Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have a massive challenge on their hands.
Gone are the days when a cute storefront – or even a dazzling website – were enough!
People aren’t going to come looking for you unless you shove your (business) face in front of theirs and shout “Hello! Look at us! Aren’t we great!”
And that’s where Social Media Marketing comes in.
Why is Social Media Marketing important for SMEs?
1. Practically everyone is using social media
Activity on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has become more than just cultivating personal relationships with friends and family. Now users can cultivate relationships with businesses and brands too.
That’s a major reason why having authority on social media is so important.
To make best use of these platforms, it’s necessary to research which sites are more relevant to your business than others. For example, Snapchat is known for being more popular with Generation Z, but if teens, college, and university students are not your target market, there seems little reason why you should fork out for a presence there!
2. Brand image, trust and humour
You might think you know what your brand is, and you might try to put that vital message to the world, but there is something else at stake.
Brand image is no longer owned by companies.
What people perceive your brand to be is what it actually is. Therefore, your social media marketing strategy – or lack thereof – can either make or break you.
Let’s face it:
If your business does not have a good social media strategy in place, it is already behind. But this can be easily fixed and will do wonders for your brand if you start engaging with potential customers.
This can be done in a few ways:
- Stand out and be counted!
- Offer deals and promotions to get your followers excited
- Present time-limited or social-media-exclusive bargains to them. This will make your social media pages valuable
- Get your content right!
- The content you put out should NOT be a torrent of self-promotion. In fact, only 20% of what you put in front of customers should be directly advertising your products
- The other 80% should be made up of attention-grabbing content, humour, and relevant news, which your followers can interact with, find valuable, and subsequently, share. This content does not necessarily need to be about your company either
- Put yourselves in your customer’s shoes and find out what they’re going to want to read/watch. Content such as this will have them flocking to your website and following your social media pages, which will, in turn, cultivate trust
Then – and only then – can you think about selling them the product!
- Let them get involved!
- You want your social media pages to be a two-way street. Customers now prefer to interact with companies via messaging services, so let them! And it will cut your costs too
- Resolving issues and creating a trustworthy customer support interface via social media can build a lot of trust and, in turn, boost your brand image
Engaging customer service requests on social can also lead to 20-40% more revenue!
3. Recommendations and referrals
Personal recommendations are what will drive your sales. In fact, it’s the number 1 thing consumers rely on when deciding whether to buy a product. This phenomenon spans the entire purchase process: from becoming aware of a product’s use, all the way through to deciding to part with their precious cash!
Social media will lend a helping hand as long as businesses and brands are providing a valuable social experience. 71% of users, who positively engage with brands on social media, will recommend companies to others.
Therefore, investment must be made into social media presence, focusing mainly on the customer experience and service aspects.
4. Social media is cost-effective
Sure, you must spend money to make money. But what if you didn’t have to spend as much?
With the skyrocketing rates of inflation, running a business is becoming more and more expensive, and so thrifty managers have turned to social media marketing to help save some pennies.
Outbound marketing campaigns consisting of TV ads, radio and print could see you spending 61% more than inbound marketing techniques. That’s not a small amount of money.
Prospective customers will find companies while they browse their social media platforms. This will either be via paid ads they see on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, or when they’re checking out the hot content on your business page.
Businesses now need to learn what is going to work for their customers. The act of pushing their promotional marketing messages is no more! Now companies must develop skills in the art of attraction, which will encourage users to visit their sites – and subsequently, buy their products.
And they can only do this with amazing, engaging, and valuable content!
“Awesome!” you say. “I want me some of that!”
Great stuff! So, how do you do it?