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SMEs by Use of Social Media - Part 1

Updated on April 7, 2017
Ashish Dadgaa profile image

Ashish Dadgaa is a young entrepreneur with 7 years of experience in the business environment. He writes about business strategies & secrets.

Introduction

SMEs play a very influential in the worldwide economy. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are considered as decisive economic characters for the economies of nations. It can be presently said that the world business stage is ruled by SMEs. It is estimated that the percentage of enterprises which are SMEs all across the world amounts to more than 95. Furthermore, in Portugal, around 98% of the industrial fabric is formed by SMEs. In Singapore alone, SMEs employ half of the working population. In 2008 India had 13 million SMEs in 2008, equal to 80% of all the country’s businesses. Social networking is a key component of any marketing strategy.

The social media is a very effective new tool that enables us to better understand our clients and prospects in a way which was not possible before. Moreover, social media has a potentially meaningful effect relating to the ways in which organizations function. A study carried out for the European Commission by European Commission Joint Research Centre Institute for Prospective Technological Studies in 2013 showed that 61% of firms were currently making use social media while only 39% were not. This gives us already an indication of the importance of social media on SMEs. Moreover, the same survey showed that in SMEs, social media are mostly applied to outdoor concentrated approaches. Nearly 72% of firms utilizing social media agreed on their significance for external activities, such as upgrading the enterprise’s reputation, while only 33% agreed on their importance for internal activities, such as bettering teamwork and communication.

Objectives

  • To evaluate the acceptance and practice of social media within SMEs.
  • To identify SME`s motivators and inhibitors to the use of social media.
  • To determine uses of social media for SME businesses.
  • To assess if whether the social media support SMEs in gaining competitive advantage.

Definition of Social Media

There are several definitions that have been outlined as follow:

  • The entire range of social media applications share the innate ability to enable social behaviour through dialogue – multiple-way discussions providing the opportunity to discover and share new information.
  • Social media is hard to define and is a two-way street that gives you the ability to communicate.
  • Social media (or shall we say social networking sites) are fundamentally about networking inasmuch as the term indeed “emphasizes relationship initiation”.
  • Some suggest SMT has suddenly lowered the costs of collaborating, sharing, and producing, thus providing revolutionary new forms of interaction and problem-solving.

Expansion of Social Media

Even if Businesses were doing fine without the use of internet in the past, it can’t be denied that the latter has today emerged a conquering tool in the business world. It is believed that the quickest approach to expand an enterprise is through the use social media and networking. In the year 2000, many social networking sites came up to facilitate interaction among individuals with the familiar interest in music, education, movies and so on. However, it also influenced the way businesses managed their advertisements and products.

One of the most used networking sites of nowadays world is Facebook, founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. From a business concept, we should know that when Microsoft bought 1.6% share of Facebook, the purchase included the rights to place international ads on the networking site and from that point several other companies decided to do the same. Another networking site very useful in the concept of business is LinkedIn which was begun in May 2003. This tool is used to network within a desired professional atmosphere and allows individuals to build professional, career-oriented relationships. According to Wilson, LinkedIn is one of the most business related social networking sites.

Twitter, founded in 2006 is another social media networks which has attracted a high number of business marketers. According to Adam Root, a study conducted in late 2014 showed that the percentage of marketers using Twitter was 83. Additionally, when talking of marketing in businesses, it is very meaningful to consider a social media site like YouTube through which advertising is very effective due to the huge amount of people visiting the site every day. There are 111 million people on an average in America who visit YouTube every month.

Classification and Types of Social Media

There is no exact definition of Social media and is a two-way model that allows interaction. Social Media can be known as an outlet for transmission whereas Social networking is an instrument for linking with others. There are few dissimilarities among social media and social networks. One of the dissimilarities is that social media is still a media which transmits information to wide audience while social networking demonstrate how individuals with similar intrigues fabricate connections. The return on investment, or ROI, is likewise a contrast between online networking and informal organization. It is hard to decide exact numbers for the ROI from online networking yet the social networking’s ROI is somewhat self-evident.

Moreover, there are 8 types of social media. Here we look at the three most business related ones. One of them is Relationship networks. For example a major network would be Facebook. Although personal relationship networks aren’t the earliest type of social media, they can be termed as the most representative of them all. There are another social publishing platforms, which are comprised of blogs and microblogs, whereby long and short-frame composed content can be shared with different clients. For example, a customary blogging platform such as WordPress. A third one is E-commerce which is a rising trend where want and ability to view and purchase desired goods in the blink of an eye by just a click of a button is welcomed.

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© 2017 Ashish Dadgaa

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