Is social media right for your small business?
The simple answer is maybe. I would argue that social media’s benefits outweigh its downsides; however, it is important to understand that the value from social media comes with time and expertise.
There’s no go-to formula to make your business a success through social media, and equally social media shouldn’t be your business’s only communication channel.
Most start-ups and small businesses use social media for two reasons: it’s free and it’s fairly easy to understand. But it is time consuming and requires a planned and consistent approach.
So, should your business harness social media? If so, when? And what purpose does it provide – is there a return on investment on the time spent?
What purpose does social media provide?
Social media allows and encourages a channel of back-and-forth communication with your current and potential customers. Recent research suggests more than 77% of the UK population has a social media presence and, while locally we joke that we’re usually behind the times, we estimate Guernsey’s usage to be similar.
Without entering the ‘nitty gritty’, social media is only one important aspect of a business’s PR and marketing strategy. However, it’s a quick way of communicating offers, services or even that your business exists.
Professional services on social media
Those in professional services understand the benefits of networking events. The ability to talk with like-minded individuals and partners and the act of ‘swapping cards’ is one of the best ways to build connections.
However, many are missing out on arguably the biggest tool for their local market. LinkedIn is specifically built for professionals and its use in Guernsey and its typical target markets is significant – you are missing a trick if you and your team is not using it properly.
The ability to promote your expertise, showcase insight and discuss topical news amongst other professionals is critical to growing and developing your business’s journey. Businesses are successful because of their people and, without sounding like a LinkedIn advert, this social media platform allows you to showcase your business’ best whether you are in the office, or in your pyjamas.
To incorporate or not to incorporate?
If you Google ‘does my business need social media?’ you’ll see the below. The majority are articles from social media managing companies trying to convince you to buy their scheduling or measurement platforms.
To be honest, if you’re a start-up or small business, you don’t need to invest hundreds of pounds into software to help you. The time invested will be paid back in new contacts and clients.
As already mentioned, LinkedIn shouldn’t be the only part of your communications strategy. But it’s a good first step.
If you’re looking for specific LinkedIn training or support on how to develop your business’s communications and reputation, you can contact Chris Leaman on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01481 729 229.