I’ve Been Schooled

As a small business owner, you pretty much do everything - whether it’s cleaning the dryer lint to painstaking hours trying to figure out payroll. One of the most significant roles as an entrepreneur (and one that must be handled carefully and with insight) is to conduct social media marketing, and moreover, to do it well.

Other business owners often (and begrudgingly) say that social media takes up a lot of time. I actually like social media marketing. But am I any good at it? I used to think so but my teenagers would beg to differ. I use Facebook as my primary source for social media. My Facebook is linked to my Twitter account, otherwise I would never use Twitter (in fact, I only use Twitter if there is a developing news story and I want instantaneous updates). I think my Facebook reach is good…I think…we have 2100 followers and none of them are “bought” (apparently a phenomenon that businesses use to gain attention - frankly, I don't get it). 

In the last year, I’ve been using Instagram a lot more as I love taking pictures of classes, staff, our new space (and I was told that Instagram is THE way of the social media world). Again, I thought I was doing a pretty good job - but apparently “I’ve been schooled.” According to my kids:

  • *My “ratio” is off;
  • *I shouldn’t like everyone back who “likes” me (which seems really mean to me);
  • *I shouldn't be proud of 20 likes (I thought reaching magic number 11 signified success - apparently for the number of “followers” I have, my “likes” should be more);
  • *I use too many hashtags (isn’t that the reason someone in Australia likes my posts?); and
  • *I post too many pictures (isn’t that what Instagram is for? I guess “kids” these days only post a select few and if those pictures don't get some ungodly amount of “likes” in 10 minutes for example they pull the posts down).

Huh? I hate saying this, and frankly it makes me sound and feel very old and “not with it” but what does this all mean? 

A trusted colleague and advisor told me that businesses look to the younger generation for social media insights and tailor their marketing strategies towards them. Based on my teens’ behaviour, I thought SnapChat was all the rage. But apparently they’re not even using that anymore! 

So where does that leave a neophyte entrepreneur like me? Forget “snail mail” - the only thing that’s good for is bills. In fact, how many times can you count in the last month when something “good” came in the mail? Frankly, I’m starting to feel the same about email. I actually dread seeing 32 emails in my Inbox - usually it’s junk or someone wanting something. Tell me the last time you got a “I’m just thinking about you” email. 

Apparently appealing to the “younger generation” on social media means taking advice from kids who can’t operate a laundry machine and have no idea how to make their own lunches. But if that’s what it takes to run a successful small business, I’ll put up with the rolling eyes when I celebrate my 11th like until I learn differently.