New research confirms size isn't an issue when it comes to performing well on social media, as local businesses outperform retail giant Walmart on Facebook.
Last year, Walmart made the significant step of setting up 3,500 hyperlocal pages on Facebook to encourage its customers to create a relationship with their local store.
However, new research by Recommend.ly found that these pages are "faring poorly" on many of the metrics used to measure social media success.
The study found just four per cent of these hyperlocal pages had amassed more than 1,000 fans, while on average 22 per cent of small businesses reach this milestone. It also revealed that 85 per cent of local pages never participate in a conversation with their followers.
Why small businesses have an advantage on social media
What is clear from this research is that small businesses have a clear opportunity to take on retail giants like Walmart if they get their social media strategy right.
Strong relationships with their customers and superior customer service have always set small businesses apart from their larger competitors, and social media is the perfect forum through which to demonstrate this.
Venkata Ramana, CEO of Recommend.ly, said: "[Walmart] is replicating a traditional media strategy on its new Facebook channels, and pushing a lot of content down these local channels while ignoring one-to-one engagement with fans.
"In comparison, Facebook Pages managed by many small businesses are doing much better with fan engagement and appear more focused on bridging that gap."
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in social media is to be overly promotional or sales-focussed; start by using the channels to build relationships through great content and engagement and the sales will follow later down the line.
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