How can SMES use social media to compete with big business

SMEs use social mediaA massive 50.7% of users expect the online customer experience for small businesses to be just as good as their big business counterparts. But with a lot more resources at their disposal, big businesses often find it much easier to meet the expectations of their online customers.

So how are small business owners expected to compete? Well as most SMEs use social media already, we think it’s the tool that will do the job. Read on to find out why.

Why SMEs need social media to compete with the big players:

Social media is one of the few avenues that has no barrier to entry. Other channels such as online advertisements, PPC and TV/radio ads all cost money – social media can be absolutely free!

When SMEs use social media correctly, they can gain maximum reach with minimum spend and target markets that big businesses often overlook.

Social media platforms are a great place to build up your reputation and take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing. Normally, a big business will already have a strong reputation, but for small businesses, it’s a chance to get up on their level.

A strong social media presence will give you an SEO boost, and help you get noticed by more potential customers.

How should SMEs use social media to level the playing field?

While everyone loves an underdog, you’re going to have to put in some hard work to compete with big business. Here’s what you can do:

Show your personal side

Larger companies often struggle with showing their personal side as they have massive teams dedicated to social media.

As a small business owner, you probably do your own social media. This makes it really easy to show the real person behind your brand – you!

Here are just a few things you can do to give your social media the personal touch:

  • Share personal stories or anecdotes.
  • Show “behind-the-scenes” photos or videos.
  • Use streaming services like Facebook Live to share personal thoughts and opinions on hot industry topics.
  • Connect with fans and followers directly, on an individual basis.

If you want to be really clever, use analytics to determine customer engagement and demographic profiles, so you can create super-targeted content and appeal to similar followers.

Be agile

The main benefit of being a small business is your flexibility. There’s less red tape to cut through, a more centralised location and (probably) fewer people to sign off on new ideas.

Big businesses don’t have this. Almost every item is heavily scrutinised by department heads and legal teams, so it takes ages to get anything done.

Use this to your advantage by executing and iterating new ideas quickly – this will give you a competitive edge on big business.

Limit your social channels

Find out which channels your target audience use, and concentrate on those. Make sure you have a strong plan for each, and use social media tools to help get things moving.

Commit to social media

Make sure you post content regularly. A blend of educational and humorous content is best as it delivers a memorable brand experience that users trust.

Use a mix of written content, social media images and videos, and to be consistent in voice and tone throughout.

If you need a little help with building up your social media content, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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