Maintaining an online presence has become critical for businesses of all types in the digital age, and social media platforms provide a convenient and accessible means to establishing online visibility and connecting with consumers.
In fact, businesses without an online presence may face challenges in reaching new clients, as consumers increasingly gravitate online, and turn to social media channels in particular for a range of information.
At a very basic level, a social media presence provides a point of contact for your business, and using this as a foundation it is possible to build a profile that can evolve over time, conveying your experience and the range of services your business provides.
SMBs Are Seeking Out Social Media
Social media platforms can be harnessed to showcase service offerings, and for workshops tackling a variety of work across different projects, there will likely be ongoing opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities.
The Yellow Social Media Report 2020 shows how businesses are using social media, with the survey of 1,020 SMBs revealing that at 90 per cent usage Facebook is by some margin the most popular platform. Other popular platforms include LinkedIn (33 per cent), Instagram (32 per cent), YouTube (25 per cent) and Twitter (22 per cent), with the annual survey additionally revealing that:
- Monitoring or updating of social media accounts is undertaken by 45 per cent of SMBs at least once a day, and by 80 per cent at least once a week
- Social media channels are used by 63 per cent of SMBs to engage in two- way conversations with customers and contacts, while 33 per cent use social media to promote their business, 28 per cent to create awareness and exposure, and 17 per cent to generate sales
- Negative comments or reviews are the greatest cause for concern for SMBs (22 per cent)
- Paid advertising on social media has been used by 37 per cent of SMBs
Meanwhile, the report shows that small businesses are taking a hands-on approach, with the owner or manager most likely to be responsible for social media management (71 per cent).
Social Media Tools and Strategy
If you’re simply seeking to provide a point of contact for your business, a static page on a social media site may be appropriate, while business looking to take a more active approach have a range of options.
For instance, if you’re keen to showcase new equipment or a recently undertaken project, it could be worthwhile developing visual content, and using a range of complementary platforms to display your capabilities.
Meanwhile, for businesses seeking to provide an in-depth overview and commentary of their operations, blogging may provide a suitable outlet, allowing for additional scope to tackle topics and convey a message.
As advised via business.gov.au, social media tools for businesses include:
- Social Networking Sites – users can create a profile or page, network and share information (such as Facebook)
- Job Networking Sites – users can build a professional profile and network with other professionals (such as LinkedIn)
- Blogs – online journals which allow for the sharing of a range of content (such as WordPress)
- Micro-Blogs – allow users to send short messages to followers (such as Twitter)
- Video Sharing Sites – users can upload and share videos (such as YouTube)
Matching the platform to your business activities and capabilities is important, and businesses should be clear about what their level of engagement will be, consider how to present their business and what they are seeking to achieve.
It is also worthwhile keeping in mind the manner in which platforms can complement each other, with the capacity to promote a message across a number of different platforms.