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Value of Social Media for an Online Business

Sometimes social media bothers me… a lot.  The time we spend trying to promote our own image to strangers would be better spent with real people.  

When we first started Avery Verse, I wanted to limit our social media to a minimum number of platforms so that we could easily manage our pages on each site. Plus, most businesses really don't need any social media at all!  I mean, come on…why is my dentist on Facebook? Does my butcher really get more business from having an Instagram page? This type of promotion just seems like a waste of time to me. 

Then I realised that to creep up organically on search engines, I needed to connect Avery Verse to as many different links and sites as possibly…especially social media.  Much to my dismay, it’s the nature of running an online business.  Now that our business is in full swing, I’m far less bothered by social media, here’s why:

It’s free advertising :)

It’s wide reaching but also able to pinpoint a niche market 

And most importantly;

It’s time-saving.  

Although some days I spend more time on social media than I think is healthy, I have to be grateful that because of the internet (and thanks to social media) I don’t have to spend hours away from home everyday to run a store where I need to show up at a time that suits the customer and work long hours to pay rent on someone else’s shopfront.  

My shopfront is your computer screen.  

I may need to put long hours into social media but I do it from the comfort of my home.  I don’t have to drop my toddler off to daycare to do my job.  So, although I was initially disappointed at how much time I spent building the business through social media -at first it just felt like a waste of time, I am now more grateful than ever to have it. 

Think of the limited number of opportunities we had in the past to advertise; television, radio, newspapers and billboards. All were very expensive and although wide reaching, didn’t necessarily reach the target market.  I was never under any delusions that starting a business would be easy but I was quite deluded as to how I would spend my time working on the business.  I thought I’d spend about 10% of my time on social media.  

The reality of an online business is that most people that I’ve spoken to spend between 30-70% of their time on social media in order to promote their businesses.  There’s a big difference between 30% and 70% but this wide variable is largely due to how long a business has successfully been in operation. 

So there you go…like it or not, social media is here to stay. My advice to new business owners (and especially those who are fatigued with social media in general) is it’s time to take the bull by the horns and get to work…your longevity depends on it!


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