According to recent surveys, the majority of small businesses aren’t yet using social media to promote their companies and engage with their customers. When social networks like Facebook and twitter have become such household names and have proved to be powerful marketing tools for retail business in particular, and at relatively low cost, one might wonder why.

While large companies can afford to hire teams dedicated to managing their social media activities, the situation is very different for small businesses. Setting up an account is easy, but with no support and no specialist in-house staff, they are left to wander in the dark afterwards.

Although those websites claim to be straightforward to use, past the initial step of registering, the features that are of interest require being reasonably comfortable with technology and investing time into understanding how to make the most of them. Time is always in short supply in small businesses, and more often than not, their incursion into the world of social media marketing, or SMM, results in advertisement campaigns that didn’t yield the return they expected, and are soon discarded.

The reason why social media marketing is so powerful is that it allows businesses to reach a large number of customers and get results almost immediately. The flip side of this immediacy is that, likewise, customers will expect to hear from you promptly, and not having the structure in place to cope with that will harm your reputation. Social media marketing requires frequent, sustained staff time, and small businesses don’t usually have such resources.

They are also often unsure of what constitutes relevant material for SMM and may fail to catch their audience’s attention for that reason and after a few weeks of tweets that didn’t seem to make any difference, SMM is abandoned in favour of tried-and-tested offline marketing.

Yet, social media marketing is as powerful as it is said to be if it is used properly. For small companies who lack the time and experience to manage their accounts, hiring a company specialised in handling social media activities may just be the answer.

They can devise a bespoke strategy to help you reach your objectives, provide content on your behalf, post it on a regular, agreed schedule, as well as handling communications with followers and customers, leaving you free to concentrate on running your business.