Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tweet, Like… Even though it may sound like surreal gibberish, love it or hate it, social media is here to stay.
Technology and communication is advancing at lightning speeds. Just as you get your head around one piece of genius that has helped your business thrive and increase in efficiency, there is another bell or whistle needed to take your system to the next level.
As most small businesses grapple with the ideas around web presence and e-commerce (many Australian small businesses still don’t have a web presence), social media is proving to be a powerful tool for consumers to vent about or praise products and services that they have used and either hate or “like”.
With social media, the old adage “one unhappy customer equates to 10 lost potential customers” just went viral! Now, friends are entering into discussions about products online in social networking spaces. Research reportedly shows that positive purchase decisions are, more often than not, based on the referral from a trusted source, so if 10 of your friends on Facebook “like” a product, you are more likely to give it a go too.
On the other side of the fence, social media has seen businesses establish their own social media pages, pleading with their existing customers to “Like us on Facebook”. Social media endorsement can contribute to consumer confidence in your product or service, which is gold in terms of attracting future clients who like to purchase from a “trusted” source. So by all accounts, and to use the lingo, it seems social media has just “friended” small business.
According to the Australian Small Business Key Statistics Report published by the Department of Innovation Industry, Science and Research in 2011, only 10% of small businesses were using social media although this appears to have increased substantially in 2012. It’s certainly likely to increase significantly in the future as more small business owners accept the fact that younger generations are making significant use of social media as a means of daily communication – the potential for word of mouth advertising should immediately come to mind.
Social networking pages for small business can present a space for your business to collaborate with your customers and share news about what’s going on with the business.
Social media now presents itself as an excellent and innovative channel to connect with your current clients and keep your products and services in the forefront of their minds. It is also an effective tool for reaching prospective customers: the friends of your existing clients.
It all sounds pretty easy! You may be thinking: “I have a Facebook account! How tricky will it be to set one up for my small business?” It’s easy enough to set up a space, but to mount an effective social media campaign is another story and, like any other marketing endeavour, can benefit from some professional guidance.
In short, social media is friend, not foe for small business, at least when used in an effective way. SEO for Small Business is a reputable provider of a variety of web marketing services, with expertise in the small business space, and credibility in the sphere of social media strategy and management. Why not speak to us about how your business could best utilise social media?