6 Ways SMEs Can Utilise Social Media

In an ever increasingly competitive environment SMEs have to find new and innovative ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. They must build strong relationships and enhance the marketing power of their business. Social media is becoming or at this stage is the best way to get closer to and engage with customers at a relatively low cost per acquisition. It builds brand awareness and in turn helps SMEs grow their business.
Creating a community
Social media allows businesses do many things, market products, promotes services, have a voice, but the most important benefit is that it allows businesses build a community. It allows them to engage with their core customers, investigate how improvements can be made to their product/service, and they can also relate to customers on a human and social level.
Taking business global

Top social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Google +1, LinkedIn, and YouTube cater to global audiences. SMEs have already taken their business global by using these platforms. Not all of these platforms will work for your business, its about what suits for you and if your target market is using these platforms.

Social Media Tracking
Monitoring tools use analytics to measure consumer sentiment from data gathered on social sites. They provide the proof points needed to improve customer engagement, make marketing decisions, and link social media efforts with the bottom line.
Online Brand Reputation & Identifying Opportunity
Statistics show that consumers largely base their purchasing decisions on the reviews, commentary and recommendations of people inside (and even outside) of their circles. Engaging with consumers in this way can help negate negative commentary, uncover unmet customer needs, and potentially help convert prospects into customers.
Boosting Web Site Traffic

The popularity of social media has essentially forced search engines such as Google to include social signals into their Search Engine Rankings (SEO) algorithm.SMEs that engage in social media and link to their Web sites on their social media profiles, can expect to receive an increase in quality traffic. The value social media brings to SMEs is irrefutable. By enabling SMEs to use social media as a way to measurably strengthen customer relationships, expand geographically, and increase offerings, these tools make social media an essential ingredient for sparking innovation and increasing competitive advantage.