Social Media: the affordable introduction to marketing for SMEs
- 28 Jun
For SMEs looking to start a more serious digital marketing strategy, the options available can be a bit of a minefield to navigate. There are so many channels and options to choose from, so we understand why many small businesses don’t even get out of the starting blocks. But, if budgets are tight and experience is lacking, it’s best to begin with the basics – which are often necessities!
Have you ever been recommended a product or company and decided to do some of your own research? Where’s the first place you or your peers are likely to go? For most it’s social media. Whether it's Twitter, Facebook or another platform, most people will look to social media to find out more about a company and its products. It’s a quick and straightforward way of giving potential customers insight into you and your business culture and often informs their decision to continue with you or not.
Let’s be honest, who isn’t on social media nowadays?
If you aren’t actively maintaining social feeds you are potentially losing prospects through not being visible where they spend time and would naturally expect to find you. Not being present on social media means you will be missing out on a huge amount of possible web traffic and brand recognition. With such huge numbers of people logging into social networking platforms everyday the possibility of some of them converting through to your website or blog is high and not offering that link back to the site reduces traffic to those who already know about you or have found you through other channels.
Let’s look at more reasons your SME should be using social media:
One huge benefit of organic social media is that it’s free to start and maintain if you're updating it yourself. It doesn’t cost anything to create accounts and personalise them to your brand or to post out to your followers. Set up is quick and simple and keeping newsfeeds maintained can be done on the go with all social media accounts having apps. It offers a free way of keeping up with customers, allowing for two-way engagement with little effort.
An active presence on social media sharing useful content that is liked and reshared by followers will increase brand reach with very little effort on your behalf. Content which is liked and shared by your followers will be shown to their friends and followers, increasing the number of people who will see your content therefore increasing brand awareness without costing you anything. It’s not unusual for people to trust products or companies more if their friends recommend or follow them – this extra level of trust is vital for increasing a positive presence.
Running social media accounts is a terrific way to stay connected to your customer base. It’s the best place to find out what your audience think about you and your products. Do you regularly get tagged in positive updates by customers? If yes, then get sharing them, thank customers for their support and encourage others to join in too.
Don’t forget that from time to time you'll get negative feedback, but social media gives you the ability to respond quickly preventing small negatives from turning into bigger issues.
Sharing business content on social media will provide an extra boost to your website authority. The response of your audience can help define how well your website would rank during searches. Once social profiles become visible in search results it opens new opportunities for clicks over and above the normal link clicks.
There’s a plethora of options for SMEs looking to start social media activity, from Instagram to LinkedIn. Whilst it might seem easy to set up and run all available channels, it’s just not feasible nor desirable. The best place to start is to match it with where your audience are likely to be. There is no point sharing to Instagram if none of your target market are likely to be there – it’s a waste of time and effort. If you know you are trying to get in front of people who would use LinkedIn on a regular basis it's best to start there. There’s a social network for every business its about picking the one or mix that works best for you.
In today’s modern world people can’t help but presume that everyone is on social media and that if they aren’t then they probably aren’t worth looking into. This might sound extreme but for younger generations and those to come this will only become more obvious. Although social media might not bring in vast numbers of sales it's a fantastic way of building brand awareness and pushing people through to your website for free! Paid options are available later down the line but for a business getting started a basic account will make an enormous difference to your marketing engagement metrics.
If you need help getting your marketing activity started and would like help working out where your priorities should be get in touch, one of our team will be happy to help.