Social Media is not just a method only being utilized by big brands anymore. Small businesses are starting to embrace and implement social techniques on a grander scale. Smaller businesses are using social not only as a marketing tool, but also as a customer service platform.
Full-Scale vs. Small Scale Social Strategies
A 2012 SMB Group Study found that 20% of small businesses use social in an ad hoc, informal way. The goal being to generate leads, and drive more traffic to their websites. The study also revealed that 24% of small businesses are using social in strategic and structured way. This includes data analysis of market trends and customer driven product ideas.
As you might have guessed from the study the businesses practicing strategic social media enjoyed a higher level of integration amongst their departments. The largest disparity between the two groups was uncovered in the Customer Service department. Only 8% of the companies with an informal social media environment had integrated into Customer Service, while an impressive 43% of the strategic social group integrated Customer Service. That’s quite a difference and food for though if your small business just kicking the tire with little or no social presence.
Satisfaction Inside and Out
So what about customer satisfaction? The strategic group was 4 times more satisfied with capturing the voice of the customer, and 1.8x more likely to be satisfied providing customer service.
Techsmith is a small business that provides screen capture and recording software for both individual and professional use. The used Get Satisfaction to implement a strategic solution. Over a 10 month period almost a half a million people participated in dialogs, and 1200 product ideas were generated by customers. Definitely some impressive numbers that help a small business like TechSmith to grow.
Top Media Channels
Small businesses were found to be proactively using the usual suspect networks:
Company Facebook Page 24%
Facebook Groups 20%
LinkedIn Groups/Discussions 14%
Big Social Media Lessons from Small Business
Respond Immediately to customer concerns – It is a must for small businesses to listen to their customers and react
Use Social technologies for 24/7 customer support – The ease and flexibility of Social technology allows 24/7 customer support
Get Personal – Don’t hide behind your brand. Customers appreciated the personal touch. Give it to them
Discover the benefit of social media beyond marketing – Create cost effective social solutions, like a branded customer community
How are you using social media to enhance your small business?