Small and medium-sized business are embracing social media marketing at rapid pace. Surprised? Surely not.
Borrell conducted an online survey from January through August of 2011 that resulted in some 4,200-plus responses. Main Street Goes Social reports that almost two-thirds (64.4%) of SMBs are presently using social sites for marketing purposes and social media marketing expenditures are expected to double in the coming year.
SMB marketing expenditures for social media marketing were at about $1.1 billion in 2011; they’re expected to hit $2 billion in 2012 and predicted to almost double again to about $3.9 billion in 2013.
However, as we know, there’s a big difference between embracing social media marketing and effectively integrating social media marketing into the rest of your marketing mix. Having a Twitter or a Facebook account or a corporate blog is one thing. Using them to effectively to generate more brand awareness, serve customers and to drive leads and sales – those are entirely different animals.
It’s kind of like all the businesses that rushed to embrace daily deals sites like Groupon and others, ran a promotion that wasn’t well-thought out with a sound strategy driving the marketing campaign and lost money (and probably customers) in the process. Or the businesses who want you to ‘Like’ them on Facebook, without knowing what, exactly, they’ll do with those likes once you deliver them up. Never mind considering how to entice you to care enough to like them in the first place.
Effective social media marketing is all about delivering value. It could be value in the form of customer service. It could be value in the form of entertainment. It could be value in the form of information. And so many other things. But having social media accounts and utilizing them as a bona fide part of your integrated marketing strategy – that’s what delivers results.
So, hopefully, if you’re a business owner serious about using social media marketing as a part of your marketing strategy, you’ll be focused on what your overall business goals are, think about how social media channels and social media networking might fit into the rest of your marketing initiatives, and then really focus on what kind of value you can deliver as a result of your efforts.
Those things — if you do them – they work. Whether your business is large or small.