How can or does social media benefit small-medium (SMEs) in the UK? The facts are that Facebook has over 2 billion users, LinkedIn has 500 million, and Twitter amounts to 350 million online users. It is clear to say that social media is a powerful tool for any business, especially small-medium businesses, and for personal use.
There are cases where small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still don’t see the importance of using these platforms. On the contrary, plugging into social networks can be the making of your business, can increase engagement, sales, and productivity.
What Are the Benefits of Using Social Media for your SME?
Before we get into that, it’s important to undress what social media is. According to Agency Central, social media has been described as “computer-mediated tools that allow people, companies, and other organizations to create, share, and exchange information.” Today, we can safely say that social media is an ever-more important tool that allows us to use digital tools for effective solutions.
This means that social media can help SMEs increase their website traffic and can lead to more awareness for your business.
Depending on the digital agency you go with, they can place a great deal of value in platforms that best suit your business objectives. Your particular industry doesn’t always need to be on all social networking sites, so pay attention to what you want with your business.
The Effect of Social Media
Embracing social media in the UK is a great leap for any SME because the territory is uncertain and filled with the unknown – you’re in a race with tight profit margins, or who already see themselves successful. And for you to have certainty, look at similar-sized businesses.
Small and medium-sized enterprises can therefore gain a whole lot more by turning to social media. In 2014 and 2015, the biggest advantage of using social media was its ability to reach a broad and wider geographical audience. During that period, statistics about social media for SMEs showed that 84% of them used social media to get closer to their customers, while half of their customers expect them to be on those platforms.
With over 55% of SMEs spend an average of 10 minutes a day on social media marketing indicates that businesses get the importance of these platforms, and the best way to optimize profits.
Over the years following that, 80% of small-medium sized businesses plan to increase their social media presence and usage.
The Importance of Online Presence
More research according to Experian showed that there is a real need for having an online presence. They are able to make or break your business efforts, particularly for smaller enterprises. In their research, they indicated that 76% of British adults are online every day.
The Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills state that approximately two million small enterprises have no online presence, even though small businesses have ample options online to raise awareness of their companies.
The lack of an online presence is one of the biggest mistakes any start-up can make, and it is a reason they tend to fail. This is no surprise seeing the amount of exposure a business can gain from being online. Experian’s article further stated that established SMEs in the UK are not ‘digital ready’, and this leads to them missing out on vital marketing opportunities. When you add this to the biggest benefit of being online, gaining a wider reach geographical audience, using social media is a definite must for small-medium sized businesses!
The Benefits of Social Media Interaction to SMEs
Ask yourself, how do you speak to your customers? Do you have a phone number, and, or an email address? If your answer is yes, to both, great! However, how quickly are you able to interact with them, and how can you make your interactions reach them quicker? Well, social media is a sure way to do so. Keep in mind that the likelihood of your competitors is already reaching, and probably engaging with your customers through social media. At Real Business, we’re pretty sure that something like your competition accessing your online users is one thing you don’t want.
Bear in mind, social media can improve your accessibility. With all the existing platforms that allow SMEs to not only engage with prospective and establish customers directly, these platforms can also set your business tone of voice which is the heart of anything you want to promote.
Constant Contact published a survey with 2,000 SMEs showing that 60% used Twitter as the most effective platform to connect with audiences, and 81% of them used this platform and other social media tools to market their companies.
Another article written by Moore & Salley has a more concise way of putting is by describing social media as a “method of connection, sharing and engagement with customers, clients, investors, and beyond.”
If you’re looking to reach and communicate with customers and businesses alike, Twitter and LinkedIn are the best places to do so. The platforms are also great for inquiries to be attended to. Whether you’re trying to reach a certain group of people, or them needing your assistance, social networking is the way to go.
The benefit of using Twitter is how fast-paced and ideal for B2B marketing when you are establishing potential customers and businesses. Everything for the likes and retweets on Twitter expands your access to customers and businesses, and you can meet their needs, and cultivate the tone of your business through what you share.
A crucial aspect of this is the person dealing requests via social media. Crucial wasn’t placed for fun in the previous sentence. People online love and want to deal with people, and not businesses. Your Twitter account is the best way to put a face and name to your company. This kind of interaction matters in order to gain people’s trust. Jamie Bell from Your Social Media Guide posed this about trust. He said that social media is “an essential resource”. He said that opening up your company to social media platforms, the responses were given to criticisms, as well as praises that can be seen can result in building trust among existing and potential customers. Social media, much like everything online is about trust, so putting your best foot forward in the interest of your customers and your brand, can be a life-altering experience.
At Real Business, we people in the power of social media and online marketing for businesses to thrive. Click here and see more articles we’ve put up.