Online social engagement, in general, created a rift in local businesses by opening the door to global competition from countries with lower overhead costs and economies’. Where a small local business once thrived and only had to worry about big corporations moving in across the street, they now have to worry about competing with online businesses targeting their local market as well.
The flip side of the coin is that it also gave small businesses the ability to do the same thing and tap into the same global markets.
A Misleading Impression
Social campaigns are raved about by a lot of bloggers as being quick solutions to acquiring new customers, however, they are teaching it all wrong.
Social campaigns are a long term brand exposure and consumer relations strategy that does require time. There isn’t really much in the way of immediate results (Besides a few random inquiries), however, the long term gain (when done right) is priceless! If you don’t have time to dedicate to your social campaigns, hire a professional to do it for you.
Benefits Of Social Engagement For Small Businesses
Below are just a handful of benefits small businesses achieve managing a social campaign.
- Brand exposure – Any good brand manager knows that repetition and consistency is a vital asset when it comes to your brand. Social media platforms offer an advantage to get your brand in front of millions of people (potentially) every day.
- Establishing new partnerships – Have you ever tried to locate the phone number to a specific company representative you really wanted to talk to about a joint venture, but couldn’t find a listing? Social media bridges that gap and allows you to reach out to them directly through the messaging platform once they have accepted your connection/friend request.
- Making new friendships and fans – It’s no secret that social media allows people and businesses to put it all out there in front of the public. You can utilize this to connect/befriend people from all over the world with the same interests as you.
- Social support options in a technology driven society – In today’s world when a consumer of your product/service feels they need to spread the word about a bad experience they’ve had, they generally take it to their social accounts to vent. Many times they will tag the company in their review, which would send you an alert of the tag if you were also part of the social network. You can then engage the review by providing premium one on one support in their comment thread. This technique not only helps the consumer solve their problem, it also shows all their connections/friends that you actively support and value your brand. Let’s not rule out that your brand just got a lot of exposure that you turned into potential leads by providing that support.
- Lead generation – As I mentioned above, providing support can generate leads from consumers personal networks. Not just that, everyone you connect/befriend also becomes a potential consumer of your business. It’s critical, however, that you use social media the right way. If you do it the wrong way, you could destroy your brand. (I provided a link further down the page so you can learn more about that)
- Collaboration with like-minded individuals – Social media provides small businesses with a huge platform to identify like-minded business owners and brainstorm new ideas. This may also lead to a partnership.
- Valuable Feedback & Suggestions – It’s no secret that thoughtful feedback can help any business better their best, by using that feedback to make improvements to their products/services.
- Learning multicultural techniques – When it comes to being creative in your local market and standing out from your competition, it’s essential that you learn new strategies and techniques. Most of your competitors are probably just focusing on local strategies that everyone already uses. By tapping into another cultures marketing strategies, it opens the door for you to be the first to apply it to your local market. Such new innovation could potentially propel your business to the next level and surpass the competition.
- Geo-Targeting – Most social networks have the option for members to create groups within the network. Doing a quick search for your city in the group search will more than likely result with a list of local groups in your area. These groups will range from sports fans, to dieting, to business. It can be very beneficial for a small business to join and engage local social groups. These are the consumers just down the street that are more likely to do business with someone local, than with someone 1k+ miles away.
- And much more!
What Not To Do With Your Brand On Social Media
In the following article I wrote back on Apr. 12th 2017, I addressed some of the important variables to keep in mind using social media. It’s imperative that you understand the “Don’ts” before you start on the “Do’s”. Go read it: Social Engineering – What Not To Do With Your Brand
It doesn’t matter if you are a freelancer, small mom and pop shop, or a fortune 500 company, social media is very important in today’s rapidly advanced society of consumer engagement. Ignoring the long term benefits of a social campaign could leave your business missing out on a lot of growth potential.
Remember: If you don’t take your brand seriously, why should anyone else?™
Happy business building everyone!
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