Social Media: Future Implications for Small Business Owners
The social media landscape is constantly changing. Even for social media marketers, new platforms launching every other week are overwhelming to learn, understand and explain to clients. In fact, it seems that once we accustom to one platform, it’s time to learn another! These changes are most likely attributed to shifts in technology and human behaviors, and in this post, I’ll discuss how these changes may impact small businesses in the future.
Consumers value other consumer opinions
In this era of constant communication and online connections, the need to be “social” with one another is more prevalent than ever. Humans are still connecting – they’re just doing it in the digital space. They value each others’ insights, product reviews, endorsements and offer product “warnings” daily. #Facebook, #Twitter, #Pinterest and blogs are now platforms for consumers to amplify their own voices within their networks because they want to be viewed as change agents or noted for their expertise or educational views.
Gone are the days when journalist and reviewer insights were by consumers as “credible.” In fact, according to a MarketingLand Study 88% of consumers said online consumer reviews – positive or negative – influence their buying decisions. Because of this, small businesses must actively monitor conversations surrounding their products/services to ensure consumer sentiment remains positive.
Great marketing content is now the currency of visibility
Great content marketing is the key to success for any small business on social media. However, not all content can be used on all channels – rather, it’s the opposite. Content should be crafted for each social media channel to best meet audience needs.
For example, Facebook and Pinterest are visually based platforms, literally. They’re engineered to display visual content beautifully, so rather than posting an important/interesting statistic in text (BORING!) – turn it into a graphic. Have a great press release? Share it on Twitter with a dynamic image and link directly to the materials/product it represents.
Be creative. Try new things: experience with videos, imagery, and text – you’ll discover what content works best and which platforms to share on based on likes, engagement and user actions. Pay attention to your audience engagements: they’ll tell you what they’re looking for!
Demand drives change
As #socialmedia grows at exponential rates, so does the demand for new platforms and the devices they’re powered on. In fact, because most of us are continually attached to our mobile phones and tablets, “being social” has nothing to do with physical connections anymore. Our “connections” are now en-route to becoming more automated, impersonal and technology-based. So #smallbusinesses not only need to consider what platforms they’ll be active on, but regularly strategize digital ways to attract new customers.
What do you think? Do you think our social evolution is technological or human behavior based? Share thoughts below!