As previously seen social media is generally used as a marketing tool for small business, large business and non- profit organisations. Media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Blogs can help to enlarge businesses around the world. Although this can help and be a good marketing tool for large business, studies shows that more than 60% of small owners say they haven’t seen any return on investment from their engagement online.
Non- Profit organisations such as Unicef, Red Cross, Childfund use emails and their websites as their most important tools. This have to do with the fact that for many non-profit organisation the peak of engagement is donation which is facilitated by email or website. Even though researches (source) shows that 97% of them are on Facebook which is also an important and a cheaper and fast way to advertise their business.
In general the use of social media require a good planning and research but it allows small business and non-profit organisations to develop good relationships for a great benefit using social media to promote the brand, new ideas, products or just to create an engagement with their customers.
Small businesses vs. Large businesses
Large companies have more resources available to drive a social media strategy and they are more likely to use more social media channels and be more successful than small business as they have more ability to allow time and people to work on their online channels. This is unlikely to happen with small businesses and it’s hard for them to spend as much time as large business do as most of them need to need to do the job themselves and social media is a very timing consuming activity.
This doesn’t mean that social media channels are less important for small business than large business. It is important for small business to take different approach of advertising using the social media to promote their business in a lower scale and to interact with clients on a more personal way focusing in what they offer and creating trust towards the business and consumers.
The use of Mobile
Mobile social media offers its greats insights into consumer habits. The two main ones are time and place as mobile social media is accessible almost anytime and anywhere. This is because almost everyone has a smart phone with connection to some form of social media network which provides businesses with data that is difficult to collect from more traditional social media.
Risks of using Social Media in business
Social Media does bring risks for all business as they are exposed and visible to everyone who has linked to that page or post, making it visible for any negative comments, bad feedbacks.
At the end of it all, the fact still remains that all business needs to weigh up the benefits against the risks. Considering that practically everything in life as an outcome of our action bears risk, I believe the good outcomes that Social Media brings to its business are greater than the risks in the long term as long as these risks are carefully calculated and mitigated.
Bakeman, M. M. & Hanson, L. (2012). Bringing social media to small business: A role for employees and students in technology diffusion. Business Education Innovation Journal, 4(2), 106-111.
Casserly, M. (2013). Why small businesses are losing on social media. [Article] Forbes.com, 31-33 Forbes.com 4/17/2013. Pg 31
Lee, K. (2015). Social Media for Non-Profits. Retrieved from https://blog.bufferapp.com
Marketer, J. (2015). Social Media – a perfect gateway to build relationship with your customers. Retrieved from http://jattmarketer.com