How SMEs can get the most out of their social media strategies

Running a social media campaign alongside any other marketing activity is vital in 2017. To neglect platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is to deny yourself one of the most powerful tools in the modern marketer’s arsenal, and every business, no matter how big or small, should be making steps to engage with their brand audiences through a social media campaign.

The statistics speak for themselves; 1.86 billion users on Facebook, 500 million tweets sent every day, and 300 hours uploaded to YouTube every minute. Luckily, a lot of businesses implement social media strategies early on, some of them do it very well, but many are too concerned on day to day operations to use social media effectively. Here’s some pointers to help you implement a strategy for your SME.

Make it personal

When moving into the often dizzying world of social media, it can be difficult to make your voice heard, especially amongst the bigger players within your industry. Some businesses have entire departments, staffed with dozens of people, specifically dealing with social media. If you’re only running a small operation, it’ll be more difficult to engage with people on a large scale.

Here you can play to the advantage of your small business and engage with your customers on a personal level. Building the relationship on an almost one to one basis is much more valuable than using a generic template for your customers, and people respond well to this.

Create visual elements

The old marketing axiom states that ‘content is king’, and this is certainly true for a number of reasons. What a lot of us forget is that content is not just a post about profit margins on the company blog. While articles and blogs can give in-depth insight into what your business is all about, you sometimes need to consider your audience.

Using visual content like photography and videos can allow you to tell a story in a fraction of the time. You might think that your business won’t lend itself to visual content, but looking at the likes of FedEx, you can see that even the somewhat mundane world of logistics can appear engaging when you implement the right strategy.

Competitions can grow your base

If you’re finding that you work out of a niche industry, or you’re struggling to build an initial audience, running simple competitions can help to grow the amount of people your business can communicate with. These are very easy to run and set up, and the minimal effort to run them is what makes them a great operation for SMEs.

Dependent on your business, and what you offer, how you run a competition can differ quite dramatically, but a look at other business who have executed competitions well can help to give you inspiration. The simpler the better. If you’re using Twitter, participants can enter by doing something as simple as retweeting and following. The easier it is to enter, the larger the response you’re likely to get.

Learn from the best and the worst

Thanks to the amount of stories that have been shared online, there’s plenty of scope to learn from those who have implemented strategies well and avoid the mistakes of those who have done not so well. This kind of information is particularly useful to those who might not have widely ranging experience of social media, especially when there are some great guides on social media specifically for small businesses that show you how to set up accounts, etc.

Other articles on Talk Business are full of great advice on how you can use your social media tools to have back and forth with your customer base, and what you have isn’t necessarily a one way communication. How your followers and customers interact with your brand on social media can inform how you develop your strategy.

Keep developing and growing

The digital age is one that is constantly moving and evolving. Your social media strategy should be no different as you should keep yourself in a position to change with your environment. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to throw everything out the window once a week and start again from scratch. The best approach here is to keep your eyes open to any possible changes in the market and pick what trends you can latch on to.

There is no exact science to a social media strategy. The best you can do is prepare yourself to join a learning curve and properly utilise what it’s arguably the most effective resource the modern marketer has.