In this day and age, we expect that every business will be visible and active on social media. For many people, social media is the first point of contact when making enquiries with a business. But what if your wedding supplier, or your favourite businesses are not active on social media?
For some, this may be a concern but there are lots of reasons why a small businesses might not be as active on social media as you'd expect (or hope, if you love their work!)
Staying active on social media is exhausting
Firstly, it can be a time consuming and exhausting process maintaining an active account for your business. Social media platforms aren’t geared towards helping small businesses grow or be seen unless they're paying for the privilege. In fact, algorithms often mean content from small businesses isn't seen at all- even by their followers. That means business owners have to work extra hard to even get posts on your feed. It's not as simple as clicking post when you're a business.
Talking of Algorithms, they are constantly changing. As soon as you get the hang of what the platform wants to see from you, they up and change it again. For big businesses with dedicated social media managers, this is a full time job. Small businesses typically don't have the luxury of being able to afford to outsource their social media management, nor the time to dedicate to become experts themselves.
Posts Vs Videos Vs IGTV Vs Reels
The type of content favoured by particular platforms changes too. Take instagram for example. Once upon a time it was a photo sharing app. Then short clips could be shared and they performed really well. Then IGTV came along and longer videos were favoured. Now reels are the latest thing. We can post a reel and get several thousand views in a matter of hours. We can post a photo and get 3 likes in the same time frame. The sad reality is that social media platforms are all competing for users and to stay relevant. Therefore they'll favour content types which are most likely to retain users. The problem with this is that creating videos and reels takes a long time. Especially if your content wasn't video based anyway. When things are constantly changing, businesses can (understandably) be reluctant to invest a significant amount of time (and potentially money if they need to invest in equipment to facilitate creating quality content) as there's never any guarantee that their content will even be seen.
Lack of engagement
If you're able to overcome the hurdle of getting your posts seen in the first place, you then hit the problem of lack of engagement. Just because people are seeing your posts, it doesn't mean they're engaging with them. All of us are guilty of mindlessly scrolling and scrolling past content we like or have enjoyed without stopping to like, comment or engage in some other way. The problem is that when the post is seen and not engaged with, the algorithm takes that to mean it isn't good content or relevant and will therefore show less of it in future. And this is how businesses posts are filtered out by the algorithms and why you may not be seeing the businesses you love on your feeds. If you enjoy a businesses posts, engage with them. It’s FREE and shows us what you want to see more of.
It can also be incredibly frustrating maintaining a business social media account. Social media platforms are spam central. Fake followers, fake accounts, spam comments, scam messages, profile cloning, stolen and mirrored content, trolls, lack of credit for your work. We spend more time deleting and reporting spam comments and messages than we do responding to genuine interactions. It can be very frustrating putting content out there only to be spammed. It does make you reluctant to post in future.
In addition to the above, being a business doesn't mean you're not human and putting your content out there doesn't mean your feelings aren't hurt when someone is mean, steals your work or doesn't credit you.
Not being the "camera on" type
A really big one for a lot of businesses is also the fact that not everyone is a "Camera On" person. This ones tough because the “modern standard” seems to be being a personality and a business and merging the two to create something really vibrant and happy go lucky. This is wonderful if you’re confident, an extrovert or have the time and space to be filming interrupted- but some of us are just camera off people who can't think of anything worse than being forced to perform in the way that is so often expected.
That’s not to shade anyone who does engage with their followers on camera, but for many of us the whole being a "creator" thing isn't something that comes naturally, or simply isn't something that aligns with the way we ever wanted to run our businesses. Some would prefer their work did the talking and thats OK! What it can mean however is that those businesses post less often because of all the things outlined above- if you're not delivering the latest hot thing according to the algorithm, your engagement and interactions go down. Your content is then seen by less people so doesn't have much of an impact. You spend more time creating content than the return you get, so you post less and on and on it goes. It's easy to see why some businesses are not very active on social media.
To summarise, the reason some small businesses aren't very active on social media is because it feels like a losing battle. Platforms intentionally create algorithms which limit business posts from being seen in the hope that businesses will pay to have their work seen instead. Small businesses typically do not have the budget to allow for paid advertising as even if posts are then being seen, engagement is poor. We're a society of scrollers. Then if they do figure things out and get their posts seen organically (without paying) with the next algorithm switch, they're back to square one. The same happens when a platform suddenly decides that videos are better than posts or reels are better than videos.
Social media is essentially built for creators, not for small businesses. Although many small businesses do well with social media the way in which you need to work and/or invest your time in order to be successful on such platforms doesn't always align with the personalities, values or limitations of small business owners.
If your wedding supplier isn't active on social media, but does have accounts, the most helpful thing you can do for them is to engage with their content. Like posts, comment (even if it's just an emoji) save their posts for later or share them on. It is FREE and will help them be seen.
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