Social media likes and comments make us feel good. We already know that social media can be addictive. However even if we’re not addicted, it can be distracting and have us focusing on the wrong things, particularly in the early years of business.

Likes do not equal sales.

I see too many people, particularly those new to business focusing on how many people like their Facebook page and follow their Instagram account. Particularly in the Indigenous business space, where good news stories are great and there’s lots of opportunity for social media attention, I see some people desperate for their page to be promoted – shared and liked by as many people as possible.

People who do this are generally not very clear about who their audience is. They’re so busy trying to promote their business to everyone, they instead end up promoting it to no one, and definitely not to their specific target market.

For many business owners what’s ACTUALLY important are things like:

  • Spend time defining your strategy – what is your business, what is your product, what does your preferred market look like, and how will you communicate with them.
  • Meetings – instead of endlessly asking your Facebook friends  ‘can you promote my page’, spend time writing a sh!t hot capability statement and go and see people who are the decision makers in your market.
  • Don’t listen to your family all the time – we love our families and our families love us. But every bad singer on American Idol had a family that told them they could sing. Get advice and guidance from people who have no vested interest in your feelings. Ask them to be kind but brutal. You only learn from feedback.
  • Have a clear product offering – instead of endlessly chasing promotional opportunities, spend time refining your product – is it clear what you’re business is? Can your market understand your product? Is there a clear way to buy?
  • Count the stats that matter – instead of ‘how many followers do I have’, count ‘what is my win-loss ratio on quotes I issue and how can I improve’.

Your time is valuable.

When you have no money, there’s a good chance you have plenty of time. Which is why you’ll spend time building your own website, going to every free workshop, and spend copious amounts of time on Facebook and LinkedIn. And while you’re pre-revenue, that’s fine. But be careful that you’re not spending so much time on these things that you actually neglect to do the activities that will REALLY help you build your business.

Vanity metrics make us feel good – likes, page views, subscribers, followers are great – but they don’t actually build your business and they don’t feed your family.

Stay focused peeps.

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