Creating online relationships that have a positive effect on your company’s bottom line can be rather difficult. Testing different approaches within social media and online marketing will help solidify the right strategy for your company. Today, with shrinking budgets due to the recession, marketing is often the first item to be reduced. Being original and dynamic are two keys that all companies must strive for.
In a recent study, Citibank found that 75% of small business owners do not find social media networking to be beneficial in generating sales. These businesses have also found several challenges in their attempts to crack into social media. Matthew Yeomans, director of UK-based social media strategy firm Custom Communication, states, “Maintaining constant, and genuine dialogue with customers who are on the Internet around-the-clock can be both time consuming and exhausting, requiring extra resources that small companies may not have.” In our experience as a creative marketing firm, we have yet to encounter a business that couldn’t benefit in some way from having an online presence. Often times, businesses fail to develop and implement a creative online marketing strategy that makes sense for them. Perhaps this this is why 3 out of every 4 business owners have reported their social media marketing is ineffective.
Most companies using social media today are merely experimenting and do not have a concrete strategy. For individuals who have been in business all of their lives, it can be disconcerting for them to begin adopting Twitter and Facebook, and abandon their traditional advertising mediums. However, it’s essential for small businesses to understand that developing a social media campaign takes time, and can be a great compliment their traditional advertising mediums. Often times it can take a few months to even a year to begin experiencing the benefits and positive effects that social media can have on your business.
Regarding social media marketing, “more businesses will be forced to make that jump, whether they are ready or not”, says Yeomans, who predicts having a Twitter and Facebook account for companies will soon be as, if not more, important than owning a website. “This is no longer a niche. This is a way we are living online, and the companies that adapt are the companies that will prosper.”
As John Jantsch, a marketing and digital technology coach explains, social media should be viewed more as an evolution, rather than a revolution. It’s about adopting new avenues of marketing and reaching out to potential customers. In today’s market, social media marketing and an online presence is a must, and should be integrated into every company’s strategic marketing plan. If you think it’s just a fad, beware.
- Hugh from HSM
- “How can small companies make money from social media?” CNN
- “Why Social Media is Worth Small Business Owners’ Time,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek
- “Social Media for Small Business,”Duct Tape Marketing
Hide & Seek Media is a creative marketing firm with locations in Boston, MA and Park City, UT. If you’re interested in learning more about developing your own creative marketing strategy, shoot us an email and tell us about your business and current marketing goals.