Why Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should make use of the social sphere
We have previously written blogs about social media platforms and how to best utilise them but in this blog post we discuss why Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should make use of the social sphere.
Over the past ten years or so, SMEs have become more dependant on social media as a way of generating sales and increasing brand awareness. Many start-ups rely on online networking to promote their latest products or services and interact with potential clients.
In the current climate, it is even harder for small businesses and recent start-ups to make an impact. The option of television and radio advertising isn’t open to all due to finances, and even advertising in newspapers and pamphlets can be costly.
Consequently, Evolve Learning Group is seeing a growing number of businesses increasing their use of digital media. Not only is it often free or low cost, it can be a limitless tool for growing a business, interacting with clients and marketing a product in a way that you want and for as long as you’d like. This means that it is more important than ever for an SME to get to grips with each site quickly, in order to maximise their chances of growing.
How can small businesses use social media?
Many businesses use online networking in a laid-back, conversational way. Instead of forcing their products or sales message on their followers, they answer questions, interact with others and
hint to services that could be useful in a way that opens the eyes to the products or services on offer.
Facebook has grown into a ‘friends and family’ website that users will contact each other on, but smaller businesses may target users in a specific location, such as the area where the business is located to boost sales. Or, companies can opt to advertise on Facebook and increase sales their paid-for advert.
Although Facebook is a great way to communicate with users but, if you’re posting too much you risk turning people away from your content. Twitter is different; galvanised in a world of trends and hashtags, the site allows plenty of room to set up lists, keep an eye on competitors and previous clients and is a great hive of shareable content.
Then you have Google+. If you’re a company that prides itself on gaining custom via your website, then this is an excellent tool to use. Google rankings and Google go hand-in-hand, so making sure that your profile is given the best chance of prosperity is an excellent way to drive your sales.
Finally, LinkedIn is a site built for users to connect with each other, with each profile page laid out in a similar format to an online CV rather than a traditional profile page. You can attach your current employer, former employers, information about previous and current roles, work that you’re proud of and even receive endorsements from other users.
LinkedIn is a good ground for head-hunting so if you’re an individual, it’s a good way to search and apply for employment. However, it’s just as handy for SMEs who can use communities and connections in a similar way to Google+, while also connecting with other local businesses to grow their following.
What is the second-most popular search engine after Google?
YouTube. Many small businesses use promotional videos or ‘how to’ guides on YouTube, as a secondary way of increasing traffic to their website. If the company has a niche, then there’s more scope for a boom in sales if the nature of the video is not only engaging but also helpful.
What are the top 3 dos and don’ts of social media?
- Keep things moving. Don’t forget that you’ve got your account for a reason, so there’s no point setting it up and then thinking that it will run itself. It won’t. Get socialising.
- Share engaging content. Most users will take to others that are offering content that they may not have seen before or may interest their followers, so if you’re sharing great content, more users will be directed to your profile as a result.
- Engage and be conversational. If someone’s just asked you a question, answer them. If someone’s been in touch, wish them a good day. Employ many of the tactics that you’d use in a face-to-face environment.
- Post offensive content. Remember, these are your customers so anything negative could impact on your sales.
- Flood accounts. By this, we mean that you don’t need to post a million things each hour. Keep it flowing but be clever about it and only post what has a real value to the person you are trying to engage with. There’s plenty of scheduling software available so you can upload content and then set it to all be posted at different times.
- Neglect your profile. Keep it current and if you’ve got a website, add that in too.
There’s no perfect science to social media and with more platforms being born with each passing week, it’s a long-game that SMEs should look to join in on to support their business strategy and growth.
Read our previous blog posts about the use of social media: https://www.evolvelearninggroup.co.uk/the-learning-revolution/
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