A lot of SMEs owners are still unsure if social media should be part of their marketing plan. SMEs need to adjust to the idea that many of their users are not only online and in the cloud but are talking about their products and services while they are there. If they have a problem, they are likely to post a comment on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter. So businesses are now having to engage with their users wherever they are and find a solution in real-time before potential problems escalate. This is a level of service that many users have grown to expect. In essence, SMEs who are not engaged in social networking risk being left behind and losing business to competitors who respond to issues more quickly. If you have thought about branching out into this area here are few reasons to help you make your decision.
Why should I include social media into my marketing plan?
1. It shows you stay current with trends.
Technology is an important part of almost any business today. Even offline companies need to be tech savvy to compete in today’s market. By creating an online presence you show you’re ability to keep your company up-to-date in an every changing digital world.
2. It gives you more avenues to point back to your blog or webpage.
When you post a new article on your blog, you can also send a tweet to let your followers know it’s there and what it’s about.
Post links on your FaceBook fan page with current information about your industry.
Answer questions in LinkedIn so members know you’re an expert in your field.
Post “How To” videos on YouTube.
Set up Squidoo pages that relate to your business.
Post interesting enough information that readers will Digg or StumbleUpon your site.
3. It’s an interactive format.
You don’t want your only online presence to be a static webpage. The internet is about interacting with people and getting feedback. If you run surveys and ask the right questions, your customers will tell you what products to create next.
Plus, you’ll have a clearer picture of who your customers are regarding age, interests, and other demographics.
4. It helps to bridge the gap.
A brand succeeds when it bridges a gap inside the consumers mindset of where they are now and where they want to be….social media can help build that bridge – it can work with the consumers on answering their fears, their questions….lead them from their reality to achieving their visions (being slim, educated, healthy, green, successful etc)
5. Finally – this is where the people are young and old.
There are literally millions of potential customers using social media. This alone is a reason to figure out how to utilise it into your business.
1.23 billion monthly active users as of December 31, 2013.
945 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products as of December 31, 2013.
Twitter has 184 million of mobile monthly active users
Twitter 241 million active monthly users
If these are the sites where people are hanging out, then you should have a way for people to find you there.
It’s become a joke that people spend all day on FaceBook “wasting their time”. All the more reason for you to be there! Let them “waste” some of that time with you and your company instead of planting imaginary corn and feeding pretend animals.
Give them a way to sign up for your fan page and read your latest information. Hold contests and give away prizes. Teach them how to do something on YouTube. Give away an ebook or report.
If you need one more reason to consider social media, how about this one: It’s FREE. There’s no cost to set-up profiles and maintain fan pages. You will have to invest some of your time, though. If you feel your time is better spent on other areas, then hire (MediaWorkx) someone to keep your sites updated.
There are also paid advertising options that can be fine tuned to specific groups and interests.
Building a web presence is an important part of any marketing plan, and there’s no better way to build that presence than by social media. Share your thoughts below on how you have successfully used social media before.