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Digital Marketing is the most beneficial and cost effective strategy to allow businesses to reach their targeted audience.

However, research has shown that smaller businesses are often not receiving positive returns on their investments – specifically via Facebook. A study of over 4,700 small businesses (with fewer than 10 employees), found that only a small percentage (24%) were receiving a positive ROI. Here are some of the main reasons why this is occurring.

Not Investing Enough Time

75% of small businesses are spending less than 2 hours each week on marketing via social media.  Of these businesses, more than half admit to only posting a few posts on Facebook every month.  Business owners should understand that the only way to gain the cost-effective benefits of social media is by investing time. Think about it… you can’t speak a new language without putting in the time to learn it. In turn, you can’t see beneficial results from social media if you don’t put the time in to generate them.

Lack of Strategy

Brands (regardless of their size) often fail to see benefits arise from Facebook due to a lack of strategy.  A social media strategy is more than just posting images and content.  A social media strategy concerns identifying a goal and deciding upon which channels will benefit you and help you achieve that goal.  It is important to outline your content plan and devise an advertising budget.  By doing these basic and straightforward tasks, you will form a solid strategy that will help optimise your ROI and make measuring your performance more efficient. Furthermore, creating a strategy also helps align all other aspects and tasks performed via social media.

Obsessing Over Tactics

Many small businesses are too obsessed with keeping up with what is new.  Take Snapchat for example, when it first launched, Snapchat was extremely popular.  Brands aimed to use it as a marketing tool however since it’s initial launch, Snapchat features began to integrate into other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Given that the Facebook and Instagram user base is already large, integrating these features allowed users to gain a new experience and meant Snapchat has begun to lose its competitive and unique edge.

From understanding this, small businesses need to recognise the importance of sticking to a digital marketing strategy, and why they should not be putting too much faith in new tactic’s, which may come and go in a short space of time.

Lack of Advertising

In the past, Facebook had the ability to reach thousands of individuals and have a solid influence on website traffic – without the need for a budget. However, in 2017, not having an advertising budget dedicated to Facebook can have a very negative effect and can hinder your results.

We’re not saying you need to spend millions of pounds on a social media budget to gain a high ROI, but allocating a small budget every month has proven to be beneficial to smaller businesses. That doesn’t mean to say that not having a budget will be completely pointless, but you will need to be realistic, set your own expectations and understand that getting the same ROI as you would with a spend allocation will be a much longer and more difficult road.

Businesses in 2017 must try to look at social media marketing in the same light as other digital marketing channels. It can be extremely beneficial for a brand – if properly managed.

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