As more of the country gets vaccinated and stores continue to reopen and operate under less Covid restrictions, small business owners are poised to see revenue gains this summer. But amid intensifying competition for consumer dollars, the lion’s share of the spending will go to entrepreneurs who know how to effectively create content on social media, according to serial entrepreneur and media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk. The key to a smart social media advertising strategy, according to Gary Vee, is to think more like a publisher and less like a salesman.
“The reason so many businesses struggle with social media is because they put out content that’s in their best interest, instead of the person on the other side,” Vaynerchuk said at the CNBC Small Business Playbook virtual event on Tuesday. “Try to put out content that educates instead of sells. You start becoming more of a publisher [who’s focused on] editorial, than you do a salesman. That simple rule is probably the best that I’ve seen people use to become successful,” the CEO of VaynerMedia told CNBC’s Seema Mody.
Specifically, he cites Facebook, Instagram and TikTok as a “requirement” for small businesses looking to hedge their advertising spend. “It’s not just about organic, it’s about ads. You’ve got to run media on these three platforms in a demo that comes to your shop or uses your service,” Vaynerchuk said, adding that small businesses should be spending “as much as possible” on those platforms.
“You’ve got to test and learn, test and learn … then you find an ad that works for your business, that’s ROI [return on investment] positive, and you pour lighter fluid on it. It’s like how you get better with your health. You work out and you eat healthy. You eat healthy and you work out. And you do it every day. The formula is simple — the execution is hard.”
Vaynerchuk’s advice comes after a year of small business closures across the U.S. and the world. Even amid improving economic conditions and vaccination rates in the U.S., there has been a continued wave of bankruptcies which in some regions were back near peak levels in early 2021, according to a report from Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable released in April and based on data through February. Still, more small business owners across the U.S. currently describe business conditions as good, according to the second quarter CNBC | Survey Monkey Small Business Survey, which saw confidence among business owners rise slightly.
“Everything in business is hard. It’s hard to find a good campaign, it’s hard to find good employees, it’s hard to do many things,” Vaynerchuk, an early investor in companies like Twitter, Uber, Snap and freshly public crypto exchange Coinbase, said of the current landscape. “But if you put out enough good content, you will attract an audience because the algorithms, or attention, is there for you for free.”