Why small businesses need social media

It seems like people are either completely addicted to social media or hate it and avoid it at all costs. Regardless of what your personal preference is, the fact remains that millions of people fall into the first category. Businesses need to have a strong social-media presence to reach their present and potential customers who are constantly looking at their mobile device screens.

In a recent survey of 344 social media marketers from around the world, 52 per cent said they believe social media positively influences their revenue and sales, a number that will continue to grow.

As a small business, your time and resources may be limited, but you still want to compete with the bigger companies in your industry, and you can’t do that without social media.

  1. Focus on the most popular platforms

According to the above survey, Facebook (89 per cent), LinkedIn (83 per cent), YouTube (81 per cent) and Twitter (80 per cent) are the most valuable social-media platforms to businesses.

If you don’t have the resources to juggle multiple channels, focus on the ones that will reach the biggest potential audience; why focus on a platform like Google+, which only 37 per cent of businesses find valuable, when you can spend time and effort focusing on the more popular channels?

“It’s often the case with social media that users are seeking a solution to their problems, so that’s a huge opportunity for brands or companies to provide that solution,” says Charlotte Chipperfield, CEO of social-media marketing agency Chipperfield Media.

  1. B2B vs. B2C

About 58 percent of B2C companies and 46 percent of B2B companies value social media.

“The audience is much bigger for B2C,” says Clay Darrohn, founder of digital-marketing agency fishbat. “I’m possibly targeting and talking to several billion people for B2C. If I’m only dealing with purchasing managers as a B2B, I only have a very small world to talk to. They’ve valuable to both types of companies, but one is more of a scalpel approach, where the other is more of a broadcast approach.”

For example, 73 per cent of B2C companies value Instagram, while just 40 per cent of B2B companies do; one the other side, 93 per cent of B2B companies and 74 per cent of B2C companies value LinkedIn.

It is important to use social media platforms that fit your audience. If you offer services for business professionals, regularly update your LinkedIn account, but if your business is more consumer-facing and visual, focus on Facebook or Instagram.

  1. When to hire a professional

The biggest challenges businesses face with social media are not having enough human/financial resources (26 per cent), lack of a formal strategy (24 per cent), and problems building followers and influencers (24 per cent).

To overcome these challenges, many small businesses use outside resources, such as social media management software or digital or social media marketing agency.

“I recommend hiring an agency after someone has understood the value proposition of social media and has maxed out their capabilities or resources to produce good results there and need to reach the next level,” says Josh Krakauer, founder and CEO of creative agency Sculpt.

Social media isn’t a trend or a fad; it’s part of our daily routine, and it’s where our customers are looking to share opinions, find information and establish a stronger relationship with your brand. So, the question shouldn’t be if you will post today; it’s what will you post today?

Kristen Herhold, Content Developer and Marketer, Clutch

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