Even though the internet has completely conquered the marketing policies of large enterprises, almost 40 percent of small and medium-sized businesses suffer from digital skills deficit. According to the recent research conducted by Yodel and Research Now, it is not only 40 percent lack a responsive website design, but 36 percent of business owners know only the basics when it comes to social media and digital marketing, with just 6 percent believes that they are experts in the field. Also, when asked whether SMEs use social media to interact with their clients or build sales, only 11 percent said yes, while 40 percent answered somewhat and 20 percent use no social media for business.
Some common social media fears keep many SMEs benefitting from the power of digital/social media marketing, and these are the most common ones:
- Public Nature of Social Medial Platforms
One of the major attributes of social media is that it allows everyone to be a citizen journalist such as if a customer experiences a bad service he/she can quickly spread their negative experience through their favorite social media channels. Though these things happen, you can utilise the public nature of the social web to engage and interact with your potential clients to improve your service. Additionally, insights from the social media can be used to improve your products and services.
- Uncertainty of ROI (Return on Investment)
Since there are no clear paths to measure ROI, measuring the result of your social media campaign seems challenging for many SMEs. However, with the use of well-known social media analytics tools, including Google Analytics, HootSuite, and Social Mention, you can easily measure the ROI of your social media efforts.
- Lack of Resources
Many people still believe that digital media marketing strategy can be implemented free of cost using anybody with extra time on hands. It is true that majority of the social media channels are free, but it takes a lot of time and effort to get the best result. Instead of getting social media marketing jobs done by people from all departments in your oraganisation, hire a social media expert who can act as the social media ambassador for your business.
- Inconsistency of Branding and Communication
Extend the branding guidelines in such a way that they support your social media campaign. Develop a social media guidelines document and distribute it within the organisation for all the employees, including the social media expert, to know how to act while using social media for personal as well as corporate reasons.
- Inability to Control Messages
Create an active, responsive networking base on the social web to make sure that you communicate quickly and promptly on a real-time communication that goes on. You have to present your perspective clearly on the topic instead of ignoring it.
- Fear of Damaging Online Reputation
Take the real-time aspect of social media communication as an opportunity to build your reputation online instead of damaging it. Establishing a set of social media guidelines and training your employees, especially the customer service department, on how to engage via social media will help you overcome this fear. Also, try to set up a PR plan to use at the time of a social media crisis.
- Transparency of Social Media
Always be open and transparent on social media about how you do your business without revealing any company secrets. Remember, people always want to do business with real people that they know and trust. All you have to do is to add a touch of the human voice to your marketing message.
- Fear of the Height of Learning Curve
If you are not familiar with any of the social media platforms, begin using it for yourself. Firstly, open a Facebook account, connect with friends and family, and then join some of the pages of your favourite brands and local businesses to know more about how they use the platform to connect with their potential clients. Then, start a Facebook page for your business and start using it to engage with prospects, generating more leads and then to prosper in sales.