SMEs should not see social media as a “necessary evil”

I saw a headline last week that made me a bit sad; ‘SMEs see social media as a “necessary evil” reported in The IT Donut.

The sad part is that many businesses I come across do have that attitude to social media; It’s just another thing for them to worry about, report on, or dedicate budget to. The benefits of social media can easily be forgotten, particularly when they are not always trackable as direct profit.

However I think it’s important to remember that social media really can have a huge impact on your business, if done well. Here’s 3 quick reasons to remind SME’s that social media can be brilliant!

1. Social media is a great way for SME’s to build up a dedicated community of loyal supporters. Once someone joins a social media community they begin to have a vested interest in the company and if you can connect with them on a personal level, then they will really begin to advocate your brand.

Jimmy’s Iced Coffee is a great example of this. A family run business, with a great back story and good branding, that has built up a loyal online community who really care about Jimmy’s and rave about the coffee to their friends. The company has done this by daily updates following their story of building the business; from surfing shots, to meetings, driving places, and even asking their community to decide on key branding decisions like the colours of their logos.

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2. Social media is a fantastic way to boost web traffic and overall awareness.

Mr Cake is a fantastically creative example. Remember when the UK Border Office worker handed in his notice by writing his resignation on a cake? This went viral, and since then business has been booming for the cake creation business!

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3. Social media is equally important for your business’ reputation. Social media can be a great way to improve recall amongst your customers, and business associates and make your company stand out against the crowd.

My client Pure Telecom, a telecoms provider and O2 Centre of Excellence, was singled out by O2’s Business Director Ben Dowd as being a great supporter of O2 on social media.

He told Pure Telecom’s MD Matt Sandford at a networking event. Obviously great news all round! Using social media is going to get you noticed by customers, potential new customers, and your business contacts.

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