It’s on smartphones, tablets and PCs – the world of social media is virtually everywhere. The benefits for small businesses across the world are too good to miss. Blogger and Author Ryan Biddulph sits down with Compelo to discuss why businesses can’t afford to ignore social media.

Social media can boost clientele, awareness and increase traffic and sales when used correctly.

“Businesses need to cut through the social noise to understand that it’s simply another channel through which to help people interested in specific products and services,” explains Ryan Biddulph, blogger, and author of How to Become an Online Expert with Little to No Experience.

social media presence

 Every 15 seconds somebody joins social media, can your business afford to miss out?

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show there’s a new social media user every 15 seconds. When asked, 77 percent of Twitter users confirmed they felt more confident about a brand when they respond to their tweet. and three in 10 users find it is vital to support their favourite brands on social media.

Biddulph says: “Most businesses make the common mistake of using social as a broadcasting platform. Nobody really cares about you, your business or your updates until you care about them. Ask questions on social media related to your business. Provide generous answers through social media updates and via your blog.”

In the UK, on average, only 60 percent of businesses are using social media. Smaller businesses are even lower – standing at 57. 6 percent – compared to organisations with more than one thousand employees, where 90.3 percent use social media.

“Small businesses are missing the boat on this one because social media is a powerful tool for connecting with potential customers and for strengthening bonds with current customers,” explains Biddulph.

Facebook and Twitter are being used to focus niche markets. Therefore, businesses should have a strategy for each platform to appeal to certain demographics.

social media presence

Blogging

Despite the benefits of blogging – businesses using a professional blog are at a low. Only 42 percent companies run a blog and just one in five small businesses will be investing in social media in 2018.

Although, research has found that the IT sector blogged the most – with 67 percent of businesses conforming they use a blog. However, transport and storage sectors blogged the least with only 21.7 percent. The retail sector had the smallest increase since 2013 at a meagre +1.6 percent.

In the same study, only 23.2 percent of businesses stated they used social media to improve their business’ image and market their products. The second most common reason being to get or respond to customers’ questions and reviews.

These statistics suggest that social media is the single most effective way to reach audiences. With an average of 13 percent, social media users admitting to clicking on an advertisement within the last month. 39 percent of social media users believe it’s important to find out about products and services via social media.

Strategy

Companies are entering the social media front lines without a clear strategy. Here are seven social media marketing tips that can help businesses connect with their audience – by Ryan Biddulph:

  • Use live video. Entrepreneurs should hop on Periscope broadcasts and Facebook Live broadcasts. This helps gain the trust of their audience and add a human element to their brands.
  • Simply engaging people on social media in an authentic way. Make it personal, and understand the trends that entrepreneurs are following.
  • The use of hashtags and lists through Twitter helps target prospective customers.
  • Facebook offers groups or pages that relate to your business, this can be of particularly helpful to niche companies
  • Google Plus Communities are a great way to answer questions related to the business’ niche. By increasing brand awareness and helping customers for free – this will actively grow the business.
  • Asking questions on social media platforms related to the business and provide generous answers through social media updates and via a blog.
  • Promote other businesses in the same niche to both cut through the fear of competition and also build powerful partnerships that leverage a presence.

Social media simply gives businesses a platform through which they can be seen as valuable in the eyes of potential customers. Some will become long-term – so what better time to increase social media presence than now.