Why should SMEs revise their thinking about social media?

  • “Monetising social media is undeniably difficult.” – Neil Davis, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance.

    Whilst social media might not be your thing on a personal level, there is no reason why your business shouldn’t be using it. We understand that when you run a business your time can be spread thinly, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the marketing channels that don’t appeal to you personally – especially if they work.

    Social media as a platform for business publicity has grown significantly in recent years with 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook alone. With such a huge group of the population actively checking social media accounts it seems odd to not be putting your brand on their radar via a channel they interact with by choice.

    Social media strategies are in the minority

    If this aversion to social media sounds like you then you aren’t alone, as research recently conducted by the Close Brothers Asset Finance found that only 32% of SMEs in the UK have a social media strategy in place, meaning the vast majority aren’t making use of one of the most popular communication channels around. And with only 37% of respondents seeing commercial value in social media activity it’s pretty easy to see why the majority of UK SMEs don’t think they need to get involved.

    Businesses who do use social media use it to promote their business and products as it’s a great way to grow brand awareness and increase the pool of people who know about you and what you have to offer. We have found it’s a fantastic way of bringing some personality to your business and shows off the skilled people you employ. Increasing follower numbers will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge whilst inspiring a larger audience, in turn warming potential prospects through the sales pipeline. There is also the option to reach more people through paid campaigns. Paid activity can run to broad audiences or more targeted audiences depending on what you are looking to achieve. Promote guides, increase sign-ups or boost follower numbers, the opportunities are endless.

    Putting your social media plan into action

    It can take time and effort to put in place a social media plan that produces value to your business in the form of sales, but it certainly isn’t impossible! Once you get networks set up and an idea of what you want to share, it can be a useful tool for growth and the perfect way to join the conversation. Being where your clients would naturally expect to find you is the best way to catch concerns or praise and understand how they feel about your proposition. Social media can be whatever you want it to be with the option to adjust your input and the ability to switch focus relatively easily. Once you find the right approach social media can be a valuable sales tool.

    If you would like help getting your social media activity started, get in touch or take a look at our previous blog post about how you can get more creative with your content and the 20 posts you should be sharing on social media.

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