Impact of Social Media on Small Businesses in 2015

Impact of Social Media on Small Businesses in 2015

In the past year, there was constant fluctuation in the landscape of social media marketing. However, this year is expected to bring some interesting changes along with newer trends, which are likely to impact the activities of small businesses in the upcoming months. Whether they are trying to communicate with the target market, enhancing customer engagement or providing customer care services, statistics have shown that about 90% of small businesses now depend on social media marketing for exposure. With different social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn constantly making changes to their strategies, small businesses have to plan ahead and stay abreast with the latest trends.

Some trends that will be relevant for enhancing the impact of social media on small businesses are outlined below:

  • Social commerce will grow even bigger as purchasing and paying becomes easier.

Online shopping through social media platforms is becoming immensely popular, especially on Twitter and Facebook. In the past year, there were rumors that these social networks were testing ‘buy’ CTAs (Call to actions) on their platform that would enable users to make purchases through their Facebook or Twitter account directly without needing to go elsewhere. Small businesses will have to plan a strategy that will convert traffic into quality web traffic, quality web traffic into leads and leads into sales. The strategy will have to be flexible and will need to facilitate communications over various channels.

  • Visual content marketing will become a high engagement factor.

Visual content is proving to be extremely powerful in influencing the purchasing behavior of individuals. There is no doubt that visual content can catch the eye of customers and improve the process of customer engagement. As compared to text, videos attract three times more people. Furthermore, social media networks like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are planning to introduce video advertising this year so small businesses will have to use visual content intelligently for increasing online profits. This would involve using animated gifs, videos, appealing images, infographics etc. In addition, the content would need to be eye-catching and should create brand awareness in order to achieve its goal.

  • The focus will be on social, local and mobile paid strategy.

Since social media marketing and mobile advertising are revolving rapidly, a new marketing mix has been created, which involves social local and mobile. The Pay-Per-Click campaigns will become more optimized from retargeting ads, display advertising, advanced data layering and affiliate marketing. Small businesses will need to generate real-time engagement if they wish to develop loyalty amongst their active user base. The offline and online metrics will have to be aligned for tracking the individual and also collaborative performance of every element. Analytics and advanced data insights will become extremely valuable for driving campaigns that offer the greatest return on investment.

Apart from these trends, the expenditure on advertising on social networks will increase, especially with the new features and facilities being offered by Facebook and other notable social media platforms. Small businesses will need to allocate more budget in order to fully exploit the power of social media.

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