Small businesses are no different then their larger counterparts. Thy need to understand their audience, their site’s visitors and their strengths. And they need to use social media. Customers are using social tools to communicate, shop, research and discover — most of which are rapidly becoming a mobile experience. And so, entrepreneurs are shifting how they run their business around that fact. The question now becomes “how?” Booz & Company and Buddy Media conducted a study of social media’s marketing impact, and found that most businesses were not utilizing social media properly.
Chris Vollmer of Booz & Company says businesses large and small are moving toward three capabilities: content development, community management and real-time analytics. These capabilities are in conjunction with three major platforms: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Most small businesses are still stuck on understanding their social scale. Vollmer says small businesses can benefit greatly from gauging there analytics. The insights are especially useful.
Analytics can be broken into 4 Levels.
Level 1: Reach
Understand the social scale of your brand. Know how many fans, followers, subscribers, visitors and views you have, and how many discussions are taking place. Have visibility into what context your brand is being discussed.
Level 2: Engagement
Have insight into the activities in your various communities. Analyze the drivers of participation and amplification, study the patterns in comments, likes, and shares.
Level 3: Advocacy
Identify and encourage user behaviors including intent to recommend and share an activity, and brand favorability.
Level 4: Return on Investment
Define your business objectives based on social media analytics. Measure ey performance indicators, such as purchase intent, leads generated, conversion rates and sales.
Keep in mind that content is still king. In order for a small business to really benefit and evolve with these levels, they must provide customers with something to engage in.