If you ever took a business class, then you likely have heard the common fact that 8 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first year and a half. For many people, this fact does not sit well with them—it’s hard to believe that 80% of people who decide to follow their entrepreneurial desires aren’t able to be successful. So, what is the explanation for why most people cannot run a business? While these business owners are amazing at what they do, their expertise usually stops at their professions. This meant that when it came to promoting or marketing their businesses, most owners had no idea how to go about it.
Then came social media—perhaps the perfect tool to change that discouraging 80% of failed businesses into a more encouraging 30% (or hopefully lower). However, to the disappointment of many, this was not the case. So why was it that even with the amazing marketing tool that social media is, why 8 out of 10 businesses still fail? How come the potential of social media still goes unrealized? The answer—social media is just still too new of an idea.
Advancements in Technology
If you look at the history of some of the greatest technological innovations, they all had a grace period between conception and reality. Take robotics, for example; the idea of a robotic man was first put into the public eye in the late 1800s but was considered sci-fiction at the time. It is only now that we’re starting to finally bring the conception of actual robotics into reality. We had a huge grace period between the conception and reality of robotics, and in this time frame, we have considered many possibilities of what robotics can do. We have thought of the worst-case scenario imagined in a little movie franchise called Terminator; however, we have also had the time to think of solutions to possible problems in the form of science-fiction author Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. Now, history is full of these examples that it seems the more time we have to contemplate the possible damages of a particular technological advancement, the better prepared we are when it becomes a reality.
Why Businesses Have Yet to Realize the Potential of Social Media
Now, you might be asking what this has to do with social media. Social media is one of the few technological advances that had very little to no grace period between conception and reality. This means we had almost no time to consider what social media could be and what it could do. Instead, we have had to figure all this out on the fly, and it has led to many consequences. One such consequence is that while it is true social media can connect a small business with a global customer base, most business owners are not sure how to go about it, so they waste tons of money on ads only to see no results. Not having the needed grace period to truly understand social media has led to a huge gap in knowledge about how to properly use it as a business asset. Fortunately, there are people out there who have dedicated their careers to closing this gap by providing the expertise needed to properly market a business on social in hopes of lowering the 80%.