How Does Your Social Media Strategy Stack-Up?
Small business owners – how does your social media stack-up when compared to the competition? If you aren’t sure – it’s time to contact a social media marketing agency and get some answers…fast! Social media marketing is one of the fastest growing areas of interest among small business owners yet most fail to realize the full profit potential because of self-imposed limitations. It’s a shame. Especially in a competitive economic environment, the ability to save money, reduce manpower obligations, corner market share and enhance revenue is something nearly any small business owner would relish. Earlier this week we discussed the amazing revenue generation capacity associated with social media and multichannel marketing methods but what you might not know is that inbound marketing leads cost (on average) over 60% less than outbound strategies. Even more impressive, inbound strategies have remained more or less dormant in terms of cost over the past several years even while outbound expenses have continued to rise.
Before we get into the lifecycle of social media, let’s take a quick look at what small business owners actually expect from social media marketing…and what they actually get. Given the amount of confusion surrounding social media, it’s not surprising that the two are not always the same!
Top Reasons for Using Social Media:
1. It’s less expensive! Okay, this is a good reason and supported time and time again by the data. If you are interested in harnessing the power of social media marketing to reduce expenses, you are on the right track and have realistic expectations. Just keep in mind, it’s still an investment and investing into anything is more expensive than doing nothing in the short term. Over the long term, the exact opposite applies. Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish!
2. It’s easy to use. Well, sort of! Yes, it’s easy to click a few buttons and send out a message but easy does not mean simple. Creating a comprehensive social media marketing campaign, automating mundane tasks and exploiting the full potential of the technology is anything but easy. It’s one reason social media specialization continues to grow so rapidly.
3. Customers, clients and business affiliations use social media. Absolutely true! Not only do they use it but usage rates show no signs of slowing down or reaching a level of saturation. Quite the contrary in fact. Duration patterns continue to climb both domestically and globally.
Social Media Expenditures
Having a social media presence is not the same as actually investing in a comprehensive marketing or automation campaign. In fact, earlier in the week we already mentioned that less than 10% of small business owners outsource their social media campaigns despite the fact that more than 60% listed lack of staff as one of the primary obstacles preventing them from full utilization. Even among those that have invested in automation solutions, less than 1 out of every 4 small business owners use the technology to its fullest. While the research is clearly in favor of social media marketing as a way to save money and increase revenue, it is still an investment. So, how much do small business owners spend to use social media? The results probably won’t surprise you…
- 42% – Nothing! Yes, that’s right. Over 40 percent of small business owners don’t spend a single dime on social media marketing yet wonder why they don’t get valuable results.
- 17% – Less than $100. Okay, officially this isn’t free but combined, this means just under 60% of small business owners spend less than $100 on social media marketing. Like the old adage – you get what you pay for…
- 13% – $100 to $500. Still highly conservative this ranks well below the cost of even the most modest print campaign or other forms of traditional marketing.
- 17% – Up to $5,000.
- 6% – Over $5,000.
Care to guess what percentage of small business owners obtain top results? Roughly 1 out of
4 approximately the same amount that actually treat social media marketing as a serious investment on par with traditional marketing expenditures.
Social Media Oversight
The last major consideration among small business owners was staff and support. We have already learned from prior articles that less than 10% of business owners outsource their social media marketing to a professional agency or firm. Roughly 6% will hire a single social media consultant, 8% will hire part-time help and only 12% employ someone full-time for the position. Unfortunately, lack of staffing continues to plague the majority of small business social media marketing efforts. In fact, recent research conducted on Facebook and other popular sites indicates…
- 16% fail to respond to fans or followers whatsoever!
- 24% respond sporadically and inconsistently.
Combined, 40% of small business owners fail to effectively communicate with friends or followers! Top reasons cited include:
- Lack of available time
- Lack of perceived importance
- Lack of proper response and/or responsible party capable of replying in an authoritative manner
Clearly there is room for vast improvement among small business owners. Outsourcing, automation and other creative solutions are just a few methods used to generate top results without the high cost, time or drain. Remember, over 50% of consumers purchase from a brand after becoming a fan/follower even with somewhat dismal response rates by small business owners!