Nearly 70% of small business owners say that they haven't seen any return on the investment from their social media efforts. None.
Not surprising, really. This is partly because many small businesses are being sold on a strategy by so called 'social media experts' - the same expert that is being paid to set up these social media accounts. But most importantly, the expectations that are being set are simply unrealistic. Claims of social media opening up the floodgates to your business is misleading. By putting up a Facebook page, checking in periodically and posting updates is not going to cut it. These businesses are essentially being set up to fail.
Although, social media can be a great tool - it takes a lot of work. Social media isn't about the number Likes or Followers you have, it's how you listen and the quality of your audience. Business owners have to spend some serious time listening online - reviews of their business as well as those of their competitors. Because those, my friend, are your leads to new business. Imagine for a minute that your a plumber and your online reviewing social feeds and come across a customer that is complaining about their recent plumbing experience with one of your competitors - is this a new lead? It most certainly is.
However, before you begin stalking social media sites remember that social media is a game of patience, which can be tough to digest. Social media is about building loyalty, responding to customer service questions and building a community of supporters and all this takes time.
So, in summary, social media takes work and lots of it. Don't expect any return without a significant investment in time along with some patience.