Social Media – Pioneers or Pitfalls?
We’ve discussed social media on previous blogs and have recently engaged with many prospective partners on the benefits and pitfalls of promoting B2B businesses on social media.
Anyone who has followed the rise (and rise!) of social media giants in the last decade will realise that these platforms are becoming central in many people’s lives. At the last count, 78% of the UK population interacts with social media daily and a staggering 88% of businesses have some form of representation on at least one social media platform. (Source: Statista)
In this blog, we’ve looked at the leading platforms and have written an unbiased and unaffiliated opinion on where you should be visible, how often you should appear and what you need to look out for!
But first, let’s look at the five leading platforms for SME’s.
LinkedIn. A popular social media platform for professionals, sometimes seen as the place ‘to be seen’ by those looking to change careers, search for a job or simply to promote how good they (or their businesses) are! LinkedIn has a very sophisticated algorithm which it uses for their own marketing purposes which has been likened to a ‘dating agency’ for professionals.
Twitter. A platform which is home to a premium demographic which relies on hashtags as a search and categorisation medium. Twitter’s own advertising infrastructure is quite tricky to manage, but campaigns on this platform can be highly lucrative, especially if your company is selling interesting products or services. Companies who use Twitter usually need to dedicate time to this platform every day to make it a success.
Facebook. This stalwart of social media was once seen as a place to share pictures of your dinner or embarrassing stories is now redeveloping into a B2B and commercial platform. With a wide demographic reach and an easy to access advertising tool, this platform is perfect for SME’s but does require a lot of effort to manage – especially as refreshed messaging on a regularly is required to keep your visibility high.
Instagram. The UK’s most popular platform, Instagram is biased toward a younger and more female audience. B2C businesses are now using Instagram Stories and Reels to promote their services, but as yet these are seldom used successfully in the B2B space. We believe that Instagram offers a great space to build your brand, sustain a CSR message and celebrate the community in which you operate.
YouTube and podcasting. This is the World’s most viewed social media platform and is the basis to a billion video views every day. If your company makes something or has a message which could be brought to life by video, this platform may be for you. Videos that are posted on YouTube don’t have to be professionally made but should underpin your own brand values.
If you are unfamiliar (or uncomfortable) with video, there are alternatives (such as podcasting) which allows you to get your message out there without the need to spend money on videography. Podcasts are listened to by 15.6 million people every year in the UK and this is growing at 20% per annum. It is surprising to see how popular some podcasts are – especially those created by companies who make, do or create something interesting!
Are you ready for a social commitment?
Social media requires your company to commit to a certain amount of time to ensure your message gets out and stays out. It is also imperative that your company reacts to comments, messages and reviews to maintain your brand, ensure a high level of customer experience and prevent penalties by the social media platform.
When considering a presence on social media, your company should consider:
- Account set up and creation of initial content.
- Setting a budget to attract non-organic followers.
- Creation of a catalogue of content for at least one month forward.
- Assignment of a key person to create and post content and to respond to online comments.
- An ongoing financial and resource commitment.
Every company will differ, but we believe that a well-constructed and multi-platform approach will occupy several hours per day. This allowance will reduce over time when using automated software, however, at present, auto-responses (or bots) are unwelcome interventions by many users.
In short, social media is an essential part of the business world, but unless you have time to build it and maintain it, don’t do it.
Why not outsource your social commitments?
Momentum are social media experts who deliver great social media messages as part of a wider campaign strategy.
In short, this means that you should focus on things that you’re good at, and we’ll help you promote your services to the most appropriate audience.
We believe that good social media campaigns are part of a modern marketing mix. For example, if your company wants to reach influencers whilst they’re outside of work, well-constructed (and well-timed) social media campaigns allow you to do this.
As we’ve said above, good social media management takes time and resource. Poorly written and inappropriately targeted adverts can result in ‘pile-ons’ where digital trolls can damage your brand presence or flood you with spam enquiries. Breaches of advertising policies can result in barring or suspension of accounts, and with little recourse, this could result in loss of your intellectual property.
These pitfalls can be overturned with a carefully planned campaign structure, which is all part of the Momentum service.
How much will this cost and how long will it take?
Every business is different, so it’s impossible to give broad-brush figures, however actual advertising costs on Facebook and Twitter are considerably lower than traditional channels (especially given their penetration and engagement stats.)
You may also choose to create a mixture of paid and organic marketing, and only sponsor adverts which grow your brand or attract viewers to a particular product or service. With social media, everything is possible, but you need to know how and where to advertise and even choose the most appropriate time to do so!
Much of the initial cost for creating high performing social media campaigns is about set-up, audience profiling and content creation. Poorly written content will simply not deliver, or worse still, will reflect badly on your brand – so a little more time spent upfront will pay dividends in the future.
You should also consider that this is a long-term game. Few social media campaigns are instant successes and the much-vaunted ‘viral’ message is still the preserve of the lucky few. Building audiences and creating a professional dialogue is very much the best route for many B2B companies and the results of previous campaigns across many industry sectors prove this approach.
With years of experience delivering social media messaging, there are few scenarios in which we’ve not been involved, so if you’re ready for a discussion about everything social, call us straight away: 02476 662 004
We can’t wait to help your business move forward with Momentum. Get in touch soon with one of our team, or schedule a Discovery Meeting with Heather, our Operations Director now: firstname.lastname@example.org