Everyone from pre-teens to granddads, does social media today. With Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and many newer ways to stay in the know popping up every day, picking the right platform can be a difficult task. While the personal value of this modern convenience seems obvious to most, the task of proving the channel’s worth to a business can be very challenging.
With this said up front, many larger companies have taken the plunge anyway. According to a recent eMarketer survey, 88 percent of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees that were surveyed are using social media for marketing purposes. This figure is actually expected to rise slightly to 89.5 percent in 2016. Dell has been a leader in the use of social media for business and recognizes that it has value for more than improved brand awareness. This large global corporation has become especially adept with social media, learning how to meaningfully increase business sales and revenue.
A similar survey of 350 small businesses done by the research firm Clutch, however, found that nearly half of those organizations don’t actively use social media to promote their businesses and 25 percent say they have no plans to do so in the future. Do these numbers represent a business “social media gap”? Are small businesses missing the boat?
Strategize, then analyze the numbersAs a small business owner myself, this question is more than just academic. When I founded GovCloud Network over a year and a half ago, using social media for marketing and opportunity identification was one of my strategic planks. In my simplistic view, we would use Twitter to advertise new content posted on the company’s blog, Cloud Musings. The expertise and knowledge demonstrated by thought-leadership pieces would, in turn, drive our targeted customer segment straight to the company website.
After reading this study though, I began to second guess both the money and time investments. So