Most small businesses have social media accounts, but do they use these platforms effectively?
A new survey from portfolio website Visual Objects aimed to find out how small teams manage their presence across Facebook, Instagram, and other channels. The report surveyed over 500 small businesses in the United States, and our own Tim Hemingway and Cydney Hatch were asked to comment on the data.
Tim and Cydney’s big takeaway from the survey? Small businesses should approach social media with the goal to build relationships with their users and expand brand awareness.
We thought the data from this survey was interesting enough that we’d share some of Visual Objects’s findings and Cydney and Tim’s analysis here. That being said, this is just a summary. To get the full thing, check out the actual article here.
Small Businesses Should Use Facebook to Engage Their Audience
The Visual Objects research showed that Facebook is still the dominant social media platform for small businesses. After all, 89% of small businesses have accounts.
Facebook might seem like a no-brainer for small businesses looking to extend their reach online. It has 2.3 billion monthly active users, and companies should have Facebook accounts in order to establish legitimacy with new users.
This is important because, as Cydney said in her analysis, “Businesses need to appear where their target audience is spending their time online.”
For most businesses, that means Facebook.
It’s not enough, however, to have a Facebook account without building relationships with that audience. In Cydney’s opinion, “A lot of times, marketing campaigns miss the mark by having one-way communication with their customers. What businesses need to understand about social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram, is it’s all about showing up with the intention of building relationships.”
Businesses can build relationships with an audience by providing valuable content that their users can engage with. Video content, for example, is an opportunity to vary promotional posts with how-to guides or product reviews that show users your desire to provide value for them.
Ultimately, as Cydney put it, “If you want to make money using Facebook, you need to go out and find as many people as you can help to achieve their goals or solve their problems. When you have the answer, your goals will take care of themselves.”
If you’re having trouble identifying your audience’s needs, let us know! We’d love to help you create a strategy that suits your business.
Some Companies Underestimate the Demands of Social Media
The Visual Objects report also revealed that 36% of small businesses plan to scale back their presence on social media in 2019. However, that might not be the right decision.
After looking at the data, our Marketing Director, Tim Hemingway, argued that companies decreasing their social media use may have underestimated the demands of the platforms.
From Tim’s point of view, “If companies are trying to decrease their spending on social media, they probably don’t understand how to use those tools to reach their audience.”
And, if you think about it, that just makes sense. Social media isn’t just about advertising. Small businesses must show, not tell, their audiences what they can offer beyond a simple product advertisement.
As Tim put it, “The first thing you have to do is take a step back and really figure out who is willing to engage with [you] on social media. Once you have a better understanding of who your audience is, that’s going to help cater the message.”
So, before decreasing their investment in social media, small businesses should audit their campaigns to assess their performance.
At Disruptive, we know that a successful social media campaign is based on forming relationships, not just putting ads in front of people. That’s why we’re a top social media marketing company on Clutch. Our reviews demonstrate the value we’ve created for small businesses as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S.
So, if you’re looking for new ways to use social media or simply want more out of your paid social campaigns, why not let us help? Let us know what you’re looking for here or in the comments and we’d love to help!
What’s your opinion of Visual Objects’s findings? Do the results surprise you or are they consistent with your observations? How do you plan to approach social media marketing in the future? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
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