Updated Version: This post was originally posted on 7th January 2015 and received multiple updates since. Due to the recent news regarding J D Wetherspoon closing all their social media accounts.

I asked readers to do this a few years ago.

“Ask yourself this. How much would your business lose if they took away social media? Think about that question for a moment! Still thinking?

If you didn’t have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile, would it really matter to your revenue or your business growth?

I know a lot of businesses aren’t making the best use of using social media. That means they are losing money because they’re wasting valuable marketing and business time.

Gone are the days of easy wins but it seems some business owners are still chasing them.

Let’s think about this. Your business needs revenue. Can you sit around hoping that someone will see your post or tweet and contact you with the contract you desperately need? No, I didn’t think so. So, why is it you’re still waiting?

Time in business is like dog years. Make your time count. Failing in business happens so fast, even flies live longer.”

Last week J D Wetherspoon announced they are leaving social media forever. All 900 accounts under their control.

Mike McGrail, from Velocity Digital, said, “Let’s face it, with profits of £51 million, the chain is far from struggling and clearly know how to thrive at a time where the hospitality sector has struggled. Will this damage them? I’m not sure how we will ever know! Are they setting a precedent for other brands to leave social? I think not. They’re certainly getting a whack-load of publicity from the move!”

I reckon they have gained more from leaving social media from PR in the past few days than they have in the past 5 years using social media. I also reckon our feelings towards J D Wetherspoon is very much like walking into a Greggs shop. You know what you’re getting before you walk in and you know where the local Greggs is.

Danny Brown, regarding JDW leaving social media, said, “If social media isn’t working for you, or playing into your business goals and results, why waste time on it?”

There are many reasons to use social media. Generate leads, customer service, respond to negative PR, etc. We’re a digital marketing agency but decided we are better at spending more time in other profitable areas and as we grow we will utilise the platforms. We know for a fact we can generate leads using social media but we have doubled down on other areas that produce better results.

Maybe this sounds familiar to you.

There are no rules to social media. I was on a digital panel once and we were asked the question if we should use all social media platforms or just one. The rest of the panel said why limit yourself to just one platform when your audience is everywhere. I said, “Go all in on one platform, spend quality time understanding it before moving on to the next one. Why spread yourself thin, especially when you’re a small business and have little time as it is.”

Steven, I get your point! What should we do?

Since you asked nicely, I will tell you. It revolves around three principles:

  1. If you’re not making sales or benefitting your business in any way using social media, ask for help from someone who knows how to align social media with your business goals.
  2. If you can’t afford the services of a top social media person or team, spend more time out with business hours teaching yourself how to align social with your business goals.
  3. Can’t-do any of the first two, then quit or do what we do which is post every so often so people know we are still alive.

You can either read everything the guys at Buffer teach, pay for training with or Google for the thousands of guides around the web on social media.

You can use tools like Nimble and Sprout Social to help with social media management and selling. They’re not expensive, but if they were sumo wrestlers, they would be worth their weight in gold.

Can you see my point? It’s not that hard to see, but it’s definitely, even today, still being overlooked. It is still wasted valuable time with no real actionable results.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Featured image – https://flic.kr/p/6NCVqp

Steven Sefton

Digital Director
Steven is our digital director and co-founder of Think Zap.