Many small business owners already understand the importance of social media, but don’t know how to leverage it to produce real results in the form of sales, leads, networking, or gaining customer feedback.
The 2011 Sensis e-Business Report revealed several insights about the state of small businesses in Australia and how they use social media and the Internet:
Australian small businesses report that social media has helped their business
Just over half of all SMES that used social media reported that it had a positive effect on their business. These businesses felt that social media had increased networking opportunities for them, was good advertising for their business, and they had received good customer feedback.
Overall, 18% of businesses that are online use social media for business purposes, an increase of 10% from last year. Your competitors are getting on board with social and many are reaping the rewards of this low-cost channel.
The opportunity is still there
However, the opportunity to excel is still very much there. Just one in four (26%) of SMEs report monitoring and updating their social media presence everyday. 5% of SMEs report never updating their social media, with 11% reporting that they update it a few times a year. Does that qualify as being social? Companies that do not make social a priority (through the appropriate resource investment) will not get much in return – and the companies that do will naturally beef up their online presence.
Even though 95% of SMEs are using the Internet in their business, a large proportion of them don’t engage in explicit digital strategies. Of the SMEs that are on the Internet, only 16% reported having an actual digital business strategy. 81% reported not having one, and 3% were ‘not sure’. A clear strategy is essential for reaping the full rewards of social and digital over the long term – which FRANk makes every effort to help brands formulate.
A key challenge: getting the right guidance
73% of small business owners said that they access social networks like Facebook and Twitter on their smartphones or other mobile devices, but still, only 67% are holding back on investing in social media because they aren’t sure where to begin.
When it comes to social and digital, small businesses owners were found to be mostly concerned about:
1. Their lack of expertise or knowledge (60% concerned)
2. The cost & time associated with introducing new technologies (59% concerned)
3. The cost of implementing (58% concerned)
We understand that the online sphere can seem like a scary world with lots of different confusing platforms and constant changes. You may be unsure if social media is the way to go for your business and if it will produce an attractive enough return on investment.