Social media provides so much for people in and out of work. Valuable information and news, connections, networking and sales opportunities, and the chance to meet like-minded people to share ideas and collaborate on projects. It has become a vital part of life, in and out of work.  

In 2017, the total number of social media users in the United Kingdom had reached over 39 million people and is expected to soar higher, as more and more people turn to Linked In, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms for their social connections.  

In 2020, the UK is now home to 45 million active social media users. When the COVID-19 outbreak began, people were forced to stay indoors as much as possible and limit leisure activities to contain the spread of the virus, media consumption behavior in the United Kingdom changed. More people are active on social media, people are staying longer on websites, more people are reading online news and blogs, the online society changed, just as the outdoor society changed. The data showed that there was a 21% net increase in people visiting social media platforms.

So what does this report mean for SMEs?

As social media consumption increases, the target market for businesses has become easier to reach. Social media applications are free! If you are an SME owner, how will you effectively use social media to your advantage? 

Know what platform is used most by your customers

Social media applications have different user demographics. Therefore, it is important to remind yourself that each social media application is different. According to Statista, YouTube is the most-used social media platform in the UK; Facebook was not far behind and is followed by Whatsapp. By knowing these basic statistics, it is up to you to figure out which audiences you would like to reach, and how you want to reach them. 

Know what platform caters best

With various socmed apps available you need to use the right one for you, for your business and for your customers.  Each app has a different function. Some are video focused, some are for photos, some are for business, some are for pleasure, and to escape business.  For example, if you use Instagram then you better prepare your business for a visual marketing attack. 

Know your plan

Like your business, social media should be treated seriously. You should identify your purpose in creating a social media presence and you must be able to establish what objectives your business should be accomplishing online. In addition to that, you can participate in creating broad campaigns to let people know that you are not just selling a product.

People can get to know the person behind the product.