How SMEs can make the best use of social media!
Digital is the critical element for any business and social media its blood circulation. Without a proper digital presence any business goes into the risk of disappearing as customers will not find it. Business leaders need to nurture digital culture in their organisation and make sure it is part of their DNA. Special SMEs that manage well a digital strategy and a minimum social media approach can have a substantial growth and find much more customer.
Business people often easily get caught up in the many aspects of social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, but real success lies in the subtleties. And it is all about execution and special engagement. In a recent study with by Contact Contact questioning 2000 plus SMEs about social media they found some interesting details that are highlighted here:
- 45 percent of the SMEs surveys said social didn’t take a lot of time to use—up 45 percent since the spring. This was one of the main barriers to adoption in our Spring 2011 survey. Attitudes shifted quickly due to improved education around social media marketing.
- 81 percent reported using social media to market their businesses, up from 73 percent in the spring.
- 60 percent of SMEs using Twitter found it to be an effective tool to connect with customers—up 47 percent from the spring.
- SMEs are starting to see the value in engaging with customers who post comments on social media platforms. The survey found that roughly 60 percent of small businesses respond to all comments on social media platforms, whether those posts are positive or negative.
SME’s often feel that social media is superior to them. Things go quite well with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles, and the suddenly you notice that your number of followers has been overshadowing ten times by that of the mega brands in the industry.
The mega brands in the industry only gain success in the social media field because of their dedicated team members working day and night to promote their brands on the social networks. However, following the few simple guidelines below can bring positive results for all who are looking forward to immersing their SME within the right people of social media.
- SME definition of digital and social media clear strategy and Kick-start
There is a bitter reality about social media that no matter how well written your content is, it is unlikely to make any impact if your number of followers is less. So according to Heather Baker, founder of TopLine Communications and author of the B2B Guide to Social Media blog, SMEs should be against advertising in order to kick start a following.
Fortunately, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter now offer to advertise your brand through recommended followers and suggested posts and so on, on these platforms, with a help of a small budget that is an easy and effective way to increase your number of followers.
- Treat Social Media Like A Friendly Pub and take it seriously!
According to Penny Power, Digital marketing advisor, author of Digital Business Manifesto and founder of the Digital Youth Academy, success with social media I simple if you know what the golden rule is and that is to treat it like a local pub.
Just like a local pub, social media works in the same way. You can move around and interact with people on Facebook and Twitter and get to know them and their interests. Get involved in conversations to increase your number of followers. You cannot achieve success on social networks by just telling people about how good your company and its products are.
- Learn and become an Expert, a serious one not a fake digital jack of all traders.
Never let big and successful brands make you feel superior to them just because of their large number of followers. Because the universal truth says that it’s better to have only thousand engaging followers than ten thousand people who just liked the page for the brand to enter competition.
Focus on your business more and less on the competition, because if you will concentrate on other mega brands more you will fail to reach your goals in the long run, as said by Iona St. Joseph, social media account manager at A Social Media Agency. Make sure you update your page and profiles regularly and its content in a friendly and interesting so that you can attract more people towards you.
- Make sure you monitor to improve and engage with your customers and partners.
One very simple rule that you need to follow while posting your content, or picture or video on your social media accounts is that it should be entertaining, interesting or informative. If your post does not lie in any of these categories, then you need to stop and think hard again and come up with something better that targets the people you want to follow your page.
One key point you should know is that your followers should be appreciated and should feel they are important to you, says Rhian Farnworth, social media manager at an online marketing agency. The best way to make sure that you are posting the right content is to monitor yourself and keep an eye around you. You can use Socialmention.com to find out where across the web people are talking about you and also set up Hoot suite to keep an eye on live conversation and content from top social networking sites that are talking about your brand or company.
- Very important social media MUST be treated with respect and responsibility!
You should not hand over the responsibility of your social media accounts to someone who just knows how the internet works. Make sure all the accounts are set up under the SME owners name and that the members do not take my password with them and also no message should be passed on to a third party without consulting with senior staff members first.
To finish a video of a conference I did about how to create and establish a digital presence and optimise it: