Using it the wrong way
How can a small business and non-profit organisations use social media? Can they use this as a tool to gain more, followers, customers, perhaps more revenue? Having a digital presence is quickly becoming a must for every small business and brand alike, it helps people find the business easier and has the potential to generate more traffic through the doors.
However, social media is not a game changer for every small business as they often find that they would quickly jump onto many social media websites at the same time in an effort to diversify and exapand their online presence. The downside to this is that many businesses will jump into it without really thinking about who their target audience is, and whether or not they really need all those social media sites in order to reach an audience that may not even be listening. Not having a clear vision for some realistic expectations will set them up for failure.
This article explains that social media use within small businesses is trending upwards, with more time being spent on creating content and interacting with customers. What is interesting to note is that despite this usage increase, businesses are simply not reaping any benefits from all this time and effort spent online.
How can they improve
Creating content can quickly become a tedious task on social media. Often times businesses start out very strong with regular posts and updates, to only posting once or twice a month when they don’t experience the non-realistic growth or reaction they’d hoped for.
Small businesses and non-profit organisations should first realise that having a presence on social media is more of a marathon than a 100m race, the focus should be on the long term benefits it’ll bring such as loyalty and brand familiarity rather than focusing on how many likes a certain post has generated.
Mobile Social Media Vs ‘Traditional’ Social media
It doesn’t take a social media expert to recognise that there are some obvious differences when comparing traditional social media with mobile social media. Traditional social media such as radio programs, free to air TV and magazines aim to provide value to a user by subsdizing the content, the end user is provided with this subsidized and sometimes fre content in exhange for ads in which advertisers tell us about their fresh new product.
In contrast, we are now becoming a mobile first society in which social media is centered around being a part of a larger community. Unlike traditional social media which pushed content to a user by ‘disrupting’ the conversation through ads, mobile social media takes the ‘join’ the conversation approach in which one has to join the community in order to reap all its benefits and harness its full potential. You want to watch videos of cats and see what everyone thinks about them? Join the Youtube community. Like to share photos or quick daily updates? Join the Instagram and Twitter community respectively.
Risks of Social Media
Social media can be an extremely powerful tool for any business, small or large, but as with anything in life, there can be some major risks involved if it is not properly minitored or protected.
Damaged reputation & Employee Privacy Violation:
Posts and updates are the most basic way of growing a customer base and building loyalty amongst your followers, but things can turn bad rather quickly. Human error, disgruntled employees and lack of thought may be harmful if an employee accidentally posts something confidential and is seen by many people before the error is realized and taken down. Lack of thought can cause an employee to post an item which they may find funny, but is found to be offensive by their customers. As such it is imperative to think before posting on social media.
Any thoughts or comments?