Small Biz Advice: Climbing the Social Media Mountain


holly-photo-280x290Dear Holly,

What’s your take on using social media for business?  I run a small art gallery here in Brooklyn and I haven’t really invested much time or thought into it.  Lately, I feel like everyone is telling me I’m missing out on a big part of my audience because I’m not engaged in social media. I’m really not all that interested in using it, but I’m wondering if it is hurting my business. 

What’s your best advice on using social media in your business?



Social Media Shy


Dear Shy,

I totally hear you.  I was completely social media adverse until I started my business. Social media policies in business are not one size fits all.  What works for one type of business, could be totally ineffectual for another.

Customers are like kids in school.  Remember when teachers would say, everyone has a different way of learning?  Some of us are visual and some of us are auditory.  Customers are the same way with how they respond to marketing strategies.  Some are heavily engaged in the social media conversation, and some would never touch it.  Ultimately, you do want to diversify your marketing strategies and social media could certainly become one of them.  However, you never want to look at it like it’s the magic bullet that’s going to make or break your business.

Social media in business is one part personal preference and one part professional strategy.  When you run a small business and your time is already stretched thin, be reasonable about how much time you can dedicate to your social media strategy.  That being said you can create a very effective strategy in less than 10 minutes a day.  The biggest problem I see with business owners and social media is that they really get sucked down the rabbit hole of twitter and Facebook.  This is when time gets wasted and your strategy goes off track.

Always be disciplined when using social media in your business.  Your main goal with social media is to build a community of loyal followers and keep them engaged in your gallery.  Start small and don’t overwhelm yourself.    For you, it seems like you would benefit from posting about upcoming events, reviews of your shows, the artists you represent, and what inspires you.  People like to feel a personal connection on social media so make sure that your voice comes across in the process.  If you link all of your accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram you can update all of your accounts in a few short minutes every day.

Good luck!


Holly Howard runs Ask Holly How, a small business consulting company based out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn that works with a wide variety of businesses from restaurants to retail to art studios and pretty much everything in between. Her clients report increased income and profit, decreased expenses and a significantly better quality of life. Holly heads up the Small Business Book Club at McNally Jackson Books.

Want valuable insight into how to grow your business?  Holly hosts free 30 minute strategy sessions at The Yard in Williamsburg.  Email her to set up a time or to ask a question for the next Ask Holly How.

2 Responses

  1. Chris Mayhew -

    Brilliant advice Holly. There’s no doubt that social media can benefit the large majority of businesses in one way or another but you’re right when you say it’s never the same for everyone. Because of this it’s important to take any ‘how to’ advice that you read with a pinch of salt and decide what’s best for you personally.

    It’s also something that you shouldn’t just do because you’ve heard it’s a good thing to be doing; you need to really think about why you are doing it and what you hope to get out of it.


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