Large and small companies may leverage an investment in social media marketing differently, according to HubSpot. In fact, these average differences in the way companies of different sizes portion their budgets help to illustrate how SMBs have used this kind of online advertising and marketing to help level the playing field between themselves and their larger competitors.

For example, HubSpot reported upon these differences between the way that smaller businesses and large enterprises have allocated their budgets:

  • Small companies were likely to spend 2x as much of their overall marketing budget for online advertising on social sites.
  • Enterprises were likely to spend far more money on such outbound advertising tactics as mail, phone marketing, and trade shows.

Exploring Contrasts Between SMB and Enterprise Social Media Marketing

The figures from HubSpot do demonstrate that SMBs find online advertising an economical way to run an ad campaign, expand their reach, and even interact with prospects and customers. At the same time, they can’t expect to operate exactly the same way that big companies do. In fact, Forbes interviewed the president of one small business lender who said that his own clients tend to fail when they try to beat enterprises by using big-business tactics. Most SMBs lack the time, talent, and money to offer the same quantity of highly polished content.

Smaller companies might just focus on the basics, and these include:

  • Improving brand awareness and reach
  • Drawing in more website traffic and collecting leads
  • Increasing customer loyalty by engaging consumers and using social media marketing to assist with customer service

Basic Online Advertising on Social Media for SMBs

It might be helpful to explore these three topics in more detail:

Brand Awareness

There are several social media tactics that smaller companies can use to teach people about their company and get more people to recognize their brand. Done correctly, they may not take that large of an investment in time or money. Consider some examples:

  • An ad campaign for a local company might simply use a simple, short video that highlight some services or products in an ad that can serve as an online flier. Social sites allow pretty precise targeting, so it’s possible to reach the right customers without having to pay for useless exposure.
  • Social media managers might also search for local groups that might benefit from their services. For example, a food-related business might look for local Facebook groups for parents, specific medical conditions, gourmands, or health enthusiasts. They can spend some time getting involved in the group in a friendly and useful way. The company might mention some helpful videos that they have posted to their blog or website which address specific issues.

Website Traffic and Leads

Social pages might serve as the top of a sales funnel that has been crafted to draw interested consumers to a landing page on the company website. This landing page may be crafted to entice visitors to pick up the phone or complete a form. If these companies can craft text and maybe even an informative video that compels consumers to take the next step, they can enjoy great returns from the investment in using online ads and posts to gather leads.

Keep Customers Loyal

When small business owners consider ways that social media marketing can help your business, they should not forget about customer service and loyalty. Many studies have demonstrated that its much cheaper to keep an established customer than to have to attract a new one.

Consider these examples:

  • Social media managers can use online tools that will notify them of brand mentions, so they can respond appropriately. The right response can help enhance a positive brand mention and turn a negative experience around.
  • Developing informative or how-to videos about different products and services can also provide useful content for social media pages. This is also the type of content that tends to get shared and may help improve reach.

Social Media Advertising and Marketing Can Level the Playing Field

Smaller businesses really can enjoy the same results that large companies do, but they might need to focus their efforts differently. They tend to prosper on social sites when they master the basics for a limited amount of challenge than when they try to do too much.