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Is Social Media Right For Your Small Business?

Transformation Network

By pwsadmin | May 15, 2021

The Achilles heel of every transformative business model is their reliance on ever increasing amounts of data that need to be transported quickly across wide area networks and processed at edge computing end points. To meet this expected demand, the global telecommunications industry is rapidly moving toward a future in which networks must have the…

Essential Characteristics of Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation

By pwsadmin | May 15, 2021

Hybrid IT blends traditional datacenters, managed service providers, and cloud service providers to deliver the necessary mix of information technology services. This IT consumption model enables a composable infrastructure which describes a framework whose physical compute, storage, and network fabric resources are treated as services. Resources are logically pooled so that administrators no longer need…

Transformation Innovation

By pwsadmin | May 15, 2021

4 Factors Driving Digital Transformation ROI The critical assessment factors for cloud ROI risk probability are the following:      Infrastructure utilization Speed of migration to cloud Ability to scale business/mission processes Quality delivered by the new cloud-based process  These four factors directly drive digital transformation ROI because they affect revenue, cost, and the time required to…

Transformation Frameworks

By pwsadmin | May 15, 2021

Digital transformation necessitates changes in an organization’s operational processes. According to Harvard, a focus on operations can lead to business process optimization and entirely new revenue streams. Three common routes for this are the following:      Robotic process automation (RPA) which uses artificial intelligence to automate routine activities      Remote worker enablement that uses workspace virtualization and…

Transformation Infrastructure

By pwsadmin | September 26, 2020

Hybrid IT enables a composable infrastructure which describes a framework whose physical compute, storage, and network fabric resources are treated as services. Resources are logically pooled so that administrators need to physically configure hardware to support a specific software application, which describes the function of a composable architecture. This type of transformative infrastructure is foundational…

Essential Characteristics of Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation

By pwsadmin | September 25, 2020

A survey of 2,000 executives conducted by Cognizant in 2016 identified the top five ways digital transformations generate value:      Accelerating speed to market      Strengthening competitive positioning      Boosting revenue growth      Raising employee productivity      Expanding the ability to acquire, engage, and retain customers   Digital transformation is also a cultural change. Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation Since cloud…

Embrace Transformation

By pwsadmin | September 22, 2020

From a business perspective, differentiating business processes and quality customer service are central to overall success. Business leaders must therefore clearly identify and measure how information technology contributes to the value of every key business process. They must also know how to most cost effectively use IT when the task is merely the management of…

Computer Vision Advances Zero-Defect Manufacturing

By pwsadmin | July 25, 2020

by Kevin L. Jackson Electronics manufacturers operate in a challenging environment. It’s hard enough to keep up with the ever-accelerating rate of change in the industry. Now customers want increasingly specialized product variations in less time and of higher quality. Meeting this demand for increased product variation can seriously impact the bottom line. Such variability increases…

Real-Time Analytics Power the Roadway of the Future

By pwsadmin | July 25, 2020

By Kevin L. Jackson The complexities of citywide traffic are pushing the limits of existing transportation management systems. Outdated infrastructure is based on proprietary, single-purpose subsystems, making it costly to acquire, operate, and maintain. And current roadways are simply not prepared for the future of autonomous vehicles. Enter the SPaT Challenge, an initiative encouraging cities and…

Thriving on the Edge: Developing CSP Edge Computing Strategy

By pwsadmin | March 6, 2020

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are facing significant business model challenges. Referred to generally as edge computing, the possibilities introduced by the blending of 5G networks and distributed cloud computing technologies are redefining how CSPs operate, partner, and drive revenue. A new Ericsson Digital whitepaper entitled, “Edge computing and deployment strategies for communication service providers,” addresses these challenges…

Everyone from pre-teens to granddads, does social media today. With Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and many newer ways to stay in the know popping up every day, picking the right platform can be a difficult task. While the personal value of this modern convenience seems obvious to most, the task of proving the channel’s worth to a business can be very challenging.

With this said up front, many larger companies have taken the plunge anyway. According to a recent eMarketer survey, 88 percent of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees that were surveyed are using social media for marketing purposes. This figure is actually expected to rise slightly to 89.5 percent in 2016. Dell has been a leader in the use of social media for business and recognizes that it has value for more than improved brand awareness. This large global corporation has become especially adept with social media, learning how to meaningfully increase business sales and revenue.

A similar survey of 350 small businesses done by the research firm Clutch, however, found that nearly half of those organizations don’t actively use social media to promote their businesses and 25 percent say they have no plans to do so in the future. Do these numbers represent a business “social media gap”? Are small businesses missing the boat?

Strategize, then analyze the numbers

As a small business owner myself, this question is more than just academic. When I founded GovCloud Network over a year and a half ago, using social media for marketing and opportunity identification was one of my strategic planks. In my simplistic view, we would use Twitter to advertise new content posted on the company’s blog, Cloud Musings. The expertise and knowledge demonstrated by thought-leadership pieces would, in turn, drive our targeted customer segment straight to the company website.

After reading this study though, I began to second guess both the money and time investments. So
prior to finalizing next quarter’s budget, I decided that an objective and quantifiable evaluation of our social media program’s ROI was needed.

The good news was that because social media was in the plan from the very beginning, we already had site visit data from the initial launch of all our sites. The bad news was that, being a startup, we couldn’t afford any fancy customized social media tracking service. We could only use what was freely provided by Google Analytics and Twitter. Luckily those tools are very good, and we were able to pull robust data sets from two three-month periods, August-October 2014 and March-May 2015. That data enabled us to measure Twitter engagement rate and the number of company blog and website users.

Social Media Engagement Model

The engagement rate measures all clicks on a tweet, including retweets, replies, favorites, follows and link click-throughs. It is also used as a measure of how well a tweet resonates with its audience. By defining visitor segment characteristics in Google Analytics, we were also able to quantify how many users were members of specific market segments. The segments we selected corresponded to specific GovCloud Network business lines.

With this data and the use of relative percent difference as a comparative measure, the results were
stunning! Except for a reduction in the overall number of pages per session at the company website, our documented increase in Twitter engagements drove increases in the number of blog and company website users. This trend was also seen across all of our customer segments

Give social media a try

Does this mean that social media is right for your small business? No, it doesn’t, but it does show how a small business can monitor, quantify and analyze the ROI of a social media strategy. My best advice is to not ignore the value that social media can bring. Using these services strategically does take an investment in time and sometimes even a little money, but the value could be significant. Have an open mind, plan a pilot, give it a little time, and don’t forget to do the numbers.

Social Media Engagement Results

(This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. To learn more about tech news and analysis visit PowerMore. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies)

Cloud Musings

( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2015)

Follow me at https://Twitter.com/Kevin_Jackson
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