ADVANTAGES OF SOCIAL NETWORKS FOR SMES
Moira Pino EstenssoroSpecialist in Strategic Communications and Public Relations Consultant in Corporate Communications for PayPal Latin America Managing Partner of ThinkUp-Digital Marketing Agency Bolivia
Nowadays being an entrepreneur in a medium like ours is a real challenge, because, let’s be honest, the obstacles we have to cross are many, and the support we have is almost null. Moreover, we could say that we live in an environment where entrepreneurship is not welcome.
If you’re one of the few who were lucky and managed to keep your business afloat, your next objective is to expand it (nationally or internationally), gain new customers and increase profits, with one of the key factors being your Marketing strategy. Unfortunately, in most cases, SMEs, and even less in Bolivia, don’t have budgets to implement marketing or advertising tactics and these become part of their wish lists, placing very low in their list of Priorities. Some companies, by seeing themselves limited, try to invest as little as possible and use very ineffective or completely obsolete strategies, which can even be counterproductive, as they have neither direct reach to potential clients nor the right messages.
The reality is that we’re still very late in the use of innovative Digital Marketing tools. Not only that, many entrepreneurs still don’t understand their power and the impact they can have on our businesses. And those who already understand a little more about the subject, erroneously choose to hire someone to make some posts a month, or some prefer to manage it themselves. This, without knowing, that Digital Marketing is currently a specialty, a profession that must be studied and that requires prepared people.
A social media strategy must be well planned and implemented by professionals. Only this way will it help SMEs to contact their customers more directly, open new markets, learn more about their consumers’ habits and make their products known using correct messages. You can’t get lost! In fact, according to a study prepared by Adglow, a company specialized in technology and advertising services for social networks, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have become a key tool for SMEs globally, using social networks as an additional element of their businesses.
It is important to know that social media marketing can be difficult to implement successfully. Many times, digital marketing professionals have different perspectives about their objectives as opposed to entrepreneurs and this also causes a lot of conflict between the client and their marketing consultants. Below we can see the main objectives of SMEs in terms of their use of social networks:
Increase customer base Increase or create brand awareness Achieve brand loyalty Reach target audience Increase website clicks Educate about your service or product Generate leads Competition analysis Reputation management Building trust and community relations
It is not important to point out that it’s also important to establish objectives in accordance with our industry. This way, according to the public that you have, you will be able to act in a certain way.
Social networks should also be a platform to provide better customer service, and thus avoid negative reviews / comments, which can quickly damage our sales. The idea is to use social networks in our favor to achieve more interaction with our audiences, have new followers and deepen the relationship with the old ones.
Finally, we must be very demanding with our content and form. Users tend to follow profiles with good content, visually appealing, and expect high quality information. Therefore, it’s essential that the digital marketing team help turn the business into an information benchmark for the industry, without necessarily associating it with your products or services. If you achieve this you will have won half of the road to success. The idea is to give users information of interest. Regarding the audiovisual content, we must always be very creative: use different channels, posts with striking images, bloggers, influencers, videos, podcasts, in short, the sky is the limit.
Digital marketing forms today an essential, if not the most important, part of the budget of many companies; however, it is true that the adoption of new tools is always slower among small businesses. Within societies like ours, entrepreneurs should educate themselves on the subject, follow the global trends that are referents for any society, have advice from people prepared on the subject, and of course be innovative. Only then we will be able to move forward, expand business, generate more sales, and stop acting in an outdated and traditional environment.
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