Social media has turned out to be a culture-defining technology. The massive amounts of people that use the services each week, and the large amount of time people spend on these platforms, makes them important resources for the lion’s share of businesses. The fact that the average user spends around two hours and 24 minutes per day perusing their social media gives businesses opportunities that weren’t available to them only a few short years ago. Today, we thought we would give you a look at how different sizes of SMBs utilize this technology.
Bootstrapped Startups and Very Small Businesses
Most businesses don’t consist of more than a few people toiling over their work to create products and services that solve the demands of people and other businesses. By and large, these very small businesses use technology to their advantage, but don’t really have the substantial marketing budgets that would allow them to dabble in different types of marketing. Since every marketing dollar has to be used conscientiously, social media becomes one of the best outlets to get their brands out.
Whether your business is a new startup or has been in business, but operates with only a few employees, social media can really present it with an outlet to expand your brand’s reach. The most popular option is Facebook, but most of the major social media outlets have options that can help businesses get better exposure without a huge investment.
Established Small Businesses and Well-Funded Startups
As a business gains access to more capital, either through revenue growth or outside investment, more options become available. For the established small business or the well-funded startup, you begin to see the use of marketing agencies that help use social media to promote businesses. A marketing agency is much like a managed service for your business’ marketing. It allows you to continue to focus on your business while you outsource your marketing to another company.
Most startups with backing have a different strategy, however. They are busy trying to establish products and services that will provide a rapid ROI for their investor base. This means that many of these organizations establish marketing alongside the offering, speeding up the process, while looking to use industry best practices to get their message out.
Both of these businesses rely on social media in many of the same ways smaller businesses do, but since many of them already have established marketing hubs in the way of company websites, they don’t rely on social media to act as one. This makes social media more of an external resource than a central part of their marketing strategy, although it remains important. Companies of this size create tutorial videos, webinars, and other marketing efforts that they promote through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. It also allows them to use client testimony to their advantage much more effectively than smaller businesses can.
For businesses in the mid-market, social media use is well-established. Medium-sized businesses typically have over 500 workers, which means that they already have an established brand and have already found some modicum of success.
They have teams of people (internal or outsourced) that actively use resources such as business intelligence and business analytics to develop their marketing, advertising, and public relations strategies. This provides them the freedom to be more active in the social media space and be a little more creative because they have the capital backing their marketing efforts through the medium.
What Social Media Platforms are Out There That Have Services for Businesses?
These apps are designed for sharing ideas so all of them are viable options. If you consider that these are some of the richest and most influential companies in the world right now, with literally billions of users, it makes sense to have a plan to take advantage of their relative cost effectiveness. Whether your business is using them simply for brand exposure, or if you want to use them for a hub of your company’s marketing efforts, knowing which platform is best for your business is important. Here are some of the options.
- Facebook - 1.6 billion daily active users - Facebook is the largest social media firm by leaps and bounds, and it also owns Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Facebook is currently used by over 90 percent of marketers today.
- YouTube - 149 million individual daily users - YouTube is a great resource for the growing business. Not only is it the second largest search engine in the world, the video-sharing giant provides access to homespun content that can really take a business’ brand to the next level.
- WhatsApp - 1 billion daily active users - With so much of the world relying on WhatsApp, it can really be a benefit for those companies looking outside their own borders for business.
- Instagram - 600 million daily active users - The photo-sharing website, Instagram has been a big player in the marketing scheme for the past couple of years. Many brands look to build a campaign using influencers who direct business to specific companies.
- Twitter - 134 million “monetizeable” daily active users - Twitter is extremely popular, and can be a great way for individuals inside your business to promote content and deliver their knowledge to others.
- LinkedIn - 303 million monthly active users - LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that many human resources professionals use when recruiting new talent.
Other social media platforms that are actively used by marketers include: Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat and more.
Social media can be a great tool for modern business. As your business evolves, having a social media strategy is crucial to its ability to expand its market. Do you currently use social media as a part of your business’ marketing strategy? Share your experience in the comments section below and return here for more great technology content each week.