The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) on Friday issued a series of tips for entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) about the role of social media in the development of their business.
This comes in the frame work of the MEC to improve the business environment and enhance the contribution of SMEs in supporting a competitive national economy, given global statistics that about 70% of the companies were able to increase their productivity through social media.
The MEC shed light on the imperative role of different social media channels in supporting SMEs by improving their reach to the target audience, recruiting new customers and thereby increasing the number of online visitors.
Social media channels also provide an interactive platform for entrepreneurs, allowing them to build a direct contact relationship with the target audience, understand their needs and resolve their problems effectively and efficiently which will consequently construct a firm base for their commercial brand.
“Businesses can improve their direct communication strategies with their customers through Facebook, start a live broadcast on Youtube or use Periscope App,” the MEC suggested.
The MEC has urged all entrepreneurs and owners of SMEs to use smartphones as the main communication platform with the audience. It is expected that number of smartphone users will exceed 2bn in 2016 where 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
Entrepreneurs and owners of SMEs should choose the most suitable social media platform to interact with the customers, use monitoring tools to know the feedback of the customers and the public on their products and identify influencers who are liable to strengthen the company's image and reputation.
“All entrepreneurs ought to determine the key performance indicators for their marketing campaigns and develop a content strategy that will be promoted through social media in line with the aims and goals of the company and its commercial brand,” the MEC said.
Entrepreneurs and owners of SMEs should develop an image for their commercial brand that reflects its main characteristics and ensure that the staff is aware of them.
“It is also important to develop a specific design for all social media platforms and a grid for the dissemination of the planned content, take advantage of internal communication tools and encourage employees to interact and publish it on their personal accounts.
The performance of social media platforms should be evaluated and the company’s activities improved. The analysis and dissemination tools on different social media platforms should be effectively used or deploy sophisticated external tools that will allow the division of work between employees and enhance the security of electronic information.
“In this context, the MEC has introduced a number of free applications that will enhance the ability of entrepreneurs to develop their own projects,” the statement said.
The MEC pointed out that the reliance of businesses on social media has greatly developed between 2005 and 2015. Global statistics showed that 89% of the age group between 18 and 29 years are active on social media while about 63% of Millennials are keen to follow brands on social media and about 46% of users shop online.
“It is worth mentioning that the total number of Facebook users during the second quarter of 2016 reached 1.59bn users, while the total number of Instagram users exceeded 500mn and the total number of Twitter users reached 313mn.
“Studies have proved that most of the social media users prefer direct communication. Around 70% of the users expect a response from the commercial companies while 72% expect a reply to their concerns and complaints and about 53% of the users prefer responding within an hour.”
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