In this post I will be talking about how small businesses use social media as a way of marketing their products. I will also be talking about the risk that come with using social media, and the difference between B2B and B2C.
How small business use social media?
Figure 1. Small Business. 2016
They use social media to an extent, where they can advertise their products or services. The reason small businesses use social media is because it’s free for them to use. They can use different social media websites like:
Small businesses use social media as a way for them to communicate with their customers, by informing them with the latest news, giving them a platform where they can talk/chat with them. The goal from a business perspective of using social media as a way of marketing, is for them to attract new customers and create more awareness.
It is argued that small businesses are not fully using social media to the full potential. The reason being is that, people believe that by creating a page on a social media website and then just posting advertisements of their product will bring them the customers.
But that is not the case according to Ted Rubin, to him the way to fully use social media is to have a staff members, where they spend their time being online and answering customers questions and listening to their ideas and complaints. This will help build a better connection, between the customer and the business.
The risk of using social media
One of the major risk for businesses when using social media is its reputation, it is important for them to control what is happening on their social pages, and ensuring that there is nothing that could damage their image.
Another risk would be security, it is always important to check and update your security software’s, as people could hack into businesses accounts and steal information.
B2B and B2C
Business to business (B2B) is about one business selling goods or services to another business, for example a drink product like Coca-Cola, where they distribute their drinks to supermarkets and dairy shops, and at these places customers can buy the drink. In this situation the businesses would be more concerned about the price and quality of the product.
Business to customer is about the business selling a good or service directly to them, for example fast food places. In this situation the customer would be thinking about the price, quality and maybe even how accessible it is, in terms of location and quick service.
The use of social media in B2B and B2C contexts
Figure 2. Social Media. 2016
For B2B context social media is used by three social media websites, which are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. The use of LinkedIn is more based on gathering information, while Twitter is a bit more relaxing where it’s about sharing content, tweeting fun and interesting tweets, and Facebook is more about connecting to the customers.
For B2C context social media is used by four social media websites, which are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Facebook and Twitter can be used in similar ways like forming a community, where customers can review products, talk to each other about their experience of the good. It can also be used for businesses to advertise their products, and allow them to talk to their customers, whether it be for their feedback or providing them with information.
Instagram provides a visual way of advertising your products, through techniques like the Instagram stories it can help show your creative sides as well as the personal side of the business, like showing behind the scene photos and videos.
YouTube can be used in terms of making videos that can be creative and personal, as well making fun and unique advertisements.
Hope this has helped you understand on how social media can be used in terms of the business perspective, and the importance social media has on business success. Let me know your thoughts on this topic.
List of Illustration
Figure 1: Creative Possibility. (2016). Small Business. (digital picture). Retrieved from: http://creativepossibility.com.au/small-business-coaching-program/
Figure 2: IHRSA. (2016). Social Media. (digital picture). Retrieved from: http://www.ihrsa.org/blog/2016/1/7/6-tips-to-promote-your-health-club-using-social-media.html