The use of social media for SMEs has recently been investigated by Business Network International (BNI). In the survey, which consisted of 1,000 companies, it was found that three quarters of business owners admitted to being ‘put off’ using organisations that have ‘misused’ online networks. This means that you could be losing sales and damaging your reputation due to a lack of social media knowledge.
The findings of the survey suggested that there are three main mistakes being seen across the board; companies are either not engaging online, creating profiles without regularly updating them, or posting too many promotional messages. At webrecruit we understand the value of social media for your business, but it’s important to get the balance right. So how can you do this?
The first step in building an online platform is not to be scared of the tools. Yes, by using them incorrectly, you could risk a disengaged audience. But if you don’t have any presence at all, you’re in danger of missing out when it comes to finding potential clients and candidates. Not only this, but you’ll be unable to react to any damaging comments – people will be online talking about your business regardless of whether you are.
If you haven’t yet braved the online world, or you’re struggling to manage all of the channels, the best thing to do is to start small. If you can focus on one site and do it well, it will be much more beneficial than having all of the profiles set up with very little content on each. You need to be able to choose the right platform by thinking about the audience you want to reach.
Then, over time you can start to use other networks in order to reach a greater number of clients and candidates. But it is important to keep each one regularly updated. We recommend spending at least two hours a week on LinkedIn, tweeting twice a day, sharing three posts a week on Facebook, and blogging once a week. If this sounds daunting, remember that you can share activity across the sites. If you write a blog post, for example, you can tweet it out and add it to your Facebook page.
As well as posting frequently, it’s important to make sure you’re sharing the right information. If the content is too promotional, you’ll lose followers which could have been potential clients and candidates for your business.
Social media isn’t something you can afford to ignore anymore. If you don’t use it, your competitors will have a distinct advantage over you as they will have higher levels of engagement with their target audience. Even if you are already on the networks, you may not be utilising the tools in the most effective way for your business. It takes time and effort to be successful, and you shouldn’t expect to have hundreds of followers at once, but the important thing is not to give up too soon.