Originally posted on Adweek.com
Small businesses have the advantage when it comes to marketing local and niche services online.
Image courtesy of filadendron/iStock.
Social media has become an important part of any smart marketing mix, and small businesses could benefit the most. Unfortunately, many seem to be missing the mark. Despite the tools available on social sites , small business owners are dragging their feet when it comes to taking advantage. A report from marketing technology firm Netsertive examines how small businesses are lagging behind when it comes to social media marketing.
Perhaps the primary area of concern for small businesses is the lack of a cohesive strategy. Nearly one-half of the 250 respondents to the survey by Netsertive said they don’t have a formal social marketing strategy in place. Less than one-third reported having “advanced” knowledge of social marketing, one-quarter considered themselves “novices” and 30 percent rank themselves as “intermediate.”
There are plenty of resources to get started with, and there is lots to learn from successful businesses of all sizes. But small business marketers need to up their game if they hope to compete in what is become a highly localized social market.
The survey respondents were also concerned about conversion and return on investment. 42 percent believe that Facebook is the channel for driving sales, but the same number of respondents weren’t able to tie their social marketing efforts directly to in-store traffic. The key is to develop a conversion strategy and leverage as much data as possible in order to ensure that your business is getting the best return for your social marketing investment.
Small businesses should also take advantage of their size to maintain some agility when it comes to which social networks to choose. According to data from CIO, 60 percent of Instagram’s users discover new products on the site, but only 33 percent of Netsertive’s survey participants were using the platform.
Ultimately, the advantage goes to small businesses when it comes to marketing local and niche services. Combining the agility of small businesses with some of the best digital media marketing practices from big brands can result in increased online visibility that drives customers to stores.
Netsertive co-founder and CEO Brendan Morrisey noted:
Social media is constantly evolving, and we understand the challenges both brands and small businesses face when it comes to leveraging these mediums to drive online audiences to brick-and-mortar locations.