Are small businesses fully appreciating how social media can fit into their marketing strategies? According to recent research released by eMarketer, it is apparent that many small businesses are confused about how engagement in social media can help benefit their company.
Over half of the small-business decision-makers surveyed in June by small-business insurance provider Hiscox said they used social media for business purposes, and only12% considered it a “must.”
However, 50% of respondents said the marketing tool they could not do without was word-of-mouth… Just 4% said the same about social media, even though you could argue the goal of most social media marketing efforts is to create word-of-mouth type activity.
Why should small businesses begin to use social media?
Lead generation – targeting your audience can be done via social media at a granular level, such as by location, sector or keyword. Identifying where your potential customers are spending their time online, and participating in conversations around your industry sector can help you secure qualified leads through social media, to maximise your sales efforts.
Cost effective – the main inital costs for utilising social media is time & effort resources. Compared to other forms of marketing (print, broadcast, online etc) the cost to market your business and your brand in social media is relatively low.
Improved customer service – social media offers opportunities to maintain and improve communications between customers and your company. Offering the facility to allow propspective and current customers to feedback can offer great insights to improving your services, whilst engagement may increase the probability of returning customers.
Traffic acquisition – referrals to your website can increase with your extended social media presence. Promoting your products and services on heavily used sites such as Twitter and Facebook can directly improve your inbound traffic to your website.
Do you think your business is using social media effectively?