In today’s world, small businesses must accept and embrace digital media. Having said this, there are often limiting factors (from financial to a lack of knowledge) that can impact companies from figuring out how to successfully integrate a social strategy with an already existing more-traditional marketing strategy.
Reports from the National Small Business Association’s 2013 Technology Survey state that one in 10 small companies do not have a website and about 30% of them don’t use social media.
Thankfully, there are many options for small business to engage with their customers, partners, etc. through digital media. Whether it includes Facebook posts, tweets or videos, the options are endless — and quite easy to execute if the right strategy is developed beforehand.
For those who don’t believe in the benefits of social media or don’t believe that they have enough time to entertain such ideas, they’re missing out on wonderful marketing opportunities. If used correctly, small businesses can not only grow their own communities and overall brand awareness, but their sales as well.
According to PQ Media, “digital media usage among U.S. consumers is estimated at nearly 15 hours per week. By 2017, it’s expected to hit 19.30 hours per week” (USA Today article). By these numbers alone, it’s clear that to be top of mind for the consumer, one must be active within social media. This doesn’t mean you have to bump an important project off the books, but instead think of it as a benefit to the company (rather than a burden). By taking a little time each day to be active (monitor what people are saying about you, post interesting updates, form relationships with the audience, etc.) you can create brand loyalists that can take your company to the next level.
It will take time, but it will be worth it. Here are a few ways to get started!
- Find out what others are saying about you. Google or Bing your company and be 100% aware of what you find as a result. Turns out, your customers (both current and future) are doing the same thing and it’s critical to know what people are finding.
- Market your social presence everywhere. Add social information (like Facebook and Twitter links) on business cards, your website and within emails so as many eyes as possible see your digital efforts and can later connect with the brand online.
- Insert your company into the conversation. Don’t post company-centric information only. Instead, find out what your fans are talking about and post/tweet with something that relates! For instance, if you’re own a exercise company, try posting lifestyle-themed content like healthy recipes or exciting workout tips to keep your audience engaged and wanting more.
- Be successful on mobile. Over half of the adult population owns a smartphone, while slightly less own a tablet as well. Because of this, your company website, social presence, etc. must show up clearly and work properly for those who are not on a desktop computer.
Tell us: What is your small business doing to enter the digital world?