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David vs. Goliath: Small Businesses on Social Media

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David vs. Goliath: Small Businesses on Social Media

Social media advertising is possibly more important for small businesses than for huge corporations with virtually unlimited money. However, due to a limited budget, fewer employees and less time, small-business owners may want to run their accounts a little bit differently than large corporations.

It’s Important…

92%

Percentage of small-business marketers who agree that social media is imperative in creating and helping their brand(1)

More than 50% small businesses agree that social media marketing helped them increase sales after two years. (2)

Approximately 70% of small-business owners see a return on investment from their social media advertising after five years. (2)

30%

Expected growth in digital marketing over the next year(3)

Social media use over the years(3)

Year: Users (in percentage of Americans)

2006: 20%

2008: 30%

2010: 65%

2012: 68%

2014: 75%

… But It’s Different from How Large Corporations Do It

It isn’t really fair to compare small-business social media presence to that of big corporations. Let’s take a look at how small-business owners should handle their accounts, and how they are different from bigger companies. (2)

You won’t match their volume of content, and that’s OK.

Corporations have numerous employees churning out content 24/7. Since you won’t be able to afford this (with time or money), consider your posts carefully. Make sure you are choosing your content wisely, and use your marketing experts to ensure your ads are interesting, captivating and clear.

You will need to track your metrics more often.

Especially in the beginning, you will want to closely monitor the following: impressions, reach, mentions, follower growth, and the general sentiment of your company and your posts. This helps you keep track of how your posts are being received and what to remedy or keep.

You will need to pay attention to the location of your followers.

Major corporations usually have the benefit of being everywhere and anywhere in the U.S. and worldwide. But you will have to take the time to see where the majority of your followers live. Perhaps it’s time to expand if a large majority of your audience is in another state or even country.

You should increase traffic to your website.

Companies like McDonald’s and Sony don’t have to market their websites that often, as it’s easy to guess their URL. For your company, you will want to link your followers to your website or websites as often as possible.

Directly answer customer concerns as much as you can.

Don’t get into arguments or try to fix complex problems in comments. But letting your followers know you are paying attention to their suggestions and praise is a great way to differentiate yourself from the big competition.

How to Maximize Your Social Media Budget

With a limited amount of money for advertising, you should consider the following when making social media accounts for your business. (5)

Know where your customers are.

Social media use by location(7)

Rural: 58%

Suburban: 68%

Urban: 64%

Senior (65+) social media use(7)

2005: 2%

Today: 35%

Go in with a strategy.

Have a plan of attack and a clear message.

Sites with most users(1)

Social media site: Active users

Facebook: 1.55 billion

LinkedIn: 400 million

Twitter: 320 million

51%

Percentage of people who access social media sites on their mobile devices(2)

49%

Expected increase in Instagram use in 2016(6)

Use free tools to track multiple channels and accounts.

There are several free tools online that help you track all of your accounts at once. Some popular ones include: (4)

Buffer

SumAll

Feedient

SocialHunt

HootSuite

Keep track of what’s trending.

2016 will be a very busy and cluttered year for social media. Keep in mind that the following are happening in 2016: (6)

Olympic Games in Brazil

UEFA Euro in France

U.S. presidential election

Small Businesses Social Media

SOURCES

1. http://www.outboundengine.com

2. http://www.forbes.com

3. http://katiewagnersocialmedia.com

4. https://blog.bufferapp.com

5. https://www.entrepreneur.com

6. https://www.streamcreative.com

7. http://www.pewinternet.org