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Small Businesses Keen To Devote Time To Social Media

Nearly eight in 10 Australian small businesses are planning to devote more time to social media in the coming year, marking a radical turnaround in the widespread indifference among SMEs for platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, new research suggests.

Financial services firm Bibby’s bi-annual poll of more than 200 small firms found that 78% of them are set to plough more time and resources into social media over the next 12 months.

Around half of these enterprises plan to use the likes of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to raise brand awareness and source new customers. A further four in 10 want social media to help generate new sales and 44% want to boost networking opportunities.

Of those that already use social media, Bibby said that 65% of them reported that the communication medium has helped grow their business over the past year.New Facebook news feeds

The mushrooming desire for a greater social media presence is at stark odds with current small business use of it.

A report released by Yellow Pages and the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association in January found that just 27% of small firms use social media.

According to the study, most small business owners are “unsure and too busy to fully capitalise on social media’s potential”, even though more than half of the total Australian population has a presence on Facebook.

Facebook updates the News Feed: Everything you need to know

The latest updates to Facebook’s News Feed are not only crucial progress from the company as it faces more competitors, but a call to action for SMEs, experts warn.

With more emphasis on photographs and the ability for users to divide their News Feeds into separate categories, social media experts are now saying combining your updates with larger, high quality photographs is more important than ever.

But the biggest update businesses need to worry about is pictures. Now, posts which feature pictures are given more prominence on the News Feed by increasing in size.

Pictures were already the premium way to share content, ad users are more likely to share a visual than text-based message, but now, experts say, it’s even more important.

“The posts that are the ones which get the most reads and most clicks are those that have an image which relate to the story, and have some content that relates to what the article is about,” Pollard says.

When publications and businesses post a photo, the text is no longer posted separately. Now, the text is put on top of the photo, which makes snappy, more interesting captions all the more relevant.

And if businesses are thinking of advertising, now’s the time to jump in. Bigger images may make the ads more effective.

“Ultimately, it’s all about the advertisers,” says Pollard. “The visual stuff is good for the users, but ultimately, the question for Facebook is how it can make that content more engaging.”

 

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