Now that we’re well into the 21st century, nearly every big enterprise understands the importance of social media. Some SME’s, however, may still be lagging behind when it comes to getting into the game. For whatever reason, they have yet to make social media marketing part of their overall marketing plan.
That’s a mistake.
Missing From Social? Not Good
Mega brands have made quite a splash on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Some have had content go viral, attracting a global audience in the process. Others have impressed their customers with ultra-fast customer service responses delivered over social media. Some brands deliver such great content that it gets shared all over the social media network.
Those are some fantastic results.
As you can see, these large enterprises have leveraged social media to a variety of benefits, ranging from increased exposure to winning greater customer loyalty.
Consumer research highlights the power of social media. In one study, 80 percent of UK consumers stated they would more likely make a future purchase from a brand because of its social media presence. And that was in 2013! Since then, social media has become an even more essential ingredient for marketing success.
Failing to understand this means you’re essentially walling off your business from a wide range of benefits that affect the bottom line. Not good!
SME’s Should Get in the Game
Viral videos, tens of thousands of followers, amazing content, content so good it gets reposted by others…
For SME’s, all that success can seem intimidating. Then there are all those followers the big brands have managed to acquire! How can an SME ever hope to compete?
That’s wrong thinking. Big companies with big budgets are extracting fantastic results but such results are not entirely out of reach for SME’s.
Many small and medium-sized businesses think they don’t have the budget, the time, or the talent to initiate social media marketing campaigns on so large a scale.
The fact is, success doesn’t require an enterprise-level budget and it can be accomplished by an ordinary business owner.
Some SME’s are Already Enjoying These Benefits
The Centre for Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University issued an extensive report focusing on social media strategies used by small businesses. Interviews were conducted with SME’s based in the North West of England across a variety of industries.
Key findings from the report are summarised below. You’ll notice right away that SME’s have found social media to be useful for a variety of business purposes beyond sales.
On social media, they:
- Alert customers to technical issues or service interruptions
- Provide important knowledge to clients
- Interact with clients and colleagues
- Perform marketing activities
- Originate recruiting efforts
- Engage in networking
Which Platform to Use?
The researchers in the study mentioned above also asked which platforms the SME’s were using, and how. It turns out they consider some better for certain functions than others.
- Twitter is more popular for B2B activities
- Twitter was the most commonly used platform for SME’s, mainly because it’s so interactive
- Facebook was only popular with SME’s who sold directly to consumers.
- LinkedIn was used for recruiting staff
- Some used Google+ for SEO purposes and for the reviews
Where to Now?
If you’re not currently on any social media platforms, start on at least one right now. Open business accounts, not personal accounts.
Generating content is a whole other universe to explore, as is how to generate traffic. At least now you understand the immediacy of the issue: you need to get your SME on social media platforms now. Don’t be intimidated by the mega brands, don’t assume it takes a big budget, and just dive in now.