Before we begin, let’s have a look at this video to know how Faisal manages to have a hold over people using his social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin accounts. #gangsofsocialmedia (Video rights with TVF)
Social media has a lot of aspects to it. Sometimes, it is utilised for fun/ to engage with/ to connect to or generate ROI using social media campaigns. It can influence your brand positioning/ reputation or sales. This has been known after the success of viral campaigns like Dunkathon.
How can SMEs benefit from social media?
SMEs (Small and medium enterprises) come under various categories such as F & B or Fashion or lifestyle or IT or electronics or pharma or events or ecommerce brands and so on. The need for a six figure marketing budget to make social media work is a misconception.
In fact, small businesses are more likely to succeed with this kind of marketing as they get to interact with a niche audience and social metrics can be used to understand their reach. This is much better than paying heed to such misconceptions and including them in their marketing strategy or business modules.
Social media plays an important role in online marketing and is an ideal medium through which an SME can acquire, nurture and increase leads. It also allows you to engage with your customer base, while expanding it through referrals and recommendations.
But if it’s so powerful, where are the measuring factors? It differs from enterprise to enterprise or business to business. Some SMEs measure success in social media in terms of likes, reached users, engaged users, sales and so on. Some of the known tools used to measure social reach are simplymeasured.com, konnectsocial.com, tweetstats.com, and hashtracking.com.
There were the times when brands and SMEs used to believe that social media is a non dependent medium. But now it is an important aspect of marketing tactics for ROI. The belief that social media is a fad is long gone. Social media is a powerful branding tool and has become an essential part of any brand’s marketing mix.
This is true for SMEs seeking cost-effective and engaging ways to connect with their target-audiences, staying competitive, generating leads and progressing. Some of the challenges faced by SMEs regarding the power of social media are:
- Limited budgets
- Lack of trust in social media
- Ignorance about its reach & opportunities
- Return on investment
Today no company can afford to underestimate the impact of social media on its business.
How to check whether my business or SME needs to go social or needs a social media audit or a third party vendor?
For SMEs which are having a ‘not so social’ presence online, this is what you need to do:
- Search your brand name on Google. Scan the top 20 links related to your brand.
- Either, you will see your brand profiles (social media profiles) or websites that provide information about your company’s products and services.
Brands on Facebook need to check the number of content posts being shared on the page and whether the medium is being explored to its core. Brands need to configure their profiles on social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin to learn and evolve.
Traditional way of marketing:
For example, if we invest Rs. 50,000 daily for a print newspaper ad, we need to understand the following aspects: The number of people, who read the ad, the sales attained using this medium.
These details have to be kept in check. The medium is right, but use it effectively by also integrating your social media profiles.
This was simple! Wasn’t it?
This can be done by your internal team as well. Think about hiring an internal team or outsourcing it, social media is the most powerful and influencer platform for your brand. Analyse your competitors using SimpleMeasured.com. If the rival brands are performing well in contrast to you, then it’s high time to invest effectively in social media.
How can social media be an integral part of your marketing plan?
Social media connects you with your customers/users. You can talk to them, use their feedback to improvise and offer various loyalty solutions to them. Social media audit: Check your engagement rate, Content strategy (use simplymeasured.com) and Twitter search to check @brand mentions.
Few facts about social media:
- The fastest growing age community on Twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket.
- 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’
- YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18-34 than any cable network
- Every second, 2 new members join LinkedIn
- LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter
- 93% of marketers use social media for business
Source: Click here!
Some ‘Do It Yourself’ insights for SMEs:
Facebook: Create a Facebook page today for your business and start promoting it via all means of communication (email signatures, in store marketing and word of mouth) How to create a Facebook page?
Twitter: Twitter will help your brand/business to connect with users on a more real time basis.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn has immense potential. Use it wisely to gain the most out of it. Some use it for promotion of services and products. HR recruiters use it for hiring new talent. Refer:
Instagram: This social media platform has monthly active users more than 200M. 35 % of the users log in multiple times. 40 million photos are posted per day. Create a page.
Google+: This page is given top priority by Goolge. You are searchable and reachable on Google as well. Create your G+ page
YouTube: This has been referred to as the ‘Second TV of reality’. Have you noticed ads or viral marketing or ads? Do try skipping all of them or next one you see next time, you will fail skipping all. Create your YouTube channel.
To stay updated: Sign-up with known social media experts such as hubspot, for instance. This will keep you and your team up to date with the happenings of the social media industry.
On your smartphone, download applications like Facebook pages manager, Twitter, Instagram and others as well. Download them to keep a track of social media mentions. It’s not favourable to make a customer wait.
Sign up with Facebook ads program, ‘Start to success’, where a Facebook representative is on support with you for 30 days for a budget of Rs. 900 daily. You can understand how to connect with your customers/users.
An example of spreading a word about your social presence.
Is there any ROI from social media?
ROI can be generated from social media. According to shopify.com, 86% of sales are earned using Facebook and social media platform (Facebook conversation rate = 1.85%).
For sales, you need the right budget, the right audience/community and social campaigns. It isn’t just about paying an agency, posting content for retainer clients and so on. Your brand should be social when it comes to your customers/users. Analyse your content strategy and use the insights well.
Use your resources wisely. You have more than what you think. Connect with people you already know. Now, the importance is on the table but how to make it happen?
There are two ways, either by hiring an in-house team or by hiring an agency (gurus/ninjas/ experts). CONTENT is extremely important, and courtesy should be given to the sources from where it is taken.
WWW celebrated its 25th internet since its inception. The internet keeps evolving and keeps offering opportunities to all of us. One of them is social media.