard of these three company brands. Maybe you are not a fan or customer, but you have heard of these companies. It can be discouraging for a company to feel far behind in the social media marketing race, but it is a process that requires trial and error. In addition, an analysis of what is working and what is not working is helpful, too. Furthermore, after these identifications have been made, planning the next step is crucial to overcoming any found challenges.
So remain patient, positive, and prepared!
3) Lack of engagement:
Have you ever posted a funny photo or video that not one friend of yours liked or shared? Whether you expected it to go viral or not, you just found yourself wondering, “How come nobody saw this?,” or “How come nobody else found this as funny as me?” “Did I possibly post at the exact time where no social engagement would occur?”
Maybe, but there are other reasons why their may be a lack of engagement. An already-existing low amount of followers, posts were not published at the best times for followers, or perhaps content was not interesting enough. As time goes on, you will learn your audience and learn the best times to post and what to post. Until then, analyze weekly and monthly results. Maybe you see a trend where Tuesdays and Thursdays are better days to post. Perhaps you notice that Instagram brings more social engagement because your promoting a product rather than a service. It is possible you begin to shape an expectation for your followers such as a weekly theme. Popular hashtags like #MondayMotivation and #ThrowbackThursday exist now. The possibilities are endless!
So long as you continue to practice patience, positivity, and preparation!
Is it impossible for a small business to achieve success when aboard the social media train? No. Is it easier for a company like Pepsi or Whole Foods to get the desired social media results much quicker? Sure, but we must not forget that those companies were small at one point. They had to overcome obstacles initially and still do whether in relation to social media or not.
So fellow readers, what do you think? Have you ever experienced such challenges working for a small business with little or no social media presence?
Category: Blogging, Small Biz, Social Media Marketing 201, Social Media Marketing Integration