Your Small Business and the Need to be Social.
If one of your regrets as a small business leader in 2011 was not being social enough with current and potential customers, is this the year you improve that issue?
As more and more businesses are discovering, being anti-social when it comes to social media is not only the wrong thing to do, it can also very directly lead to a loss on one’s return on investment (ROI).
Among the many pros of having a social media influence on the Internet is that it can be done at relatively low cost to your company, mostly consisting of time and effort.
Deemed by some to be a fad that will come and go, social media has helped many businesses reach out to customers in real-time, allowing them to offer products and services, deal with customer issues and questions, and promote items essentially 24/7/365.
Some Business Owners Just Don’t Get It
That being said, some surveys still show the reluctance by business heads to engage in this medium
According to a recent report from SocialStrategy1 and OfficeArrow, more than two-thirds of business owners (more than 300 executives were polled) indicated they would not be investing time and money in social media this year. While a large number of such owners say they understand just how social media can have a direct impact on their bottom-line, they are nonetheless not going to invest in it.
For those who are using social media, nearly 50 percent said they do in order to improve brand awareness, 33 percent look to increase their leads output, 32 percent are seeking to better their customer service, and 17 percent have been looking to enhance both ratings and reviews.
It appears one of the biggest hurdles for businesses in using social media is many of them question whether or not they are getting a good ROI in return because they don’t measure such numbers. The survey points out that an overwhelming majority of those polled indicated they do not have an accurate understanding of how their present SM efforts were performing.
In the event your company’s social media results have not been very social to date, here are some things to do to improve upon those efforts:
• Fresh content. If your content is not frequently updated, don’t be surprised when both present and potential customers don’t return to the site. Posting on a daily or several times a week basis is crucial in order to get return visitors;
• Promote the content. Make sure you retweet important industry news and events when on Twitter and share similar items on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and more. By doing so, you open the door to having others pass your message along, in essence, being free advertisers of your brand;
• Record the metrics. Make sure you spend the time and invest the necessary resources in recording and analyzing data. If you don’t know who is coming to your site, where they are coming from, when they are coming, etc. you are essentially taking a stab in the dark with your SM efforts;
• Have a game plan. Last but not least, make sure you know who is in charge when it comes to your social media campaigns. Some companies opt for their marketing or PR departments to handle SM campaigns. If your company is too small for such departments, then make sure the individual/s in charge of social media have some experience in this area. You may also look to spend the money and have your social media efforts outsourced to a company that does such work for a living.
If you haven’t already, take the time to invest the necessary resources into your social media campaign today.
Besides, you don’t want your company being known as one who is anti-social, do you?
Dave Thomas, who covers among other items small business loans, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.