Is social media a match for small businesses?

October 30, 2018

Is social media a match for small businesses?

Before you create Social Media platforms for your small business, consider your target audience, goals, time, and budget.

TARGET Social Media platforms share demographic profiles of their users. These can be accessed through an online search. When selecting Social Media that best fits your business, compare these demographics with your current customers and prospects you are trying to reach – – look for a “match.” Once you start to use Social Media, keep an eye on the resulting metrics for your business page, to ensure that your target audience is truly being reached from your page. If not, you can try advertising on your Social Media, choosing “matching” demographics. Also, consider using a survey and ask your customers about their Social Media of choice, to determine the best match.

GOALS What are you trying to achieve through the use of Social Media? Document your goals and how you will measure achievement. With these stated goals, talk with other professionals within your network, to get feedback on how realistic your business goals are, from others’ experiences. This feedback does not have to be a barrier; you can always experiment on your own, but do not forget to evaluate performance. With recorded goals, you will have this baseline to return to down the road, giving you feedback and energy to make needed changes

TIME Yes, using Social Media communication channels does take time and time is money. Consider what time is available within your organization to devote to Social Media, while being sensitive to protecting your business image through this form of communication. Look for your human resources that have the following skills: copy writing, graphic design, web coding, photography, and videography. Not only will they need to post content, but they need to rely heavily on images through graphics, photos and video. Also, it will be important to respond to engagement on your business page from your followers AND seek out other pages for you to engage with, utilizing paths to additional business connections and ultimate business visibility. You may need to consider hiring a Social Media service. Our recommendation is to also incorporate some posts from within your business, to allow for real-time communication of information and to clearly communicate the voice of your culture.

Budget As “free” as Social Media may look to the personal user, for the business world, it is a pay-to-play communication tool. However, there is a return for your financial investment because search engines will acknowledge your use of Social Media and your website will be positively impacted through search results. Also, through your financial investment, messages will be seen by more of your target market and you will have the opportunity to connect with new prospects too. There is also the value of “frequency” – – reaching your target audience many times, positively effecting consumer memory. Through the use of some Social Media, your business news will become more visible by the media, as well.

Match your TARGETED prospects and customers with the demographic profile of your Social Media of choice. Document your goals, adding measurable results desired. Identify human resources to keep the Social Media up-to-date, positively adding to your business image. And, get ready to spend some money, finding your business’ sweet spot in the numbers game of how many connections does it take to move a prospect further along in the buying process.

Bottom line: multiple communication channels, used consistently over time, reaching your target market, increases sales.

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