How social media has changed digital marketing for SMEs

Research has shown that more and more companies are choosing to utilise digital marketing strategies to improve their bottom line and increase brand recognition among markets.

In 2019, the number of social network users is expected to increase to 2.77 billion from 2.46 billion back in 2017.

The ever-changing landscape of social media has also caused changes with the way businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), operate. Small and medium enterprises usually operate on a smaller scale, with the owner or CEO still having direct involvement in managing and running the business.

With sites like Facebook and Instagram offering a high level of reach and scope, most SMEs are taking advantage of various social networks to market and advertise their brand.

Below are examples of how small and medium enterprises utilise social networking sites in their digital marketing strategy.

Business pages and accounts

Most SMEs nowadays will usually have a Facebook business page. Because the average Internet user spends the majority of their time on social media, especially on Facebook, it makes sense for businesses to create a page on social media separate from their business website.

Facebook also provides a host of tools for businesses to optimize their presence on the social network. Facebook Insights, for one, provides businesses with a dashboard containing statistics, graphs, and additional data to help SMEs understand their audience. These analytics make sure that they are posting content relevant to their market.

While Instagram does not have a business page, they do have an option to turn an Instagram account into a business account. This unlocks a host of tools that will provide business profiles with analytics about their followers’ behavior so they can better cater to their market.

Social media algorithms

Due to the increasing amount of user-generated content, the social network has done away with showing all posts from all liked pages in reverse-chronological order. Facebook has now developed an algorithm for how posts appear on users’ News Feeds.

Understanding how Facebook’s algorithm works allows businesses to figure out what types of content will show up on their target audiences’ News Feeds.

Instagram has also done away with showing posts in chronological order, and has adapted algorithms similar to Facebook’s in that it prioritizes content that it thinks will be relevant to a user. This is especially true in Instagram’s Explore page.

When a post generates a high number of likes in the first few hours, or if a page has a high following, their content is more likely to show up in the first few rows of the Explore page. A lot of SMEs find ways to work around the algorithm; they buy Instagram followers, join Instagram pods, or use third-party apps to schedule their posts during peak hours.

These are just a few of the many ways that small and medium enterprises use social media to market their brand better. Other tricks that SMEs can use are really simple, such as creating quality content or holding contests or giveaways on their social media pages.

Other tactics can be a little time- or resource-consuming such as hiring influencers or brand ambassadors. Either way, social media has now been ingrained into the digital marketing landscape, and will likely continue to remain relevant in the years to come.