Social media has set in a new wave in the business world. As per the recent study carried out by Internet Advertising Bureau UK, a business having social media presence is likely to attract 80 percent more customers in future (The Guardian, 2013). Especially, for small businesses having limited time and budgetary constraints, it is important to chart out an effective social media marketing policy to give the required boost to the business expansion. There are different purposes for different small scale business organizations to use social media. Major ones are discussed holistically in the essay.
Maintaining the Organization's Presence and Identity
A survey carried out by a professional Social Media Company, involving 998 small and mid size businesses in North America, revealed that around 94 percent used it for marketing purposes. They found it the best way to maintain the organization's identity and existence online (Yeung, 2014).
Corporate identity is among the top priorities, no matter whether the business is a small scale or lists in the elite echelon. Having profile pages on different platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter helps the businesses to stay connected with the existing customers. The best aspect of social media is that it gives an opportunity of direct engagement with the clients. With Facebook having around 1.2 billion members and Twitter having 250 million active users monthly, it is obviously the best channel for startups to raise awareness about their products, create connection and engaging with customers to drive revenues (Benwell, 2014).
A recent research report from Ad-ology states that in 2014, small businesses are expected to spend more on building online presence via active engagement on social networks. A similar research report from BIA/Kelsey stated that Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare were the main platforms used by SMBs in 2013 for spreading brand awareness (The Guardian, 2013).
Business Expansion and Reaching out to New Customers
The findings from the survey, conducted by LinkedIn, revealed that around 65 percent SMBs( Small and midsize businesses) use social media to attract new customers. Out of these, 60 percent respondents agreed that they were successful in accomplishing the task.
The primary benefit of social media is that it fades away geographical barriers and allows the businesses to have wide reach irrespective of the physical boundaries. Also, small and new businesses can look out for partnerships with the existing companies operating in the same industry, but not in the direct competition; it is another source of potential for SMBs that may help in faster penetration among new customers (Coleman, 2013).
There are number of tactics small businesses are using in combination with social media to win more customers. Email-marketing, newsletters, blogging, and videos are the most picked up ways to spread the word about the business. Using videos to demonstrate products,...