The power of social media for SMEs

Read our latest blog written by our Senior Communications Executive Gina Francey.

In 2019, over half the UK’s population (58%) were actively using social media from a mobile device, according to statistics released by Statista.

Being born in the nineties, I have often been at the receiving end of comments such as “you were born with that phone in your hand.”

Thankfully, my childhood narrowly missed the days of the iPhone – I was thirteen when the first Apple iPhone was launched, and I wasn’t the proud owner of a smart phone until I was living as a student dubbing myself an ‘adult’.

So, when coming across this statistic, I was a little taken aback. Yes, I know many of my friends can barely make it to lunch time without posting on their Instagram story or seeking the latest Vine on YouTube, but they are the minority, aren’t they?… No, it turns out they are not!

With over 45 million people in the UK using social media daily, and even more globally, you would think that businesses would be making the most of these free platforms, but astonishingly, over 40% of SMEs have no social media presence whatsoever. – And those that do, don’t necessarily use it to its best affect.

In this blog, I wanted to provide a starter for ten for those looking to utilise social media quickly and effectively, and how to best promote your brand.

1.) Know your platforms

This seems like an obvious one, but many take an all-or-none stance when looking at potential social media platforms. And while the different sites all have their place, they might not necessarily suit your business or the amount of resource you have to successfully populate these.

Start small: using one platform effectively is better than using four different sites poorly. The site that best suits you will depend on the nature of your business; if you’re a café looking to promote your new menu, LinkedIn probably isn’t the best place to do this, yet if you’re an accountancy firm in its first year than LinkedIn is most likely the place to be.

A good place to start when thinking about what works best for you is by looking at your competitors and any large-scale businesses you aspire to be like. Its also worth thinking about what assets you have, if you don’t have many videos, hosting a YouTube channel may be a little bit pointless…

2.) Know your audience

While it’s great that so many people are using social media, don’t get lost in the crowd! –  Understand your audience and who you want to connect with.

If you are a B2B organisation, make sure you are connected to your existing client base – companies you have previously worked for and those you are keen to work with in the future.

If your business is consumer focussed you may want to seek out key influencers in the relevant  region / sector.

3.) Know your content

Content is king. Although in most cases, this is where businesses muss the mark. Populating social media is important to make sure your businesses profile is at the forefront of your audience’s eye. This will ultimately be what drives traffic to your website and spark customer interest.

Most likely, you will have all the content you need for your social media platform drafted somewhere already. This might be the copy on your website, your newly launched menu, or the last pitch document you spent all night writing. Somewhere you will have told someone what you do and why you do it well! – So, don’t over complicate it: use what you already have – often simplicity is what works best.

Now we all love it when somebody says nice things about us, so make sure you are speaking about your audience. If you are pushed for time this will be your saving grace: sharing, commenting and interacting with their content will make you noticed by others and populate your own platforms. Easy – let them do the work!

Finally, while sharing what you do is great, don’t be a one trip pony and take a hard sales approach, this may disengage your audience. Make sure your content is varied just like your day at work. Tell people about events you are attending, charities you are supporting and anything that makes you, you!

At MK Public Relations we provide strategic social media outreach scheduling services. Find out more by speaking to a member of our team today on 0114 275 6784.