Social media is something most businesses invest time and effort in. Updates, photographs, competitions and links to websites are commonly seeing throughout Twitter and Facebook feeds by various companies. The goal of this is to attract people to the company website to purchase goods or view portfolios, expand awareness of the company, and to help spread the word so that others become aware of the company.
Initially a company will begin to gather ‘followers’ or ‘likes’ and competitions tend to be run to attract these fans and likes; this is done by asking current fans to share or tag an image so that this is seen by the fans friends, with the hope that they will ‘like’ or ‘follow’ the page also. These competitions can sometimes see expensive prizes being offered once a certain number of fans is reached. However does this ever get earned back? Do fans really ever become actual profitable customers? Or is everybody just wasting time?
Corporate companies on social media…
The larger corporate companies stand a chance at surviving the social media boom most have specialist social media employees, a strong budget to run competitions, marketing teams to provide fantastic images to share, and great branding. Not only that, people already know about these companies and have done for years.
They don’t have to worry about attracting fans, nor necessarily clawing for business. However their online social media presence allows them to connect to people in the way that people now prefer to communicate. Responses are instant through social media; therefore customers turn to it as an outlet for queries, rather than waiting for an email response. Also it is a great way for large
corporate companies to humanise their business, and to give people an insight into behind the scenes company life. Of course this is welcomed, what fashion fan wouldn’t want to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ Vivienne Westwood to find out up to the minute updates, or to get a sneaky preview of new designs?
Small scale business on social media…
Running a small scale business is a mammoth task. There are contacts to build, marketing strategies to put in place, equipment to purchase, stock to make or find, a website to design and develop, and customers to seek. Social media can be a good way in which to begin to gather momentum for your business. It is likely you are very much unknown to begin with, however social media can get you going. It is possible to purchase adverts, and interact with other companies, and a rich source of business contacts, and professionals who can help your business grow.
However, with limited time, there is the risk that too much can be absorbed on social media. It is a very difficult balance to achieve, but it is important small businesses use it to gain what is needed,
but do not waste time on aspect of social media which do not pay off. It must be remembered that a business social media page is predominantly about business, it is a face to humanize your business, gain awareness, make business contacts, and a place to attract people to your website. It is not a place to get into endless comment responses or to place unnecessary updates.
How to survive and attract actual business…
Corporate businesses are incredibly successful through social media. They already have perfected their website, created a hugely successful brand, and gathered a strong workforce behind them. For small companies this takes a large amount of time to perfect, even more so when working as a sole trader, you are responsible for all tasks and business matters, therefore time is precious.
A lot of small scale companies make the huge mistake of spending too much time on social media; therefore the balance between actual completing task which could be more beneficial to a business and marketing the business can become disproportionate.
What some small scale businesses don’t realise is it is all very well attracting customers to a website through social media, but the website they are being lead to must provide a wide range of products, the website must be the best it possible can to convert visitors into customers, pricing must be correct, descriptions perfect, product photography perfect, checkout and admin systems top notch, and branding enticing. For anyone who has set up a small scale business, they will know this takes months, even years of hard work to perfect, and while social media can of course be beneficial, it is better to spread your time more wisely paying attention to these other vital tasks.
Social media can of course lead to business and create great networking outlets, or people simply wouldn’t invest their time. However it is about managing that time wisely and making sure everything is in place with the actual business to make people want to spend money on your goods or services.
About the author: Kirsten works with new businesses setting up online. She works for Who Is Hosting This. Their work helps businesses choose reliable bases for their business websites. More can be found out by visiting their site.