Talks from tutors and industry guest speakers on the Search and Social Media Marketing course confirmed my opinion that social media benefits are growing. This is particularly the case if you want to grow a successful small and medium sized business in the UK.
Have you observed the size of the phone book recently? It is difficult to find a company today in the UK where digital marketing is not affecting it. For the majority of organisations, digital marketing is becoming a must these days and we’ve all heard the saying ‘Content is King’. This is so much so that people in the industry are reluctant to say it because it’s so overused. However, there is no denying that in 2015 this is what any type of marketing comes down to in order to capture your audience!
In particular if you are a small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs), online presence can show your business character and help you to differentiate from the corporate masses. The core of your visibility relies on your content and how you get that content to reach your target audience. You need to stand out from the crowd, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
At present, one of the most effective ways of achieving this is through the channels of social media. From the manufacturing and engineering industries to the retail and construction industries and everything in between, social media is beneficial to SMEs as it builds on social capital and can help grow your businesses.
Image: Social Media Marketing (CC) Jerry Nihen
Below are 3 reasons social media is considered such a powerful tool:
Social media allows you to not only connect with the public but also with other relevant companies, potentially allowing you to create partnerships with other credible brands. Offering advice and promoting content from your website, blogs and other marketing materials, enables you to share your experience, knowledge and skills of your industry.
Successfully developing a social media network and presence will in turn build your credibility as a company, and as your credibility increases, so too will your power of influence.
Some of these figures speak for themselves: with Twitter having over 300 million active users, Facebook over a staggering 1.4 billion active users. Not only is this beneficial to Business to Consumer (B2C) brands but 92% of Business to Business (B2B) marketers said it has increased brand exposure and 66% said they had generated leads from social media (Real Business Rescue).
Social media platforms as well as company based blog and able to increase a brand or company’s visibility and reach. By researching and choosing platforms that your target audience tends to adhere to and adopting practices which suit your business strategy gives you a wider net to create leads and with time, sales.
Through such exposure, you can develop your company’s identity, build brand awareness and begin to increase traffic back to your website. The website of course, should be up to scratch to continue to show you as a reputable and credible brand to do business with. You don’t want to be directing people to a site that is outdated and provides a negative user experience!
Another thing to remember, not only is social media a channel of visibility for you but it’s a two-way street. Your target audience is visible to you, sharing their thoughts and opinions, offering you insight on what they relate to. Take advantage of this… listen to them first, get to know them, interact with them, engage them and finally, react to their opinions.
Engagement is the final reason and is the most important one. To get this correct, you MUST know your audience! Hence the advice above. Without this, you have no basis on what type of content to put out there to reach them. Social media is powerful in the way it encourages society to share information, and nobody shares information that they cannot relate to or they deem invaluable. Even in B2B buying, emotions play a very strong part in the decision-making process alongside logic and reason.
Jonah Berger’s STEPPS Model sheds some light on how to get this vital aspect of interaction right. When done correctly this engagement empowers your company to be successful in creating quality content and engagement with your brand.
To sum up, for me a strong social media strategy can be an effective way to distribute content, expand your reach and generate engagement. If you haven’t already… now is the time to invest in social media.
Please do share your thoughts below on what you see as your social media benefits and if you agreed with the above?
Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, I’m always looking to keep up to date with the latest and greatest in the world of marketing.