Small Business Take Note; Social Media is the #1 Internet Activity
The use of social media is now the number one internet based activity in the US, with the average American spending around 37 minutes a day on their various accounts. For small businesses, not having any social presence long ago stopped being ok, along with not having a web site it is now one of the basics of getting yourself out there and being visible to your customers. Now, in light of the increasing prevalence of mobile devices and social media, often used in conjunction, business owners should look to the future and prepare themselves to win in a world increasingly driven by social and mobile marketing. Building a presence that is valuable takes time and some strategy, but business owners can’t afford to skip out on channels that are becoming more an more an intrinsic part of how people decide what to buy.
Social marketing. With the price of entry set at free for most social networks, business owners will find that they have no trouble setting up a page. It’s promoting that page in a way that allows your content to get views that is the challenge. Paid promotion is something that social networks want businesses to engage in, of course, but figuring out how to spend in a way that gives your business something of value in return is the real key to the success of this strategy. Performing market research to determine what networks your customers use and what demographics they fall into will give you the ability to tune out the noise and home in on your target audience without paying for views from uninterested parties.
Social media policies. As social becomes more ubiquitous, business owners should also think of how it effects them from the outside looking in, meaning the perception of their business via its own page as well as those of your employees. A clear cut social media policy is something that is needed to prevent misuse of social media at work and off duty, since the capacity of a single slip up to be magnified through viral exposure means that taking risks in your business’s approach may well come back to haunt you.
Social as a CRM tool. Using social media to interact with your customers is another way to put it to good use. Be aware that in a public forum, customer issues should be addressed quickly and by a real person lest a situation quickly spiral out of control. Put your best foot forward while helping customers on social channels, and the results in terms of increased satisfaction and trust can be well worth it.
Photo Credit to Jim Pennucci on Flickr