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JohnBoorman

JohnBoorman   , 33

from Newark Bank of New York

Small business tips: how to use social media to boost business

Social media is transforming the way business is carried out. A recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK found that nearly 80% of consumers would be more inclined to buy more often in the future because of a brand's presence on social media.

For small firms, knowing how to capitalise on this is crucial. Julia Bramble, founder of social media consultancy Bramble Buzz, says: "If businesses haven't got the right [social media] presence then they're really going to be missing out, because customers are expecting to find businesses and brands on there."

What SME owners must focus on, says Bramble, is their target market: "The key message is to think about who your customers are, think about everything you know about them, where they live, what their lifestyles are, what their interests are, business wise and outside of business, and that'll give you big clues as to the social networks they're likely to be using."

6132319582590302586_large.pngIs Social Media Actually Helping Your Company’s Bottom Line?

When it comes to business, we talk too much about social media and expect too little. It’s like the old joke about sales people: one person says, “I made some valuable contacts today,” and the other responds, “I didn’t get any orders, either.” Companies measure the market results of their sales how do you buy followers on instagram investments. But few have measures or even have accountable managers in place for their social media investments, and only 7% say their organizations “understand the exact value at stake from digital.” Meanwhile, according to a Gallup survey, 62% of U.S. adults who use social media say these sites have no influence on their purchasing decisions and only 5% say they have a great deal of influence.

When banner ads first appeared their CTR was 10%, but that soon fell due to heavy usage by firms, and clutter. Research has long demonstrated that ad elasticities are generally very low, that firms often persist with ineffective ad media (because they have the wrong measures or no measures), and that companies routinely over-spend on ads (due to ad agency incentives, the fact that ad expenses are tax-deductible, and companies’ buy instagram followers review use-it-or-lose-it budgeting processes). Other research indicates that traditional offline consumer opinion surveys (when they use representative samples) are better at predicting sales than clicks, number of website visits or page views, positive or negative social media conversations, and search (although online behavior is good at tracking the reasons behind week-to-week changes in sales.)