When it comes to social media, there are many small businesses that believe that their customers are not active on social media platforms (which is not true by the way) and therefore they do not see the value of social media marketing efforts or the relationship-building opportunities.
On the other hand, we have big brands that are actively engaging on social media platforms, but they are taking the “social” part out of the equation. Specifically, big brands are pouring tons of money into social media, but are failing to see the desired results because they are not engaging in conversations with their followers and they are not utilizing social media platforms to connect with the friends of their fans.
Therefore, there is a social media dilemma. We have small businesses who believe that social media is not worth their time, energy, and other resources and we have big brands who are pouring millions into social media but are not effectively utilizing the power of influence (specifically how friends influence their friends).
Social Media Matters for Small Businesses
If you are a small business owner who thinks that your customers are not on social media platforms, then it is time to do a true market analysis and find out who your target audience is and on which social media platforms they engage the most. Your target audience is on social media—the key is finding out which platforms they use the most and making your business social on those platforms.
The sad fact is, there are many small business owners who truly believe in the power of social media but simply are not utilizing social media platforms to their full potential. If you are a small business owner who is not actively engaging effectively on social media, then it is time to start—social media can play a major role in business success if you utilize it effectively.
Hiring a professional to manage your social media engagements and work with you to build your company’s brand and customer interactions on these platforms can go a long way in increasing your bottom line and customer loyalty.
Putting the “Social” Back in Social Media for Big Brands
On the other hand, big brands have to start putting the social aspect back into the equation, fully utilizing the power of influence.
Big brands seem to understand the importance of social media, which is why they pour millions of dollars into social media efforts. However, big brands need to remember that the power of influence lies in encouraging your fans to reach out to their friends. Friends are powerful influencers; therefore, when you encourage your fans to bring their friends onboard, you are maximizing your social media influence.
Similarly, big brands often forget the importance of community. For example, Google + has communities and LinkedIn has groups. Involvement in these groups and participating in conversation (listening first, talking second) can go a long way in improving your social media results.
In conclusion, social media is absolutely pertinent for all businesses—from small mom and pop shops to big brands. The goal is understanding the importance of social media, investing resources into social media engagements, and remembering the social aspect of the equation.
Social media influence is incredibly powerful and can increase your bottom line—if used correctly.