Getting small business owners to see the reward in working with a social media marketer can be challenging. Now that everyone is an active user on social media, many assume that controlling social media marketing is simply the same process they use for their personal profiles, but on their business pages instead. Unfortunately it’s not that simple.
Small business owners are busy, they have a businesses to run after all. Running social media campaigns and keeping business pages updated requires time and research. Before a business steps into the online world, their target market needs to be recognized. Different social media platforms are popular with different groups of people. It doesn’t make sense for a company targeting working class middle aged men to be putting in the extra time to keep their Pinterest presence updated. On the other hand, it’s unfortunate if a business that targets young women fails to recognize the importance of Pinterest as a great way of reaching this demographic. Marketers that work with social media platforms are constantly keeping themselves updated on the newest social media trends and the actual data behind these platforms. Sure, small business owners can update their own pages… yet to truly stay up-to-date on the best options for small business marketing online it requires staying up-to-date literally every day.
This brings me to my next point; understanding analytics. To truly be successful in any marketing plan, you need to be able to understand analytics and ROI. If there is no return on hours of your time being spent uploading, writing, and replying, you’re wasting your time. Let’s not forget that time is money, especially for busy business owners. In a recent survey done on internet users between the ages of 16-64 in 31 different countries, it was discovered that even though Facebook has the highest percentage of active users, YouTube actually has the highest percent of monthly visits. Why is this important? For starters it means that simply the number of active logged on users isn’t the only measure of how many people your marketing can reach, it goes much deeper than the simple statistics constantly quoted by different companies. Social media marketers spend all of their time differentiating between what can work for the businesses they assist, and what won’t result in any positive results. Small business owners simply cannot dedicate the same amount of time to understanding the little benefits and cons in different platforms and online marketing results in comparison to someone who does just marketing for a living.
In a recent survey by Manta, 55% of businesses surveyed reported using social media to increase lead generation and customer satisfaction. 60% of all the surveyed businesses reported no return on their investment into social media channels. It is important to remember not all businesses need to have a strong online presence depending on their target market. It’s also important to see that 40% of businesses reported actually seeing a return on their investment. This 40% is the benchmark. Seeing a return on social media activity is huge for marketing and branding for a business, regardless of who does the marketing. Although the survey doesn’t go into detail about who actually does the marketing for the successful marketing campaigns, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a good number of both marketers and small business owners. For small business owners, tackling social media is doable… it just requires a lot of time and dedication. If a company can afford to budget a social media coordinator/marketer they will save a lot of time and be able to demand results and analytics showing the return on investment for the company, but if they don’t have that room in their budget it’s time to roll up their sleeves, charge their laptops, and get researching!
Some of the sources used in this post & some great resources:
How the Big 4 Social Platforms Differ: Members vs. Visitors. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2015/26999/how-big-4-social-platforms-differ-members-vs-visitors
4 Small Business Marketing Predictions For 2015. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/constantcontact/2015/01/21/4-small-business-marketing-predictions-for-2015/
Is Social Media Sucking the Life Out of You? (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6663652