06
Jul

The influence of social media marketing on a SME

Junior Account Executive Jack Wylde conducted a social media marketing project on how one of our clients used social media to raise awareness and generate more footfall.  Find out how social media can help SME’s.

Social media marketing has the power to reach hundreds, thousands and even millions of people all across the world through the Internet, at very little cost, with potentially huge impact. So it’s no surprise that most businesses big and small now incorporate social media into their overall marketing strategy.

However, because there is potential to engage with so many people at a low cost, there is a lot of appeal to SME’s. SME’s will rely on cheap below the line activity and my research found that with the growing popularity of social media, this is the best way to encourage word of mouth promotion.

I found this through data collected from my questionnaires, backed by figures that 93% of males and females use social media. I also found further evidence from my academic research. I found that Facebook is the most popular social media platform. This is useful as currently in my opinion it is the most business friendly tool. Although other platforms cannot be ignored with the popularity of Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram on the rise, these platforms offer alternatives to sharing content and engaging customers in different ways.

Once I had established the huge potential market to target, I then had to consider how social media could be used effectively. The word “social” should be at the heart of social media marketing, and although this may seem obvious some businesses forget this and fail to engage consumers/users.

At its core is social interaction between people, and the opinions and thoughts of people are endless. For example, one group of people may favour Facebook over Twitter, some may use social media to message friends, others may use it to follow current news, brands or celebrity culture etc., some may find images more engaging than video content and I found these variations from my own primary research. This overload of information and possibilities is hard to condense but fear not as this can be exploited from a business perspective.

If a business wants to successfully exploit social media marketing they will need to endorse a three-stage process. This three-stage process includes planning, implementation and evaluation. Although in the evaluation stage there is a slight limitation as the return on investment (ROI) is very hard to measure because it is difficult to provide definitive proof and show a correlation between social media marketing activities and an increase in customers, profit or whatever the businesses aims are.

Analytics and ever changing developments in social media gives businesses and marketers the tools they need to analyse and evaluate how effective their social media marketing is in terms of engagement, people reached and leads created which may lead to increased customers or profit for example, a result which may not be easily proven.

So to conclude, it is essential to create aims and objectives based on the target market, in most cases it is better to start off small and go big, by this I mean that there should be focus on one or two social media platforms. The saying “quality over quantity” has never been more fitting as it is more beneficial to build a social media following through targeted, specific and quality content.

By Jack Wylde

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