SMEs and social media – a changed world

31 October 2014, Blog

For SMEs with limited resources and small teams, the digital revolution has been a blessing. The world’s larger and free networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram have been rapidly adopted by SMEs to communicate their key messages to a variety of audiences.

With great power, comes great responsibility

Statistics revealing the huge number of people around the world using Twitter (271 million), LinkedIn (300 million) Google+ (359 million) and Facebook (1.2 billion) are presented as cast-iron proof that ignoring social media is a mistake and that untold rewards are available for the SMEs that choose to dip their toes in the water.

There is, however, a tendency to feel the need to ‘do’ social media channels rather than use social media to benefit your business. It’s all about what channels are best for your message. There are few things more embarrassing than a Twitter account that was set up and forgotten with only one lonely tweet present.

It’s time to hold those horses

It’s time to say stop to the scatter gun approach. SMEs are quickly learning the right channels for their business; wedding dress designer Lillian Mayro says she has found that Pinterest is her most powerful tool for capturing new customers and business.

A recent study by the European Commission claimed that 61% of SMEs use social media to communicate their message, with an impressive 29% of which believing that it has made a difference to their business over a three year period. These are powerful numbers that can only increase in time.

What SMEs have discovered is that it is more than just ‘Likes’ or follows. Twitter accounts belonging to companies such as gambling site BetFair Poker and Hampshire-based technology company Novatech have gained a following through impressive wit and creative flair that has proved vastly more effective than whiteboard diagrams, PowerPoint presentations and strict targets for numbers of followers or “likes”.

No one like a robot

Showing that you’re human is incredibly important for SMEs, because people want to do business with real people. So if you are an SME looking to get yourself out there; be honest, be creative and quirky, but most importantly, you need to know what you want to achieve before jumping in the deep end.

At the end of the day if your social media strategy is great, that’s not enough. Ultimately, you have to be a great business to start with.

JBP Staff Member

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