Research carried out by digital marketing agency, AddPeople, has revealed that a large proportion of South African SMEs are yet to grasp the potential of social media as a communications tool for business.
The research reveals that 80% of the agency’s new South African SME customers were not previously active on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Additionally, AddPeople’s research discovered that of those new customers with social media accounts, 69% didn’t have prominent website links, be it through well-positioned click through icons or a social media feed.
Given that 71%* of social media participants are more likely to buy a product or service from a company they have connected with via social media and 36%** of people have posted about a brand on social networks, the importance of SMEs making good use of social media cannot be underestimated.
“We were stunned by the results of our customer research. It is amazing to think, given the prominence of social media these days, that only 20% of our new South African SME customers have previously made use of social networking,” says Neil Baker, marketing manager at AddPeople.
“SMEs need to take note of the plethora of advice and statistics out there which reiterate the importance of social media engagement. New business can be won and customers lost through an SME’s online behavior; it is as simple as that.
“Enterprises shouldn’t see social media as something to be afraid of and equally social media shouldn’t be viewed as a tool solely for teenagers. Companies need to focus on choosing the right platforms for them and commit to a strategy of interaction and unique content updates, as well as always remembering to communicate as a person, not a corporation!”
Businesses new to social media should focus time and attention on the platform that will deliver the most for them. According to marketing software company, Hubspot, B2B companies say they have acquired the most new customers via LinkedIn, whilst 67% of B2C companies have acquired a new customer through Facebook. Twitter shouldn’t be overlooked, as it is a powerful tool for instantaneous interaction with customers and can be crucial for protecting and enhancing your brand’s reputation.
IMAGE: Wikimedia Creative Commons
AddPeople provides web design, pay-per-click management and other services to more than 3 000 small and medium-sized firms across the world.