Social media is good for smaller businesses

Social media is a great tool for smaller businesses to engage with new and existing customers, yet new research shows that almost 50 per cent of B2B businesses are not measuring return on investment when using social media.

PricewaterhouseCooper’s new paper ‘Uncovering B2B social media: Value, innovation and engagement’ reveals that, although B2B companies are investing financially in social media, they are not backing this up with clear strategies to their staff on the use of social media or by investing in the people resources necessary to make it work effectively. Fewer than 12 per cent of organisations surveyed have full time social media teams in place, according to an article on http://www.smallbusiness.co.uk.

Sean Mahdi, director in PwC’s digital transformation practice says, ‘Social media is changing the way people work, shop, receive service and relate to one another. Businesses also need to change the way they engage with customers, whose trust is increasingly invested in their peers, rather than in the brands with which they interact.

‘The results of our survey demonstrate that, although B2B is investing in social media, they appear to be doing so with limited strategies that don’t fully exploit social media in the way that B2C is doing.’

The report examines the ways social media can be used not only as a tool to drive sales, but also as an opportunity to create loyalty to a brand, demonstrate transparency and responsibility in all aspects of the businesses operations and to use it as a way to participate in a two way dialogue as opposed to the traditional one way communication model.

Mahdi adds, ‘As embracing social media represents a significant change to the way in which many organisations interact with their customers, a social media strategy is essential. Becoming a social business requires insight on many fronts: about your customers, about what your brand stands for; and about the additional value that you can provide your customers through social media engagement.’

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