Small Businesses

Small Business, Non-profits and Mobile Social Media

How can my business effectively employ social media techniques?

I only operate a small business do i really need to use social media to market my business? I don’t have time to use social media? If you ask yourself these questions then you should read on. I have done some research over the last couple of days about the effects social media has on small businesses, non-profit businesses and how mobile social media is becoming even more popular across the generations.

“First we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII — and we thought it was a typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television. With the World Wide Web, we’ve realised it’s a brochure.”

― Douglas AdamsSmall Businesses

Facebook Statistics 

Total Number of Facebook Users 1.26 Billion (10/6/2013)

Total Number of Facebook daily active users 757 Billion (29/1/2014)

Estimated Percentage of Facebook User Growth in APAC by 2015 28-32% (20/2/2014)

Statistics obtained from : http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-facebook-stats/#.U0G_CFwappw

Taking into mind these statistics, for any company social media (Even just using Facebook) will be seen as a significant advantage to get your business or ideas out to the general public. In New Zealand we operate a lot of small businesses so I will focus on Small Businesses and Non-Profit Organisations, also finding out how they can employ mobile social media to gain a competitive advantage in todays markets.

 

Small Businesses and Social Media

Did you know that around 9 out of 10 small businesses use or are planning to use social media to market there goods or services?small-business

LinkedIn recently conducted a study to investigate how small businesses are using social media, and whether their investment is proving its worth. According to their research, the main problem facing most small businesses is attracting new clients.

The study also showed that over half have increased the amount they are spending on social media in the last year. What do you think could have caused this? Most social media forums are free to subscribe … Are we really changing to the digital age and focusing to much time on social media?

LinkedIn research is located: http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2014/24479/a-snapshot-of-small-businesses-on-linkedin-infographic

 

Non Profit Organisations

Let’s be honest how many Non Profit Organisations do you really see marketing themselves with big marketing campaigns in todays market: the nonprofit sector doesn’t typically push the social media creativity envelope at the moment. We often see the most creative campaigns come from brands that have big budgets and cutting edge marketing teams behind them focused on brand awareness and gaining competitive advantage in the market. This doesn’t mean that small non profit organisations cannot be effective in the social media realm. Most Non-Profit organisations draw on their target audience to relate personally with them, a few examples are the SPCA, Coastguard , Westpac Rescue Helicopter. By using social media these organisations can effectively get their message out to the widerWe-support-Chopper-Badge-300x300 public and keep them engaged. I am a Coastguard and Westpac Volunteer and I subscribe to these Facebook pages. Companies can simply put a message out on a friday wishing everyone a good weekend with a underlying message about water safety for example and this will trigger in the audiences mind when they are out undertaking their activities.

I think we will see significant growth in the way Non Profit organisations use social media and we will find ourselves subscribing to more of these pages on our personal social media mediums. As most people have some kind of social media application and nearly everybody has a smart phone these companies can effectively reach their target audience anywhere in the world any time of day.

Links To Mentioned Non Profit Pages:

https://www.facebook.com/CoastguardNorthernRegion?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/Rescue1Chopper?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/spca.southland

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Issues and Challenges of Social Media

How to take your business “Online”

How do i go about marketing my business on Social Media ? Do i need additional Staff to ensure my business goals effective? Some of the questions that have been on my brain today. I have been thinking more and more about the implications and challenges of social media as I’m writing not only an Assignment but this ongoing blog about social media.

Im left wondering what is actually needed to get the social media aspects of your business online?

“All one needs is a computer, a network connection, and a bright spark of initiative and creativity to join the economy.” -Don Tapscott

Issues Surrounding Social Media

I have decided to investigate 2 main areas around the issues and challenges of social media that I feel are key to any business using social media:

  1. Managing the time taken to effectively use social media
  2. Hiring dedicating staff to manage social media relations

Managing the time taken to effectively use social media

Social-Media-Time-Consuming-ClockSocial media is one of those things that small business owners know they need to do, but they are not quite sure how to find the time to do it. As commented earlier you don’t need to necessarily be the most tech-savvy person to effectively maintain a effective social media presence. A few key steps to effectively manage time spent on maintaining the social media aspect of your business could be:

  • Have a Plan of Attack

Research and find out where your customers and prospects are having conversations and where your business can add value.This will help your business reach its target audience and also grow in the right area of the social media environment. Google alerts or other such apps are effective in achieving this

  • Don’t worry about perfection in every post. 

Start by listening and learning from others, Research into other companies operating close to your business will help you understand what traction is needed to grow your business in the social media environment. As your confidence grows you will become more confident and can become more effective with your time management.

  • Master one Social Media Tool at a time. 

It is much better to be effective using one social media tool than to use five of them poorly. Choose the tool based on where most of your customers and prospects are, this will be important while your confidence is still growing and your will effectively reach your target audience.

  • Dedicated Time to Social Media.

If you can only spend one hour a week, consistently manage your time so that you meet this expectation. This is a much better strategy than spending 2 hours one day and then 5 minutes the next week. Your target audience will likely respond better to consistent and effective social media use.

Extra Staff to manage social Media Relations

great-social-media-manager

Does it make sense for a small business to hire someone to manage the businesses social media presence?

Absolutely, small businesses should work with someone on social media. It’s not as clear-cut as posting every other day or sending a few tweets every other tuesday, to keep your audience entertained and engaged. You must develop a game plan, and then follow it through with the appropriate actions.

Effective use of social media combines excellent customer service, expertise in the market, dependable and engaging content, and the delight of engaging with your audience online. Social-media presence must also reflect a company’s advertising, marketing and public-relations strategies.

In an ideal situation it would be far better for one person or team to handle public relations, marketing, advertising and the social media aspect. This helps keep the message or campaign cohesive and consistent. However, that can become pricey and isn’t necessarily attractive for most budgets, especially small businesses which are a huge part of the NZ economy.

If separate departments are used then it is particularly important to ensure both departments have oversight, this will ensure the message and campaign objectives are met.

“The best way to engage honestly with the marketplace via Twitter is to never use the words “engage,” “honestly,” or “marketplace.” ― Jeffrey Zeldman