17 Apr Why Should Small Businesses Gear Up For Social Media Marketing In 2017
With the advent of Internet, smartphones, and increased online exposure, regular marketing is being increasingly replaced with digital marketing. Where social media marketing was mostly limited to Facebook posts, shares, likes etc., today it is an important way to validate the company brand and establish communication with consumers. 2017 is set to see increasing investment in the social media marketing field.
Studies have shown that many small businesses are still lacking when it comes to adapting to digital marketing. According to the Marketing Trends Report, only 1 out of 5 small business had plans for investing in digital marketing till 2016. So, if you are still considering whether this investment is worthwhile or not, here are some valid reasons, and trends due to occur in 2017, that will encourage you to finally make the leap:
1. Mobile Market will be Bigger
The mobile phone market has experienced an estimated 26% y-o-y growth across all geographic markets. Smartphones have induced deeper penetration and have increased in-hand browsing via phones. Social media access and online memberships are set to grow tremendously in coming years as a greater percentage of the population migrates to smart phones. 75% of the mobile users between the ages of 18 and 44 access social networks on a daily basis. It is safe to say that marketing in today’s age of the Internet has gone mobile to a large extent.
Google has also altered it algorithm such that the search engine will give more importance to mobile optimized sites. Every business worth its salt is creating an online presence. It’s especially important for small businesses to advertise on these sites to survive and focus on developing mobile-responsive websites. Content designed to be shared on social media pages must be made accessible on mobile devices.
2. Conversion Should be the Main Goal
The main focus of a small businesses that wants to thrive in a competitive market should be on ROI. Obviously small businesses, given their limited resources, cannot match the quality and quantity of content that the big corporations can pump out. But they can strive to create brand recognition, a loyal base of followers, and increased website traffic.
According to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report for small businesses, creating and sustaining a social media presence generates a 70% ROI. So even with a relatively low marketing budget, the returns are much higher and more endurable. There is a pay-off between time and budget. So, initially select one or two platforms and make a schedule to write posts 3 – 4 times a day. First build a community; then expand to other popular platforms to increase returns.
3. Dominate Social Media
So far, most businesses have relied on Facebook to carry out their online marketing activities. But in 2017, small businesses need to identify and target the social media platform in which their audience is most active.
For example: If the majority of your audience or consumers are of a younger generation, then it would be more effective to target them on Instagram or Snapchat.
B2B marketers will probably lean a little heavily toward LinkedIn.
Considering that some marketers are unable to justify a Facebook presence, small businesses should identify more focused platforms for their online interaction. Try to integrate live feeds so that visitors can see your recent activity and follow you. This will help you directly interact with the target audience and build your base.
4. The Rise of Snapchat and Instagram…..and Others to Come
Facebook and Twitter have dominated social media marketing in 2016. They will probably continue to do so in 2017. However, with new advertising opportunities, this year is scheduled to see a distinctive rise in Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat advertising as well. As users identify and explore newer platforms, small businesses will have to be proactive in 2017 to try and create and capture first impressions there.
Ultimately, social media helps to drive site traffic and boost SEO. A diversified online presence this year will be the trend to maximize lead-to-close rate for small businesses.
5. Focus on Video Marketing
Informative animated videos are a medium of communicating with the consumer by presenting complex elements of the product in a simplified and engaging way. According to a survey, 90% of users confirm that product videos help them make product purchasing decisions.
Video consumption has now been the focus of social media platforms like Facebook, Periscope, and Twitter. Viewers spend more than 100 million hours watching videos on Facebook alone. Small businesses can use video marketing to highlight their products. They can capitalize their product presence online, increase brand awareness and, eventually, sales. They can also monitor the impact of videos by analyzing viewer and purchase conversion percentages through Google Analytics.
6. Paid Advertising on Social Media Platforms
Two of the biggest advantages of social media advertising are a potentially huge audience and low budget investments. Exercise these advantages to expand your reach via paid advertising on popular platforms. Get your content, offers, and ads out to your target audience. Because of the huge range of upcoming social media platforms, with some planning, you can get your ads posted at cost-effective rates. Paid advertising is on the rise as more people overlook organic content, due to overload of the same. While Facebook offers granular advertising solutions, Twitter offers advertising solutions through promoted content and promoted accounts. Similarly, every social media platform can assist you in targeting your audience at various micro levels. Amplify your organic content by using hashtags and improving its visibility.
Having a social media presence has many advantages for small businesses. Marketing at low budget, brand awareness, direct interaction with the consumers, gaining insight into the consumer decision making process, and, most importantly, sale conversions. However, it does require your business to constantly engage audiences online. Fortunately there are suites of tools, such as Post Planner and Hootsuite, to assist you. Ideally you should try to create a niche to maintain limited, yet positive, interaction with respondents. Upgrade your social media plans by periodically reviewing your metric reports and identifying the channels and campaigns that are driving maximum traffic. Social media engagement is for the long haul, rather than short term gains, so design your plans keeping this in mind.