Social networking is helping mid to small businesses grow by increasing their brand awareness and ultimately improving their revenues. Social media is right for your business.
Here’s what the stats say:
- 63% of mid to small businesses reported that social networking drove their sales and increased revenue (source: businessinsider.com)
- 40% of the 63% said social networking made a “significant’ impact on their sales and revenue (source: businessinsider.com)
- 50% of small business owners reported gaining new customers through social media – most notably through Facebook and LinkedIn. (source: frescosocial.com)
- Most small businesses spend between 25% – 50% of their ad budget on social networking (source: HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Report 2011)
- 53% of small businesses are currently using or will soon use social networking sites from their mobile device (source: businessinsider.com)
Here are a few tips to help you start connecting with your customers using this exciting media:
Make a minimum commitment of a year to social media. It takes a while to see results from social networking, particularly if you are selling services vs. products. So give it some time and be persistent and patient.
Establish your social media goals. Be clear about what you hope to achieve by engaging in active social networking. Make sure these are realistic goals. In other words, don’t expect a 25% increase in revenue in the first week!
Develop a social media strategy and seek help if you don’t know where to start. Like all other marketing efforts, your social media must also have a strategy. The plan should include the 5 “W”s, including which platforms, frequency of posts, resources and responsibilities.
Appoint a social media person to be accountable for either writing the content or flagging internal stories or news items as possible posts. This can be an internal person or an external resource who understands your brand, your goals and the tone of your company. This social media resource will be held responsible for driving continuous and accurate content to your sites as well as engaging in conversations and investigating new avenues within social media platforms to get your voice heard.
Track and measure your social media sites. Just tracking the “likes” and “followers” is not enough. Every social media platform offers some analytics; make sure you are getting regular and in-depth information on each site and have a resource that can help you decipher the results.
Let the stats and my tips guide you as you begin your journey with one of the most cost-effective and useful forms of advertising that exists today.