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Common reasons businesses give up on social media and how to overcome them

By Alexandra Gavril - July 18, 2015

SM reasons overcome

There are so many businesses that give social media “a go” and then throw in the towel a few months later when the results don’t pan out. We get it: social media can be time-consuming and frustrating. It takes time to create and to find content that your audience might be interested in. It takes effort to build engagement and to create a community around your brand.

But while it’s easy to quit, and we hear many businesses talking about wanting to quit Facebook or Twitter altogether, you shouldn’t give up just yet. In this post we’ll talk you through the most common reasons businesses kill their social media plan and what you can do instead to get better engagement and results.

Why “quitting” social media is (mostly) a bad idea

Make no mistake, there are plenty of reasons to be disillusioned with social media. From the organic reach of your Facebook page dropping to nearly zero to Twitter’s crowded feed where 71% of tweets are ignored, it’s tempting to just give them up altogether. However, there are many benefits to building a presence on social media, including:

  • Let people know how awesome you are.
  • Give your audience a place where they can interact with you, ask questions, share their feedback.
  • Create a meaningful relationship with customers and prospects.
  • Increase website traffic and search rankings and, of course, sales.

Now let’s look at a few common reasons why businesses give up on social media and ways to overcome them.

Reason #1: I’m not making any money

Many businesses struggle to monetise their social media efforts. No matter how many times you blasted out your latest sales pitch, the money is just not rolling in. But here’s the thing: if your number one reason for using social media is to get fans and followers to buy your products and services, then you’re doing it wrong.

Social media is not so much about direct sales as it is about building brand awareness and a strong community around your brand. You want to get people talking about you and that takes time. They’re not going to talk about a brand they don’t know or aren’t interested in knowing.

Those who do manage to turn their audience into paying customers (which few businesses do) are the businesses that understand that social media is first about building a community. And they also understand that that can take a long time. Not days or months. It can take years. But if you commit to it, the returns are more than worth it. So, take your time, be consistent and don’t give up.

Now, here’s another thought: what if you’re not using the right platforms? What if Twitter is not where your customers are spending time online? What if it’s Pinterest or LinkedIn? Read our post on which social media platform your business should be on to get a better understanding of each network and to determine which one to use so it’s worthwhile for you.

Reason #2: It takes too much time

time social media

If you’re a one-man team running a small business, every minute counts. Running your business takes so much of your time that you just don’t have any left for managing social media accounts. We get it.

However, if you create a social media action plan from the very beginning and use tools to help you find great content quickly, to schedule it ahead and to analyse the results, then you won’t need to spend more than 20-30 minutes a day on social media.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

If you’re spending more than 30 minutes, make sure it’s not on the “let’s spend two hours finding funny images and getting sidetracked into the latest Reddits”. Optimise your time by mapping out any promotions for the year, content mix and top sources, and schedules. This will save you a lot of time.

Reason #3: I don’t really think my business needs to be on social media

You might think that there are other ways of staying in touch with customers so why should you bother entering this social media fray? Plus, it’s not like not being there will harm your business.

Wrong! No matter what business you’re in, you need a social media presence. Your customers are spending time on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn and you should be too if you want them to know you exist. Also, if you only have a website when people are researching your business online to see if you’re trustworthy, they’ll assume that either you have something to hide or that your culture is staid and not “with the times”. What will they do next? Go to your competitors who do have a social media presence. Read our post on reasons why not having a social media presence can harm your business to find out why it’s necessary to get on social media.

Here are a few statistics to consider so you know what you’ll be missing out on if you decide to give up:

  • 72% of all internet users are now active on social media. (Jeff Bullas)
  • 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media- because 90% trust peer recommendations. (#Socialnomics 2014)
  • 82% of hyper growth SMBs say social media is effective for generating new leads. (Business 2 Community)

Wrapping up

In today’s connected world, where customers research purchases online and seek recommendations from friends and family, it’s in your best interest to have a vibrant and engaging social media presence. So make sure you invest the time and resources to build a community around your brand and don’t give up if you don’t see results after only a month. Building people’s trust in your business takes time, but it will be worth it once you earn it.

Do you know any other reasons businesses are giving up on social media?