Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have revolutionised the marketing departments of many brands, but that doesn’t mean that these tools are applicable to all business types. Nor does it mean that social media can effortlessly convert a pig’s ear of a commercial venture into a lucrative sow’s purse. It takes work and it takes effort, but it also takes the right kind of people, and the right kind of business.
Small business owners (SBOs) have perhaps struggled more than any other to successfully implement a social media strategy into their marketing. This is particularly true if the SBO is limited to a local audience for trade. Indeed, a 2012 study has revealed that while 87 percent of SBOs agree that word-of-mouth and customer referrals are an effective marketing tactic, just 32 percent feel the same way about social media, a drop of ten full percentage points from earlier in the year.
This data comes courtesy of Bank Of America’s Small Business Owner Report, where respondents rated social media as their least-effective marketing tool. Networking, advertising (print, radio etc) and direct mail/email were each rated as more effective by SBOs.