How can SMEs get the most out of their social media marketing?

In the past, the behemoths had a built-in advantage in terms of marketing, simply because they could afford it. There was no way that a small company could possibly spend the kids of money needed to use traditional advertising and spread the word in the same way that the established titans could. Hence there was a clear demarcation within the business world between the haves and have-nots.

Technology has blurred those lines to the point where it’s difficult to even see where they once existed.

>See also: Social media and the effects on workplace mentality

In particular, social media has given the opportunity to small business to market their products or services in much the same way that a business giant can. But there’s a sense that some owners of small businesses confuse the social media that they use in their personal lives with the kind necessary to bring your business to the attention of as many consumers as possible.

These individuals either aren’t making use of the technology available to them or are misusing it in a way that they’re doing more harm than good.

Whether you’re selling homemade jam or fat freezing services, the opportunity for you to compete with the larger players in the market is there. But you need to combine your social media efforts with the technological advances available to you, lest you get left behind by all of your competitors, large and small.

Analytically speaking

One of the biggest mistakes made by small businesses in the social media world is that they’ll put up posts now and again without tracking how much of an audience that they reach or how much of an impact these posts make on business.

This is somewhat akin to pushing your least-popular product to the front and center of your shop and shoving your most-popular item way in the back corner where nobody else can see it.

>See also: The impact of social on business

Analytics are available to anyone and everyone who wants to avail themselves of the information they afford. And you need not have a degree in computer science to understand it. The whole point of the big data revolution is that these statistics that were once only available to those who could pay for them are now at the ready for anyone who wants to utilise them.

More importantly, they are structured in such a way that they spell out pretty clear whether or not your posts are effective. The more you want to dig deeper into the numbers, the more specifics they’ll spill out to you about the pros and cons of every last post you put out to the world.

Every picture tells a story, don’t it?

It’s been proven time and again that posts with some kind of visual element have a much broader effect than those without. Yet not many businesses, especially small businesses, have a graphic designer on staff. Small business owners who attempt to do their own homemade designs on their posts can come off looking amateurish or maybe dilute the message they’re attempting to convey.

Luckily there is now software that makes the prospect of designing posts to your specifications much simpler and intuitive than if you were trying to do it on your own. This doesn’t mean that people can’t make mistakes with the intent of the visuals. But it does allow them to service their vision much more competently.

>See also: Big data and social media: Transforming the hospitality industry

Knowing when you’re beat

Yes, there are plentiful technological advances that can make your social media efforts much more effective. But being a small business owner means that time is precious and you have a million things that you need to take care of each day. Doing a social media campaign and keeping a steady presence on various sites takes a lot of diligence and effort, even if you have the knowledge to achieve it.

At some point, the best decision you can make might not be one to embrace the technological advances of social media, but rather to embrace someone who can embrace them for you.

Hiring outside professionals, whether that comes in the form of an employee with expertise or a firm that specialises in online marketing, could be the way to go if you don’t have the time or knowledge to do it yourself. In that way, you can keep your small business competitive and maybe even raise it to the level where you’re one of the market titans.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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