Small Businesses, Non Profits and Mobile Social Media

Welcome

Welcome to my fourth blog post – today is all about Small Businesses, Non Profits and Mobile Social Media. Enjoy!

Small Business

What is it?

A small business is typically owned and operated independently and is limited in both size and revenue. The threshold varies between industries.

How can they use social media?

Begin with Facebook.
Facebook is a good place to start with it being more common than other sites.
Once a customer base is built then other sites may be introduced but Facebook is a promising initial phase into social media. The Facebook page can be used to introduce customers to their other social media forms.
Small businesses should dedicate staff member(s) to responding to messages and posting updates so as to not leave customers hanging. This will also enhance their credibility.

They should use the scale of their business to their advantage by being personal.
Whether it’s using a Facebook page, an Instagram or a YouTube Channel they should dedicate it first to reaching customers on a personal level. Large businesses do not have this opportunity as their capacity won’t allow it.
Doing this creates a sense of loyalty and trust. Customers will feel like they know and connect with the staff and are therefore more likely to purchase and re-purchase what the business is providing.
It is the forming of these relationships that gives small businesses edge over their larger counterparts.

Find graphics that match brand personality
They must advertise a logo that customers will instantly relate to their brand. Visual aids and associations are extremely effective.

These are just a few tips, more can be found on:

To what ends?

Small businesses must ensure offline marketing strategies are effective also, relying solely on online attempts will prove detrimental should something happen.
They should only use social media to the extent their resources allow and not overdo it. This will dilute the whole strategy.

Non Profit

What is it?

A non-profit organisation utilises its revenue differently to other organisations. Instead of seeing it as profit they put it towards their overall business goal or purpose.

How can they use social media?

Ensure that their purpose is made apparent.
People are more likely to contribute if they are aware of and align with an organisational mission. They will feel involved personally, a useful strategy.

Decide on a target audience.
This is an essential first step as it will dictate writing style, approach etc. It is  important that the organisation then maintains this target audience to ensure consistency across the social media page(s.)

Non-profit organisations should use their social media as platforms for visual aids. Proof of action is powerful in this instance as contributors know how their money is being used, and what the business actually does.

More tips can be found on:

To what ends?

A non profit business must not rush into the social media landscape. They should first make their online presence known on one or two forms and extend further depending on their results and reactions.

How might the use of social media differ for small and large businesses?

Small Business Large Business
Budget With a smaller business comes a smaller budget, meaning less funding can be dedicated to social media. The staff member(s) monitoring the media will have other tasks within the business as well. More money means more can be dedicated to social media. Staff can be designated purely to this area of marketing, perhaps resulting in more success.
Time Social media will not be as big a priority for small businesses as for large as they will have less time to spend on it. With more time spent on social media it is expected they will have a bigger online presence than small businesses.
Diversity Small businesses may exist on a couple of different social media sites. Likely to have an extensive online presence with profiles on a number of different sites.
Customer Base Their online following will most likely be smaller. Larger online following

Mobile Social Media vs. Traditional Social Media

These are two terms that can intercept in some instances.
Mobile social media is basically social media that can be accessed via smart phone, tablet, laptop etc. In a broader sense, it is social media that exists on handheld, portable devices. Some apps may be able to be accessed on these devices as well as alternatives so could potentially fit under both categories.
Mobile social media can also be described as instances where individuals with aligned interests connect with one another through their mobile devices.

What are the risks of using social media?

Here are a few risks as stated by Techxb.com

  1.  Reputation management
    By entering the world of social media businesses are putting their entire company reputation at risk. This is due to the possibility of bad publicity. Bad publicity isn’t the only possible consequence however, legal issues may also result from a poor decision made online.
  2. Security Issues
    The second a business is online the risk of a security breach sets in. This may come in the form of stolen or leaked information, or viruses that affect information storage and safety.
  3. Engaging in potential criticism
    Direct contact proves successful in most instances, however it also introduces the risk of potential criticism. Customers may publicly shame your company and impact your customer base in a negative manner.
  4.  Trust as part of the culture
    You must place immense trust in the staff responsible for running the social media profiles. They have the ability to make or break public opinion of the business, placing such trust in someone puts the business at risk.
  5. Wasting company time
    Specifically in the instance of a small business, employees may spend too much time on social media as opposed to doing their other work.

Questions?

  • What businesses do you know of that have a social media presence?
  • Have you seen any businesses that use social media poorly?
  • Do you think businesses should use social media?

Thank you!

Thanks for reading, I hope you stick around for future blog posts.

Annie Moffatt

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