The benefit of using social media as a SMB

Article sourced from ‘eMarketer digital intelligence’. Read the full article here.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) surveyed in April 2011 by Pitney Bowes rated social media as highly cost-effective and easy to use, rivalling email in its benefits. More than seven in 10 SMBs surveyed by social marketing platform Roost in May said social media was effective as a marketing channel, and nearly 90% thought it was at least somewhat important to their marketing efforts.

“Creating a profile on a social network” was named the most effective marketing or advertising tactic used according to the nearly 5,000 local business owners polled by Merchant Circle in June 2011. Additionally, 34% of respondents in the Deluxe Corp. study who had used social media said it helped them reach new potential customers and 15% said it increased sales.

SMileS Comment;

Me Consultancy Ltd is an example of a SMB using social media to provide us with exposure. Social marketing has been a great networking tool helping us to generating new business and strengthening our relationship with current contacts. Firstly, we developed our ‘Linked In Company profile’ account which is our primary method of networking. SMileS which is ME Consultancy sister company even generated business from an event group on ‘Linked In’ as our SMS Software was used to send out text messages reminders to inform members of group all the relevant information they would need in order to attend the event. This shows how we have used the social media site ‘Linked In’ to network with the right sort of people effectively generating business.

After the success from ‘Linked In’ we developed a ‘Twitter’ page  which is used for both ‘Me Consultancy’ and ‘SMileS’. We felt that having a twitter profile would be valuable to the company as it would be a useful method for advertising and promoting our business; plus it allows us to be more interactive than using ‘Linked In’. The twitter page allows us to tweet to contacts and businesses that we do business with; not only did that ensure good flows of communication but it also allowed us to recommend contacts to others within our network and advertise when we had new contacts. The main advantage of twitter is that it has become so popular that it makes it easier for us to connect with a vast number of people and there’s a huge list of potential contacts. However, the hard part is turning your follows into clients or customers and therefore making money out of your networking

Over the last few weeks we have expanded on our social media profiles and created a Facebook Business page. We felt that a Facebook profile page would allows us to interact and represent our company ethos and brand on a more personal level. On Twitter you can communicate with others through tweets but on Facebook you have more levels of communication from writing on each others walls, commenting on post/status/photos and sharing links. We also felt there are many features and applications that can be added to your facebook profile that we could connect with our contatcs through new communicaiton channels.  For example, we have the discussion tab on our profile which allows us to have specific discussions about things that are of key interest to us and that relate to our business industry. This is particularly useful when trying to reach out to potential new clients as it helps us to express the benefits of our services. However, setting up the Facebook profile was more challenging than setting up a Twitter, so I feel some business may be discouraged as they don’t have enough IT skills to develop their Facebook page. Thanks to the IT team here at Smiles we managed to get over some hurdles we had whilst adding applications to make our site more interactive but I would also recommend ‘Social Media Examiner’ which has loads of advise on setting up your page with their ‘how to’ pages.

Overall, we hope that through good communication techniques and having a marketing strategy for our social media pages we can improve our networking and create a large following which we can turn into customers or clients. I hope this post has given insight into showing how businesses can develop into the world of social media.

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Posted on July 19, 2011, in Market Industry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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