Relying on social media to promote business
Developing a business revolves around building a customer base and it seems more SMEs than ever before are turning to social media to achieve it.
A report from business social media site LinkedIn has released a report which suggests that 81% of companies are using online platforms regularly.
Furthermore, a massive 94% of businesses use sites such as Twitter and Facebook for marketing purposes.
Of those companies, 91% said it plays a direct role in increasing brand awareness, while 82% of the companies said it helped them to develop leads.
LinkedIn has millions of SME entrepreneurs registered on the site and the data highlights the need for such platforms and how they can drive success.
“We know that for SMEs the greatest challenge is attracting and retaining customers,” said Lana Khavinson, a senior product manager at LinkedIn.
“Here is a really clear indicator of the value that social media is providing to companies that are rapidly growing.”
Creating opportunities for investment
Around 1,000 SMEs were questioned as part of the study, which was carried out in partnership between LinkedIn and market research firm TNS.
The relevance of sponsored posts and tweets as part of an advertising campaign is seen as an easy way for companies to place their brand name on internet pages.
Marketing plays a vital role in developing businesses and ensuring income and cash flow, without which businesses can struggle – with company administration and insolvency occurring in some cases.
Successful links and hashtags can help to develop campaigns further, providing opportunities and potential income for companies.
For start-ups especially, building links with larger companies and brands can be the first step onto the business conveyor belt and that is the role that social media has to play.
Levels of advertising and marketing will depend on available budgets, but something as simple as setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account could be just what many SMEs need.
By Phil Smith