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October 23, 2015

Small businesses are struggling to capitalise on social media

Social media is an essential marketing activity for most businesses; giving brands an opportunity to grow their audience base and giving consumers a direct channel to contact companies. Yet a recent study has shown that many small firms are failing to see the positive effects on marketing and business growth.

Companies’ failure to grasp social media

The research, from Deal With The Media, shows that nearly two-thirds of business owners (61.6%) are uncertain, disagree or strongly disagree that social media marketing has been effective for their business.

The research suggests that 43% of business owners are unsure of social media’s effect, which indicates that the main problem for many companies is understanding how it can work and using it correctly.

Why you should have a social media presence

Whatever industry youSocial media’re in, your company should have a social media presence. That doesn’t mean having accounts on all platforms – a Facebook account would be totally irrelevant for a law company for example, but pick the most relevant to you and create a profile.

Why? Because your audience, your customers, your prospective customers are all on social media. If there’s a conversation happening about you on social media and you don’t have a presence, there’s nothing you can do to manage it. A complaint about your company for example, could escalate if not interjected and cause massive problems for your online reputation. At least if you have an account, you can publicly respond and show that customer and other potential customers that you’re trying to sort out whatever issue they’re having.

But it’s not just the benefits to customer care and limiting reputation damage; social media offers an opportunity to find new customers and build your brand awareness.

Implemented in the right way, a social media strategy can improve sales – with social media advertising, you can be very specific about who you’re targeting with your offers and promotions, so you’re reaching a relevant consumer base meaning it’s more likely to convert.

Getting it right

Perhaps the main reason small businesses are failing to see the benefits is because they haven’t got their strategy quite right.

You need to know who you’re targeting, what you’re targeting them with, and how you’re going to measure it.

It’s not enough to just set up the profiles, send a few posts and expect to see results. If you want to use the channels to increase sales, then you can easily track traffic and conversions from social media through Google Analytics.

Monitor your analytics on the social media platforms, work out which posts are getting the most clicks and engagement and continue to do more of those. Your social media strategy should be constantly evolving to improve it.

Many B2B companies fail to see the benefits of social media because they can’t use it to directly drive sales; but whatever your goal is, whether it’s increased traffic to the site, establishing your company as a thought-leader or increasing recruitment – you can tailor your social media posts and targeting to these.

If you’d like to talk further about how your company can benefit from a social media presence, contact me at simon@igniyte.co.uk or on +44 (0) 203 542 8689.

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