If your small business isn’t putting more time, effort, and, yes, money into social media in 2014, you could be falling behind the competition, according to MediaPost. Next year, 70 percent of marketers say they expect their businesses to spend more on social media, according to a study for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association.
Close behind social media, 53 percent of respondents say they expect to spend more on email marketing next year. In contrast, more traditional methods like print advertising, product sampling and television advertising are falling behind, with just 16 percent saying they will spent more on print, 14 percent saying they will spend more on sampling and 9 percent spending more on television.
Somewhere in the middle, 29 percent say they expect to spend more on “offline word of mouth” marketing next year.
MediaPost also cited the CMO Survey by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, in which respondents said they expect social media marketing’s to increase from its current 6.6 percent share of their companies’ overall marketing budgets to 9.1 percent in 2004 and 15.8 percent in the next five years.
While both of the surveys focused on bigger companies, there are some important lessons for small businesses here as well. First, many small business owners think of social media marketing as a “free” marketing method. In reality, however, if you want to get the most out of social media, you do need to invest in it, whether by hiring the necessary employees to carry it out appropriately, devoting enough of your own time to it, or spending money on implementing the tools and technology that will make it work for you.
Another area for your small business to consider spending this year if you haven’t already done so is social media advertising. Another report cited by MediaPost projects social media advertising spending will grow by 35 percent in the next two years.
Advertising on Facebook or Twitter enables you to reach highly targeted audiences and expose your business to a whole new, but promising, market: your customers’ friends, families and connections. By using social media advertising, you can take advantage of the built-in goodwill that these users are likely to have for products their friends use and recommend.
How will you boost your social media marketing in 2014 and beyond?
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