Any company that is looking to expand in today’s world of business will understand the important of having an active online presence. As Twitter has over 5.5 million users, are these markets that small businesses can afford to overlook?
Businesses may wonder, however, whether investing not only money but man hours into social media will actively help small business ROI? You’ve only got to explore social media for a matter of minutes to see how much the big corporations are willing to invest in order to create unique, quality content that their followers will love and to push new promotions. Some of the bonuses of social media are clear, however does it increase your brand visibility over traditional forms of marketing or having a business trademark? Turning to social media a right choice to build revenue for small business?
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There is a reason why every successful business has several social media profiles and why marketers will tell you to start utilising social media. Alongside their search engine optimisation benefits, these platforms can keep your business directly in the face of your target audience, without having to spam or annoy your audience to gain their attention. Integrating social media into all marketing campaigns has become integral to building company online presence.
A simple and brilliant example of this can be seen in Coca Cola’s “share a coke with a friend” campaign. The process of placing random names onto Coke bottles not only encourages customers to purchase a bottle with their name it also then invites them to share a picture of their find across the social media world. Thus the famous red and white bottle appears all over social media giving their brand massive levels of exposure without Coke having to lift a finger.
Although it’s clear that no small business can realistically replicate Coke’s efforts for their business, it does show how much relevance they place on their online presence. But how can small businesses use limited time to achieve the strong returns from social media? There is an endless supply of articles showing how having customer interaction and creating unique interesting content is the key to being successful on social media. That does tend to follow a dangerous tendency within social media marketing to believe that you can get something for nothing and just posting updates will lead to conversions, following ideas presented like “social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC” (source: hubspot.com). It is understandable how small businesses can be led to believe that investing man hours in social media will help your business grow.
However some statistics collected by Manta paint a very different picture: “61% of small business owners say they haven’t seen any return on investment from their engagement online”. It also highlighted that small businesses are increasing their time spent on social media from 2012-2013, although it showed that half of small businesses owners still invest less than three hours a week online.
That is not to say that social media is only for the big corporations and that without the time to invest you can’t be successful. If you are going to market your business on social media a clear strategy is a must, just spending endless man hours on social media won’t lead to sale and conversions. How will your posts increase brand awareness and sales if no one see them? Look to target your own specific market and bear in mind that there are social media platforms beyond Facebook that might be better suited to your business niche. Like all marketing it’s about learning your market; just throwing endless money at it won’t be successful. Knowing and understanding your target audience and what platforms and content will suit them will ensure that your time investment on social media will be much more beneficial.
It doesn’t take a marketing guru to realize that more businesses will become web and online based. Going against the grain and not using social media to promote your business would be setting your business up to fail. When using social media, build clear objectives and goals, remember that the average Facebook user is and look at how other platforms can help build customers interaction and build revenue.
How do you think social media can be used to for effective ROI? Do share your views in the comment section, we’ll be glad to hear from you.