SME’s Social Media Tactic To Success

With the prominence of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook in the media and their increasing use as marketing tools, can SME’s, particularly those with small budgets, afford not to harness their power?

With small businesses, from advertising agencies to bistros, harnessing this new media technology, you’d think not, but in recent weeks there has been dissent among the social media ranks.

In the Toronto Sun Stefani Moretti wrote that “it’s [social media] unlikely to produce positive results for most business owners who haphazardly launch Internet campaigns hoping they’ll resonate with consumers.”

Likewise, an Ad-ology study found that small-business owners with less than 100 workers seem to avoid using social media to reach customers. The study found that 31 percent of respondents do not use social media because their client base doesn’t do so. 29 percent said they did not have enough time or workers to properly tackle social media. And more than half (52 percent) will be devoting more funds to cause marketing this year.

To better understand how to utilise this 21st century marketing tool I have drawn up a succinct guide to utilising the internet to help promote and grow your business free of charge!

Build a Fan Page

Fan pages are very easy to manage and great for publishing online content. They can also be used to preview new products, services and features which can help build demand and provide critical feedback prior to their launch. A fan page can also be useful for demonstrating what your company does, allowing you to express your company’s value beyond words.

Construct a Community

Building a network enables you to engage with your friends and followers and create a community. This will allow you to interact with customers and build a community beyond your business. This in turn presents the opportunity to reward customer loyalty.

Organise Events

Social media can be an effective way of organising events and promotions, ensuring that your customer base is kept aware of what is happening.

Help others promote you

Social networking can help you find passionate customers who are more than willing to spread the word about your company, introducing future friends and customers.

Receive Feedback

Unlike face to face, social media is a great forum for asking for feedback and listening to what your customers have to say in an informal environment.

Search Engine Optimisation

By putting you company name online you not only ensure people find you business when they are looking for it, but you can also attract new customers who are in need of the service you provide. By producing the content found under your name you are also able to control your brand.

Customer Research

With an online presence and established following you are also in a position to undertake customer research, analysing who your customers are and are not.

Targeted Advertising

Following your customer research, many social networking sites allow businesses to run ads that attract specific groups of users based on what information they include in their profiles. You can also use analytics software to see where you customers are and further target your advertising.

Attract talent

In the same way that you are able to attract customers you can now also attract talented employees, turning your website into a recruiting tool by advertising vacancies and receiving multimedia applications.

Source: NOS