Younger small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have responded to the need of using new media technologies for business with almost 41% of SME owners under the age of 44 using social media as the primary tool for communicating with their customers, according to a new Westpac index.
The Westpac Survey was conducted with 522 Australian SME owners and decision makers who were whittled down to those who had an annual turnover of less than $5 million and under 20 employees.
The survey results were promising, with 35% of SME owners using social media to network with existing or potential customers. Further, 71% of SME owners used at least one networking channel for their business and 59% networked online.
Westpac has the following tips on how to use social media as a business tool:
1. Understand how social media can work for you and your customers
Decide if social media is right for your business by considering the time spent on maintaining the platforms, responding to posts, generating content and engaging with followers.
It is important to have a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve by using social media, which platform is right for you and how it aligns your business plan and strategy.
2. Be clear on who your customers are and what you want them to do
Content is crucial to effective social media strategies – know what you are trying to say and say it clearly.
Tailor your messages so they are the appropriate length for your customers, and be clear on the call to action – it is important not to mix messages and ensure you provide links to the page where customers can purchase your products or communicate with your business.
3. Develop a social media policy for your business
Respond carefully and thoughtfully to customer posts on social media channels.
Have a process in place to ensure the responses to customers are on message and enhance their customer experience.