With the Pandemic refusing to taper, the economy struggling, Life being valued more, the #newnormal is the normal now. Amidst all this, it will be wrong not to acknowledge and be grateful to things that have made this time fairly easier than what it could have been.
Business wise, people are being pushed to be more creative, new ideas are taking over, online business is thriving and social media is a big platform. For all its debatable issues, being online has helped businesses to tide over this difficult time. Marketing and Selling over Social Media platforms is not something new. It was gathering momentum years ago. The Pandemic has made SM a necessity. There are many advantages of being present online as a Business.
Big Businesses use SM to their advantage with exclusive teams and technology to work for them. However, we thought of talking to Social Media experts on how the platform is being used by small businesses or startups and how the mindful use of the same can help them grow.
Sulekha Sharma, Managing Director, Dunst Nolan and an expert in Video Analytics and Digital Transformation, says that there are many advantages for people with smaller business to be present on social media. “For starters, there is a huge return on investment and social listening allows businesses to easily determine what the audience wants”, she says. “Social media has huge potential and it does not matter how big or small the business is as long as it addresses the problem statement. Unlike the days of full page ads, being present on social media, is agnostic. This is a great time for ideas to germinate”, she adds.
Gaurav Chaturvedi, Senior Business Manager whose primary area of work is managing Social Media for his Company says, “With Social Media, the volume of audience to showcase products and services to is huge”. “It has a budget friendly advertising and promotion options and is probably the best way to connect with other businesses like vendors, service providers etc who can further help in expansion”, he explains.
Since Social Media is this mammoth being and as anything else comes with its pros and cons, we come to realize that it can both be easy as well as complicated to adapt an exclusive Social Media strategy. Sulekha too feels the same. “Most strategies are tough to understand by implementers. Strategy per se is great and is easy to implement. It is however the interpretation of the strategies which does the trick,” she clarifies.
Gaurav, put it slightly differently. “Social media strategies are not rocket science if you are clear about your target audience, your products and if you choose the right message to help people understand what you have to offer or which of their problems are you here to solve,” he says. “Any social media platform will offer you a different aspect to choose while running your ad campaigns such as the age group of people you wish to target, geography, interest and the best part is you can choose your budget”, he tells us.
Having understood that the message has to be such that it reaches the right audience, new businesses would probably benefit more about how to execute the message on an online platform. What could be some tips that can help them to handle their SM well.
“Be open to new methods,” Sulekha advises. “Sometimes a picture with a smart caption does the trick Also remember that the audience is impatient hence the communication keeps evolving. Trying a dipstick always helps”, she advises further.
Gaurav breaks it down to three things
“1. Know your audience. Social media will expose you to an uncountable number of people. Be smart enough to choose whom you wish to reach out to.
- Be clear with your message. Make sure you explain about your products and services in a short, creative and clear content.
- Stay Active. Social media is a continuous process you need to stay active. Make sure to post on a regular basis but not too frequently as it may be too much for people to handle.”
“Also remember to reply to the enquiries, comments and specially be gentle to a negative review or feedback as an arrogant revert might backfire big time”, he warns.
Being active is an essential part of the Social Media game but how does it really work. How does SM increase the visibility of the brand?
“The most important way is the word of mouth in any kind of marketing. People on social media are more likely to buy some stuff if those are recommended by their friends or family by tagging each other. Hence any company working on social media strategy needs to keep working on engaging posts for their audience”, Gaurav explains. “Another strategy is to go for Paid campaigns. To promote your business well, you need to invest your time, money and efforts on social media. Running you campaigns targeting the right audience, geography, gender etc is very important for a successful campaign”, explains Gaurav.
“Programmatic advertising and short videos do the trick”, Sulekha says giving us an insight about how Programmatic advertising works by showing products that you are keen on based on your browsing history. It became apparent to us that it is also important to note / analyse what the buyers are seeing than to just post about your own business.
So how can one engage better on Social Media? “Foresight and simplicity in communication,” points out Sulekha.
“Be creative. People coming on social media would love to see creativity,” advises Gaurav. “Good old Offers and contests. Who doesn’t like free stuff?”, he smiles. “Make sure you run different contents and giveaways timely so people engage more with your page, invite their contacts to connect with you too and share some good reviews (be it negative or positive) that will further help you be better with your offerings,” he summarizes.
With so much happening on Social Media, does it mean it is the end of conventional advertising?
“Conventional advertising is surely changing and evolving”, Sulekha addresses. “Traditional methods are slowly dying”, she adds.
Gaurav, however, feels otherwise “Absolutely NOT,” is his take. “It is like comparing Apples with Oranges. Conventional advertising and SM advertising both have their own pros and cons. Conventional advertising will be very much needed as people do not trust everything that they see online. Conventional advertising helps create brand awareness to masses”, he says.
Since we are talking small businesses what are the ways in which SM will change in the future especially for small businesses. “Better engagement is an absolute take away,” says Sulekha.
“SM helps discover as well as reach potential customer base like never before”, she adds.
“SM offers cheap and a lot of filtration options for people to choose from”, Gaurav says. “This will help a lot of small businesses on the initial stage to create awareness about their products and services. We can expect more organized tools and methods by SM companies to attract brands to become more active and engaging on their platform. SM organisations have started offering business loans to small and medium enterprises. We can expect more such initiatives from SM companies in near future”, he added.
With the experts pointing out that Social Media is here to stay and may be one of the only effective methods left in the future for businesses to advertise, market and sell their products, it is important to acknowledge it’s presence and use it to your benefit.
If you are a small business or a #startup, who would like to have an expert’s opinion about Social Media strategies for your business, write to us.
Specialist on board #Brewathought will devise customized and time bound plan to help your brand be Social Media present in an effective manner.