How can small businesses and non-profits use social media?
Small Businesses, Non Profit, in fact most businesses use Social Media. But How?
Due to Social Media becoming such a big part of Business these days, it’s no wonder that small businesses are using it to their advantage. From a survey of 1,235 small businesses in America “Nearly 50% have increased time spent on social media this year and nearly 55% say they’re using platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Facebook as a primary tool for either acquiring new customers of generating sales leads” (EBSCO Industries, 2017).
Small Businesses are able to use social Media to their advantage in many ways. One of the main reasons is because it is a way for Low-Cost Advertising. This form of advertising makes it cheap and simple to get their products out to the consumer. Social Media can also be used as a way for the business to get the image they are trying to portray out there.
Non-Profits often will use social media as a way raise awareness about the not-for-profit organisation. Often used as a way to advertise donating to the organisation.
How might the use of social media differ for small and large businesses and in B2C and B2B contexts?
B2B (Business to Business) rely heavily on Facebook and LinkedIn to communicate as they are looking to communicate with potential suppliers and customers. They aim to identify prospective partners for B2B selling. So rather than trying to connect with customers at a more personal level, B2B will usually keep their use of social media quite professional. Now I’m not saying B2C businesses (Business to Consumer) aren’t professional on social media. But they are able to use as a way to reach possible consumers, advertise their brand and give themselves an image that potential consumers would like. They also add a more personal touch to it and generally take a more casual approach to the advertising over various social media platforms.
When used by businesses, in what ways does mobile social media differ from ‘traditional’ social media?
Traditional Media, what is it? Well, it’s the media that us as the younger generations don’t use as often. Media like television, radio, newspapers, magazines, newsletters. This form of media relies on One-to-many advertising and there is no engagement from the consumers.
Social Media on the other hand (I’m sure you know what it is. If not read my other blogs!) has Two-way communication as potential consumers are able to respond, able to have one-on-one communication with the business. Social media also allows for authentic content from the business.
What, if any, are the risks of using social media to small businesses (and all businesses)?
Social media isn’t all rainbows and lollypops when its used for businesses. There are some risks involved when you use social media to your advantage. For example:
Increased Customer Power. With the use of social media, it is very easy for bad customer experiences to be shared online for everyone to see. Complaints and bad reviews are often left of social media for the business. However, it is very difficult for these businesses to hide the fact that they have received these.
Another is that businesses aren’t able to keep up with the negative or misleading statements being made about the business. With so many different platforms in social media, businesses can lose track of these statements, which ultimately can lead to the business getting a bad name.
One other risk is that there is also the chance of accidental release of confidential information. All it takes is one employee to spill the beans about the business that the world was not meant to know about. However, there will always be risks involved when it comes to advertising or if the business is trying to get information out into the world, in whatever way it is done!
Let me know what you think in the comments below!