If you run an SME (small or medium-sized enterprise), it can feel impossible to keep up with bigger companies. Resource-wise, they have a huge advantage.
But when it comes to managing the firm’s social media presence, there’s plenty your SME can do to stand out. From using the local engagement edge to providing staff training, social media give you a good shot at becoming a leader despite your company’s size.
One thing that works when it comes to social media (and big companies have proven this) is paying attention to what customers are saying by watching for tags and mentions on such sites as Facebook and Twitter. When you’re an SME, you have the ability to respond to each and every one of those posts in a meaningful way, which is something a huge company may likely find impossible.
How can you make this work for you? Assign social media responsibilities to your team members and use supplementary sites like Hootsuite to see what customers are saying about you.
You can even set up a feed specifically for mentions of your company. Even if responding to every comment is beyond your team, at least try to make sure you’re engaging generally with customers, especially when they have significant concerns.
Use The Community Angle
Even if you’re an online firm, an SME is more likely to be rooted in a specific region, or perhaps have a more closely knit digital community, than a large company. Make this work to your advantage by participating in community improvement efforts and fundraisers, then publicize them on social media.
Demonstrating social responsibility can be a great way to draw attention to your operation, and it works especially well if you choose a mission that relates to your line of business. That’s why it’s so common to see airlines selling carbon offsets, for example — it allows them to manage the environmental impacts of their business. Similarly, when the wooden cabinet supplier Kitchen Cabinet Kings wanted to highlight its commitment to doing good, the company opted to partner with a tree-planting program because of how heavily lumber-reliant the business is.
Your firm should also pick something that has special meaning for you.
Large firms typically rely on brute force to control social media conversations. They’ll put an entire team in charge of handling communication on those sites.
As an SME, you have to rely on brains over brawn to make your social presence felt. Invest in hiring a tech support team and supporting in-house digital development.
It’s worth the money to train staff members on best social media practices because you could quickly make that investment back through their outreach efforts.
Finally, don’t be afraid to use outside influences to build your social base. The only downside to this kind of content is that you can’t plan it in advance; you have to be tuned into the trending topics and news drama.
But using these cultural touchstones to create smart, timely content is called newsjacking, and it works. It enables your business to latch onto useful tools like trending topics and tags to draw more attention to your posts.
SMEs may not have the human or financial resources of larger companies, but that doesn’t mean they have to let the big folks control the conversation. By embracing smart social media strategies, you can enhance your digital presence and outperform the big names at claiming the public eye.