SMEs are missing out on the opportunity to engage regularly with customers due to a reluctance to invest in social media content strategies, a new report published by ad enterprise Sensis has found. More than half of small businesses said that they currently don’t have a documented plan for capturing consumers on social.
The Sensis Social Media Report polled the opinions of 800 consumers and 1,100 local companies in Australia in order to determine general attitudes to content on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Surprisingly, SME social media spend has dipped from $3,595 (£2,772) to $2,839 (£2,189) on average during the last year.
A failure to invest in content appears to be hurting enterprises, as 43 per cent of consumers said that they actually like and follow brands to get access to the latest content that is relevant to them on social platforms.
A quarter of the respondents said that keeping up to date with brands is their main purpose for using social, and this suggests that consumers are not shying away from organic content and sponsored messages. On the contrary, they actually want more engagement with businesses.
Sensis spokesperson Rob Toliday said that small enterprise could transform their content outlook by asking for help from an external third party, such as a digital agency, as this is where larger businesses have regularly turned to deliver the targeted campaigns that are enabling them to reach customers and drive positive actions.
Zoetic Agency founder Dionne Lew also urged SMEs to stop worrying about the time that it takes to develop a strategy and actually start putting something worthwhile into action. “The one thing that struck me is companies are still struggling to make sense of it all,” she said. The study found that less than a quarter of the respondents are measuring their ROI for campaigns across social media.
Lew added: “It’s not hard; it’s about identifying what channels you want to use. Don’t think about what you want to tell customers about yourself, think about what customers need to know. Think about what’s helpful for them. The most engaging content for people is user-generated content, so actually using and sharing ideas that people are already putting out there.”