Social media. What brand can do without it in today’s marketing environment? The trouble is, bigger brands have the resources to dominate social while smaller businesses may be still trying to find their footing or compete with larger competitors on these platforms.
We recently spoke with Michael McMaster, VP of Lead Generation for JumpCrew, a social media marketing platform that aims to bolster small businesses’ presence on social media.
Drew: With all social platforms placing more and more importance on video content, do you feel video is a format that small businesses are capitalizing on correctly?
Michael: In a word, no. Small businesses are not capitalizing on video, and that’s often because they’re lacking a broader social media plan. Videos uploaded directly to Facebook do very well with their algorithms and provide a great way to showcase a business or provide a behind-the-scenes view.
Drew: What is the most underutilized feature within content marketing that businesses often neglect?
Michael: Many are missing a multi-channel plan that aligns with their buyer’s potential needs during the decision-making process. The most important of these buying stages are: buyers who recognize they have a problem (but who might not know the brand) and of course, interested buyers—ready to buy.
Drew: As platforms like Facebook, Google, and Yelp grow more robust review features to compete with each other, how do you think this will affect the manner in which businesses promote themselves and engage with their audiences?
Michael: The standard best practices of handling unflattering online reviews still apply. Businesses usually have a chance to address the review, and turn it into a positive one, or to remove it after addressing the customer’s concerns. Facebook, Google, and Yelp all impact online search results, and therefore a business’s online reach and bottom line.
Yahoo search is partially powered by Yelp reviews, people constantly ask their friends on Facebook for recommendations, and Facebook pages are indexed by search engines. Even Google provides a 5-star review system of businesses, which are displayed within online searches.
Drew: Do you ever see Snapchat becoming an important platform for SMB marketing?
Michael: Yes, Snapchat won’t impact search engine results, but there’s a lot of potential with geofilters and Stories. Snapchat is a great platform for promoting an event, providing a glimpse of a product in-use, or sharing a promo code.
Drew: Do you think the increasing prevalence of chatbots will change the way marketers approach social media campaigns?
Michael: Facebook recently unveiled plans to make a lot of money with the Messenger app and will push users to find business information via Messenger. Facebook will most likely take a percentage of the sale when generated through Messenger, along with a fee to use the feature. Marketers need to be aware of how social media platforms are constantly evolving and how to adjust to various algorithms when displaying content and posts.