If you are the owner of an SME , or Marketing Manager or CEO of the company, you know how Social Media can be useful allies in achieving your business goals.
This applies to both the B2C market and the B2B .
Social platforms such as Facebook , Instagram and LinkedIn (just to name three of the many available) can become an integral part of your multi-channel marketing strategy, now indispensable especially in the perspective of Digital Transformation.
The benefits of using social media for business?
- Improve Brand Awareness
- Communicate better & get to know your users
- Find new customers & retain them
- Create a complete strategy, offer targeted services, monitor competitors
- Expand your professional network thanks to social selling
In order to achieve these goals, it is essential to understand all the potential of social platforms and use them correctly.
The benefits of social media for SMEs
What are the benefits of social media for SMEs? We have collected the main ones, which apply to both B2C and B2B . Here they are:
Improve Brand Awareness
Social media are perfect for increasing the awareness of your brand, making it popular and making it a point of reference for the online audience.
Social media allow you to increase brand awareness , a fundamental factor in the potential customer’s purchase decision. After all, making your audience aware of your company’s existence is the zero step to gaining new customers and expanding your business.
How does a brand make its way on social media? With an identifying and differentiating communication , with branded contents and with useful and interesting messages for your audience.
Communicate better & get to know your users
Social media are excellent allies for communicating corporate values, philosophy and vision, creating points of connection with users.
Each message can be shared quickly and easily, informing, educating or entertaining users online. Industry news, promotions and offers, updates on events in which the company participates, launches of new services or products, collaborations, sponsorships and important projects: the choice of topics is incredibly vast.
Getting to know your audience is an additional advantage, thanks to the analysis of opinions , the so-called sentiment. This allows you to better calibrate the company or product strategy on the basis of purchase intentions, needs and topics considered important by the target audience.
Find new customers & retain them
These platforms make it possible to identify the company target audience in a specific and precise way. Social networks host an incredibly large and diverse audience , the important thing is to understand what specific networks your users are on, how they use them and what interests them.
A good strategy allows you to transform strangers first into “friends” of your brand, then into customers and finally into loyal and happy customers . All following fully the logic of Inbound Marketing, accompanying the user in every phase of his buyer journey (purchase path).
The benefits of social media don’t end there. Indeed, quite the opposite. Here are others:
- They give the possibility to create complete communication and marketing strategies , integrating with all the other tools to maximize performance;
- They make it possible to offer a new and more articulated range of services, such astechnical support or digital customer care;
- They are an ideal tool to monitor competitors and take inspiration from reference brands;
- They offer the possibility of identifying potential new partners and therefore of creating commercial relationships that, otherwise, would be impossible.
Additional benefits for B2B: social selling
For B2B companies, there is another world to discover when it comes to social media: Social Selling . This is based on making the most of LinkedIn , social media based on business world & professional relationships.
On LinkedIn you can connect with anyone, expanding your network of relationships and making communication more refined and personalized. In particular, it is particularly advantageous to get in touch with those who share the same professional interests, objectives and skills.
Social Selling exploits the potential of relational networks and LinkedIn to increase sales , create strategic connections and forge partnerships of all kinds.
Everything is based on building and cultivating quality relationships with individual contacts, involving them with ad hoc content of different types. Companies can thus generate contacts, nurture them, convert them into customers and retain them, reaching and exceeding the various sales objectives.
How SMEs are doing
Most SMEs seem to have understood this paradigm. Several numbers prove it: already in 2019 as many as 89% of SMEs interviewed by The Manifest declared that they invested budgets in marketing . As many as 3 5% of them stated that they prefer online channels to traditional ones.
The pandemic has naturally exacerbated this trend: the internet has transformed into the main means of communication with the public, and social media into a sort of virtual square in which to communicate and interact in real time.
If even before the current health emergency digital was an integral part of our lives, now it is more than ever intertwined with all our daily activities. To date, social networks represent one of the most important tools for companies and users to get to know opinions , evaluate solutions , look for partnerships and products .
This is one of the main reasons why even SMEs can no longer transcend these tools – even if they operate in B2B .
The role of specialists
Many small and medium-sized businesses integrate social networks into their marketing strategy , or simply use social media, on their own. However, this may not be the correct direction especially from the perspective of multichannel or omnichannel strategies).
In addition to not having enough time to dedicate to their social profiles, some SMEs are unable to fully exploit the potential of these platforms because they are not aware of all the features – and therefore the possibilities – that they offer (an example is represented by the Advertising , ie from the opportunity to sponsor and therefore advertise some content), nor how to use them to the fullest.
These reasons, in addition to proper budget optimization , audience targeting , monitoring and reporting , are the first that should push even small and medium-sized enterprises to rely on the experience of specialists.
The benefits of the support of expert consultants?
- the company will be able to communicate in the best possible way without losing its identity, but rather telling itself in an effective and targeted way
- will receive support in managing comments and any critical issues in reviews, as well as in answering questions that users may ask
- will have the opportunity to track and measure data objectively to allow the company to constantly improve its business strategy on the basis of real data
- will learn to better analyze the data obtained , monitor the right KPIs avoiding the so-called vanity metrics, (observation of metrics that are actually not very useful for their strategy)
- establish clear, measurable, feasible and timed objectives over time, laying the foundations for achieving real and useful results for the company.