We see this time and time again: small businesses trying to kill two birds with one stone. Who can blame them? GoEdison is a small business, so we understand the need to be more effective with less and utilize resources at their maximum capabilities. One thing we don’t understand is a common theme we keep seeing, which is smaller sized businesses hiring their front desk attendants and receptionists to do their company’s marketing.
We won’t lie – being in this industry – we’re naturally dialed-in to this problem. There are still too many small business owners in 2017 who have unrealistic expectations. The unrealistic expectations are that they get quality marketing results from putting a major responsibility like that on the shoulders of their front desk staff. This simply never works, and we see this happen time and time again.
One of our favorite quotes is this: “Trying to save money by not advertising, is like trying to save time by stopping the clock.” It just doesn't work. When a small business puts their admin staff in charge of marketing, it’s a very short-term solution to try and save budget rather than attain results. Results are all that matters.
Social Media Marketing Isn’t Free
Last year, one of our most popular blogs talked about the major misconceptions about marketing in the small business realm. Our first, and maybe the biggest misconception on our list was the fact that many business owners think marketing is cheap. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Marketing for any business, big or small, is an investment. In today’s world, when we have information at our fingertips via our tablets and smartphones, marketing is essential. If you’re looking for “cheap marketing,” you can expect to have “cheap” results. To be sure, when we say cheap results, we mean little to no results at all.
Many small business owners out there still think social media is a free form of marketing because social media is “technically free.” Well, in a sense, that’s true. It’s free to create a social media profile, yes, but it’s far from free to manage and get actual ROI from your social media.
For instance, for the last few years Facebook has made all business pay to play; it doesn’t matter the size. This means if you want your content to be seen via Facebook, you will have to at least invest a little bit of money behind Facebook ads. Facebook ads can be utilized in the simplest of forms, or you can get very granular and detailed with your Facebook advertising. None-the-less, you have to pay to play if you want your content seen on Facebook. Not only does this Facebook strategy prove social media marketing isn’t free from a dollar standpoint, it’s also not free from a pure time investment either.
When you task your front desk personnel or receptionist to run your social media, you’re paying them to run your social media. It’s that simple. It’s not free. You might think you’re getting a sweet “two-for-one” from an employee standpoint, but that’s never the case. You’re taking away from their actual job you hired them for, which – in many small businesses – a good receptionist can make or break your frontline customer service. Also, to be very direct, your front desk staff likely isn’t equipped with the correct knowledge base to properly run your social media. More often than not, you’ll end up hurting your digital brand rather than helping it.
Digital Marketing is Changing Too Fast
We hate to be the burden of bad news here, but digital marketing is evolving at a rapid pace. It’s hard for even marketing professionals to keep up – let alone someone who’s not immersed in the digital marketing industry.
With the digital marketing world evolving each day, you need a reliable source to trust. It’s 100% overwhelming as a business owner trying to keep up with the latest “marketing trends.” First off, most of the marketing trends you read are complete BS. These are “click-bait” articles. Plus, do you really have the time worry about marketing while trying to run your business? Our guess is no. One blog will tell you to focus on SEO, while the other YouTube video shows you why you need to go “all in” on social media; then, you're reading our blog (thank you!), that’s telling you to take a more strategic and integrated approach. If you try and find the answer to your marketing solution through these “trends” – you’ll come back with more questions than solutions.
You can’t expect your front desk employee(s) to keep up with the latest marketing trends – let alone expect they’ll know how to execute these marketing tactics – forget about whether they’ll have the time. As an employer, this just isn’t fair. Expectations such as these put an unrealistic burden on what’s most likely an entry level employee – or, worse, working an employee beyond their job description, which is stressful for them. This is us (GoEdison) being 100% transparent and direct with you – aka: truthful.
Amateur vs. Marketing Professional – Your Choice
Let us preface with this: we fully understand many of the budget and bandwidth limitations small business owners face. Many businesses have admin employees and receptionists doing their marketing out of what they think is necessity – not because it’s their ideal situation. Also, many business owners don’t truly know how cost-effective it is to outsource their digital marketing to a trusted and professional agency. We actually broke-down those details in a previous blog, which you can read here.
At the end of the day, you have three options when it comes to your small business marketing strategy:
- You can choose not to invest in marketing, of any sort, at all. (We highly advise AGAINST this strategy.)
- You can choose to let an internal employee (like your receptionist) run your marketing campaign. (Again, we advise against this.)
- Or, lastly, you can outsource your marketing to a trusted partner. Although GoEdison fits this category, we ALWAYS advise you to do your due diligence and research when looking at a marketing agency. Make sure they provide proven results and can provide client recommendations upon request. (Want to know what our clients say? Click here!)
We hate to say this, but you when you have an amateur marketer who doesn’t have experience, it can hurt your business substantially. This is a common trend we have seen in the small business realm lately, and we’re here to hopefully bring awareness to how big of a problem this could turn into for your company.
It’s always better to error on the side of expertise. Don’t go cheap with your marketing. Invest in your business. If you have the “growth mindset”, then actually act on it.
Today, we challenge you to Be Bold with your marketing. Go out there and try something you haven’t done. You have a great business. Now, go let the world know!