Where Does Social Media Fit In My Business?

Small business people struggle with all of the activities required to run their business. Social media can seem like just one more nice-to-do thing unless you understand how it works to support your business.

  • Before You Start: You have a business.
  • Learning level: 1 | Social Media Basics
  • Article Last Updated: Saturday, September 6, 2014

I’m Too Busy For Social Media

Last week, I met with a small business owner who said she just didn’t have time for social media with all of the activites she needs to run her business.

Maybe you feel the same way.

It’s easy to think of social media as a nice-to-have addition to your business. But in truth, your business needs social media to stay healthy and grow. Here’s what I explained to her.

Essential Business Components

Most people start a business because they have a passion for something and they are good at it. That’s a great reason to start a business.

But if you want your business to survive and grow, you also need to master all three of these essential business components.

  • Deliver excellence. Your business must consistently deliver excellent products and services to your customers. Without a commitment to excellence, your business won’t last long.
  • Run the business. You must make sure that you have the support you need to deliver excellence to your customers. This includes things like paying the bills, invoicing customers, doing the bookkeeping, ordering supplies, keeping the utilities turned on, and hiring staff.
  • Get new work. In the midst of delivering excellence and running the business, you have to make sure you have new work lined up. This includes things like marketing, social media, talking with potential customers, and maintaining your relationships with existing customers.

This diagram shows how these three components work together to create a successful business.

Why Businesses Fail

If you don’t think each one of these is important, here’s what happens when you fail at any one:

  • If you fail to deliver excellence, no matter how good you are at the other components, your customers will say bad things about you and your business will shrivel up. Delivering excellence is your number one job.
  • If you can’t run your business effectively, you will jump from one crisis to another and have a chaotic workplace. Work becomes a series of disasters and headaches. After a short time, you may decide its easier to go work for someone else.
  • If you can’t keep new work coming in the door at a steady pace, your business will go through periods where you have no work and no income. You will not be able to pay your bills or your employees, and you will go out of business.

Where Social Media Fits In

Social media fits into the third component: getting new work.

  • Your business needs new customers. Not only can you find new customers on social media, they can find you there, too.
  • Social media also allows you to have conversations with your existing customers. This keeps your relationship fresh and keeps your business in their mind so you can get more repeat business.
  • You can use social media to stay in touch with other people who can refer new customers to your business. People get to know your company through social media, and you never know who they might refer to your business.
  • You can share information about your products and services on social media, along with telling the story of your business.
  • People do business with people they know, they like, and they trust. Social media helps you accomplish all three of these.

Social media is part of your solution for creating a successful business. Make sure that your business plans and daily operations give enough time for this essential business component.