A recent survey conducted by Business Network International (BNI) has found that 75% of business owners have been “put off” a particular company due to their poor use of social media. Small businesses in particular seem to have difficulty getting the social media balance right, perhaps due to lack of time, funding, or specific expertise in the area.
Charlie Lawson, BNI’s national director, detailed the principal reasons behind this lack of social media success: “There are businesses which have the various social media profiles and accounts, yet no content, others that bombard with promotional messages, and a large proportion that don’t engage at all,” he explained. “These three strands are a combination of why SMEs are failing in their social media usage.”
However, the survey did show that social media can be an effective digital marketing strategy when used correctly. 60% of participants confirmed that they had used platforms such as Twitter to build successful relationships, which ultimately led to new business. One of the most common errors that the survey highlighted was businesses “giving up” if an immediate lead was not presented, losing a valuable business contact in the process. This statistic is therefore particularly relevant as it shows the importance of nurturing social media relationships even if they do not immediately lead to a sale.
Therefore, the advice is for small businesses to continue with social media, but to update their strategies in line with the survey findings, focusing on posting regular, useful content, engaging with other profiles, and developing relationships.
What’s your company’s strategy when it comes to social media? Will you update it in line with BNI’s findings?