We often talk about the benefits brought by social media marketing to the bottom line of a small business, but hardly ever about the internal shift that takes place within the business’ internal and administrative operations. It is true that social media and online marketing have made small businesses more visible and able to better compete in tough markets dominated by the ‘big boys.’ Social media marketing has expanded the reach of small business products and services into parts of the market in which they would not have otherwise been known. However, it has also made small businesses better, more efficient, and profitable as far as their internal operations are concerned. This is due to having a focus that helps them to put the best strategies in place.
Social media has enabled small businesses to:
Identifying a target market that is already responding positively to their brand is a critical part of building successful businesses. Prior to the social media age, many small businesses could not readily capitalize on this reality due, perhaps, to financial and other constraints that would prevent them from accessing the data they needed. With social media and, in particular, social media analytics, said businesses can get a snapshot of what the people who are most likely to buy and support their products and services look, sound, and feel like. Businesses can use this information to develop a plan to effectively and strategically communicate with these demographics and grow.
When businesses have a clear focus, they are less likely to spend money pursuing options that are not in line with the best interests of their brands. With social media marketing enabling small businesses to clearly identify their target markets and most responsive demographics, small businesses can now better manage their resources (money, innovation, skills, etc.) as they work towards effectively communicating with, and further expanding their reach within these demographics. Thus, fewer resources are wasted and more yield is generated.
Sometimes, despite their best efforts, how consumers view brands and how brands view themselves (or would like to) stand in stark contrast to each other. The truth is that it’s easy for business owners to get lost in their own perception of their brands and brand value. Who can blame them, when so many of the tenets in marketing training are geared towards how they view their companies and the markets into which they would like to tap. Through social media marketing analytics, many businesses are getting a clearer picture of how their brands are viewed by consumers; they can then work on either changing/improving or capitalising on what they have.
Kerri-Anne .C. Walker
Master in Arts and Culture Management