We have seen that 9/10 of the leading social media platforms are owned by major corporations. From a business owner's perspective, this could be good or bad news; clearly, owners of social media are making money: on one Wednesday in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg made $1.7 billion from Instagram announcing a new feature.
But whether or not it's worth spending your company's budget and time interacting on social media is still not clear. Content that you post on social media may have driven more sales if it was on the creator's site or on your directory listings.
The business value of social media depends on your company's size and industry. Social media is definitely an appealing prospect for brands looking to target younger generations.
But what about medium and small-sized businesses? It is not so simple for these companies; they do not possess the support base or concept of brand required to get the most out of this aspect of social media.
If SMEs don't have the right strategy with social media, they are susceptible to the echo chamber effect:when a business is only really talking to itself rather than finding new customers; for example when a company with a few hundred connections is mainly communicating with colleagues family and friends who would use the business anyway.
Businesses in this situation could do much more productive things with their time and digital marketing budgets. At the very least they should rethink their social media strategy.
SMEs Work on Your Local SEO First
Any small or medium-sized business with physical premises must make sure that they can be found on all of the most important online maps, search engines, and local directories before they even think about social media.
After all, what is the point of social media users being able to find your company's Facebook page if they can't find your business in the first place?
Also, social media may be an important influence on younger generations but there is something even more important than this; have you ever tried to ask someone under thirty for directions?
The generation who even knows how to hold a map the right way up is becoming increasingly outnumbered.
With millennials, especially generation Z, if your shop or restaurant isn't on search engines or Google Maps, It might as well be on Pluto. To ensure that customers can find your business, make sure you have an effective Local SEO strategy.
A key part of this strategy must be to set up effective directory listings, doing this on all of the most important local directories including Google My Business will improve your site's visibility on search engines, directories, and online maps.
Local directories are also an important influence on consumers' purchasing decisions as many of them have review sections. If this presence is managed effectively it can build trust in your business and attract new customers.
They Are Already Looking For You In Directory Listings
Directory listings can be more effective than a social media profile because people using these directories are actually there to look for a business in a specific industry, rather than to spy on their friends.
It is important to note that reviews appear for a business online whether they choose to have a presence or not. So businesses without a directory and review presence could be losing business from bad reviews without even knowing.
This yet another reason why SMEs would be better advised to spend their time on this rather than on social media.
There are many specialized local directories for each industry. A company's information and review profile must appear correctly in all of them. SMEs, who have done this well, can then, maybe, think about checking Facebook, but only after you've done your homework!
Need Some Help Managing Those listings & Reviews?
rankingCoach can make this all much easier and quicker. The app shows businesses where they need to be. It gives you the power to centralize and synchronize all of your information on multiple directories with just one click.You can also use the app to track online reviews and respond cross-platform from within the app.