A recent report by USA based Manta states that “50 percent of small businesses are spending more time using social media sites for business than they did last year”.
Other Manta findings:
• More than one in three small-business owners dedicate between one and three hours each week to managing their social media channels.
• About 10 percent of small-business owners spend more than 10 hours managing social media.
• Only 18 percent of respondents get social media help from third-party experts.
• Nearly 40 percent of small-business owners reported a return on their investment, including 30 percent with an ROI of more than $2,000.
This latest news all goes to prove that Social Media usage within small business marketing plans is increasing and showing a return on investment for those companies having a well thought out and focused campaign. So, let’s look at some key steps to take when adopting Social Media within your business that are likely to achieve results:
Understand your Target Audience:
There is no point starting with Social Media when you haven’t researched who your target market is and how they themselves use Social Media. You need to fully understand your brand and how to communicate what you offer via Social Media and how your target audience interact with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Have a strong business brand before you use Social Media:
It is very important in business to have a strong business brand and web presence, even more so if you are wanting to embrace Social Media. If you are looking to use Twitter and Facebook to enlighten target audiences to your brand and offerings then it is vital that where you point people to, ie your website, looks and functions professionally. Remember, it only takes a potential client to see free template website, mobile phone number as main contact point, spelling mistakes, cheap images etc to be put off and simply look for another provider. A strong brand should also be used for profile images / background to create consistancy.
Listen to what people are saying on Social Media:
A key element to business success is to listen to what you client and potential clienst are saying about your business and industry. Focusing in on where and when discussions relevant to your business are taking place will help you to direct efforts to areas of which to steer your Social Media efforts towards. Remember, feedback on your business be it good or bad, will help to uncover useful information of which to learn and improve what you do.
Share relevant and engaging content:
Social Media should be about Entertaining, Educating and Engaging a Target Audience to build strong and lasting brand awareness and increase chances of making sales. Audiences want to view information relevant to them and it has to be shared in a way that grabs their attention and portrays your business and brand as an expert / guru wthin your industry. The consistency of the information you share plays a big part in what success you can expect to achieve with Social Media, simply expecting that random post updates will be sufficient to drive traffic to your website is a false myth. Social Media requires Time, it requires Content and it requires a Target Audience, these factors equating to businesses now having to dedicate more finances and staff resourse to the likes of Twitter and Facebook.What you sow you reep, so think about either accommodating Social Media marketing within your daily business routine or outsourcing management to a trusted and professional Social Media management agency.