Op-Ed: Advantages of social networks for small- and mid-sized businesses
Nowadays, being an entrepreneur in a medium like ours is a real challenge. Well, let’s be honest, the obstacles we have to cross are many, and the support we have is almost null. Moreover, we could say that we live in an environment where entrepreneurship is not welcome.
If you are one of the few who were lucky and managed to keep your business afloat and your next objective is to expand it (nationally or internationally), gain new customers and increase profits, one of the key factors must be your marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, in most cases, small- and mid-sized businesses don’t have budgets to implement marketing or advertising tactics and they become part of their wish list, occupying a very low place in their list of priorities.
Some companies, with their limitations, try to invest as little as possible and use very ineffective or completely obsolete strategies, which can even be counterproductive, as they do not have direct access to potential clients or the right messages.
The reality is that we are still very behind in the use of innovative digital marketing tools. Not only that, but many entrepreneurs still don’t understand their power and the impact they can have on our businesses.
And if some already understand a little more about the subject, they erroneously choose to hire someone who creates posts for them, or some prefer to manage it themselves. This, without knowing, that digital marketing today is a specialty, a profession that must be studied and that requires prepared people.
A social media strategy must be well-planned and implemented by professionals and only in this way can it help SMEs to more directly contact their customers, open new markets, learn more about their consumers’ habits and make their products known using correct messages.
There is nowhere to get lost! In fact, according to a study prepared by Adglow, a company specialized in technology and advertising services for social networks, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have become a key tool for SMEs globally, which use social networks as another element of their business.
It is important to know that social media marketing can be difficult to implement successfully.
Many times it happens that digital marketing professionals have different perspectives on their objectives than entrepreneurs and this also causes a lot of conflict between the client and their marketing consultants.
Let’s see what the main objectives of SMEs should be in terms of their use of social networks:
- Increase your customer base
- Increase or create brand awareness
- Achieve brand loyalty
- Reach your target audience
- Increase the clicks of your website
- Educate about your service or product
- Generate leads
- Competition analysis
- Reputation management
- Building trust and community relations
It is not important to point out that it is also important to establish objectives in accordance with the industry in which we are. In this way, according to the public you have, you may act in a certain way.
Social networks should also be a platform to provide better customer service, and thus avoid negative reviews/comments, which can quickly damage our sales The idea is to use social networks in our favor to achieve more interaction with our audiences, have new followers and deepen the relationship with the old ones.
Finally, we must be very demanding with our content and form. Users tend to follow profiles with good, visually appealing content, and expect high quality information.
Therefore, it is essential that the digital marketing team help turn the business into an information benchmark for the industry, without necessarily associating it with your products or services.
If you achieve this, you will have moved forward on your road to success. The idea is to give users information of interest. When generating audiovisual content, we must always be very creative. Use different channels, posts with striking images, bloggers, influencers, videos, podcasts, in short, the sky is the limit.
Digital marketing today is an essential, if not the most important, part of the budget of many companies, but the truth is that the adoption of new tools is always slower among small businesses.
In societies like ours, entrepreneurs should educate themselves on the subject, follow the global trends that are references for any society, take advice from people prepared on the subject, and of course, be innovative.
Only then can we move forward, expand businesses, generate more sales, and stop acting in an outdated and traditional environment.