Indonesia Expat
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Social Media Marketing: Where’s the Payoff for Small Businesses?

Facebook Marketing
Facebook Marketing

Like most small business entrepreneurs in Indonesia you have probably progressed from posting your most recent meal photos on Facebook to experimenting with one or more social media sites as a marketing tool. Similar to many other small business owners though, you may be unsure about the marketing benefits or you’re outright disappointed with the results.

Social media marketing statistics

In a new US 2014 social media marketing industry report, most small business marketers either didn’t know or said their Facebook marketing is not working. Only 43% of marketers feel their Facebook efforts are working, although this is an increase from 37% in 2013.

Larger businesses, however, were much more likely to agree that their Facebook marketing efforts were effective. For example, 52% of businesses with 1,000 or more employees agreed, compared to only 34% of the self-employed. So, due to availability of internal resources, company size seems to matter with social media marketing success.

In Australia, according to a recent Telstra study, nearly three quarters of small and medium businesses are failing to use social media as a marketing tool. The report said only 24% of the 1,000 small and medium businesses surveyed have embraced social media for marketing.

Take the cup-is-half-full approach

As a small business owner this may be discouraging. However, if you can take the cup-is-half-full approach, there is growing evidence that social media marketing does yield good results and is well worth the time, effort and the relatively small amount of money needed to achieve a valuable degree of success. There is also encouraging information from that same US social media marketing report.

More than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least three years report it has helped them improve sales. By spending as little as six hours per week, 66%+ of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media. And, nearly half of those who spend at least six hours per week on social media efforts saw a benefit of reduced overall company marketing expenses.

Measuring your marketing returns

The biggest cost to small businesses using social media as a marketing tool is time. So the question becomes less about money and more about the value of their time. This doesn’t mean financial ROI isn’t relevant; it just means it has a different meaning and different metrics to the small business owner than it does to big business.

As with anything new, it can seem overwhelming and impossible to add another thing to your already over-scheduled day. Tracking results can help you hone your social media efforts to activities and networks that actually add value. After some time, you will see patterns emerge that will prove helpful. Look for information that points you towards the type of content, time of day and the social networks that increase your customer engagement.

With this kind of valuable information, you will know where, when and how to spend your time. In the end, you will know you are getting your money’s worth and isn’t that what ROI is all about?

Try choosing three customer engagement measurement goals and track those goals every week for three months. At the end of three months, evaluate the data and determine if your efforts are resulting in increased engagement. If not, it might be time to alter your strategy.

Social media could be used as a tool to improve existing media channels and increase direct website visits, improve click-through rates on search engine marketing, advertising, and increased search optimization visits. Measuring sales through social media in isolation really undervalues the social channel.

Indonesians are very social marketing friendly

If you’re an entrepreneur in Indonesia, marketing directly to Indonesians, you may wonder how social media marketing plays out here. The news is very good. 77% of internet users in Indonesia say the Internet helps them connect closely with people that are important to them, mostly via social media. Many of the cheap feature phones sold in Indonesia come with Facebook pre-installed and for many Indonesians, that’s their first online experience. They’re unaware of the online world beyond Facebook. In addition to Facebook, Jakarta was named the number one Twitter city in the world and second most active Twitter country.

Indonesians are very interested in leveraging everything in the world of social media, including e-commerce. The ease at which people can now reach out to their friends or family on Facebook and/or Twitter for advice, tips, and make comparisons before any buying decisions has a huge impact on e-commerce platforms.

Indonesian marketers need to be proactive because social media is where their potential customers are. They need to create a community, not an audience. Creating a community means there are two-way communications. Indonesians are looking for conversation and relationship with their favourite brands, rather than one-way communication.

Might as well get on board

Social media marketing is a ship that’s already left port. Big companies are pointing the way as they shift enormous focus away from traditional marketing in this newer, less-costly direction. Small businesses will gain proficiency as greater commitments of time are made to marketing this way. Just like the decision to have a website is a ‘no-brainer’, social media marketing will rise to that status too. As a small business entrepreneur you may as well get on board now.

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