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Can social networks become a “magic pill” for small and medium-sized businesses?

In recent years, in Kyrgyzstan, small and medium-sized businesses have begun to actively use social networks to promote a product or service. This is understandable, because the traditional mass methods of promotion in marketing: outdoor advertising, distribution of leaflets, advertising on radio and television have long lost relevance.


Budgets are significant, and efficiency is dubious. It is surprising when, until now, entrepreneurs continue to allocate budgets for the production of printed materials, hire promoters for distribution and expect sales. In fact, the effect is seen to be insignificant from the distribution of booklets or leaflets unaccompanied by a sales specialist and direct contact with a client, more than once.

All hope for Social Media Marketing.

According to a 2018 Global Digital survey by We Are Social and Hootsuite [1], Facebook has more than 1.3 million users from Kyrgyzstan between the ages of 13 and 65. The Instagram audience is more than 1.1 million people and is considered the most growing. Therefore, the attention of business is directed towards promotion in social networks. There are companies and individuals who conduct training: how to use tools in social networks. Business owners send specialists or undergo such trainings themselves. They either follow the path on their own to seize this communication channel, which is advantageous in all respects, or hire specialists or agencies with successful cases to promote the company or products on the network. The cost of maintaining corporate pages can vary from $ 150-300 and above and depends on the type of business, the number of advertising posts and the conditions for starting pages. If you start moving forward with an already “nourished” audience, you will have to pay for it. Of course, it’s not a fact that a business will receive a page with subscribers by the right target audience. But the start will be beautiful. Further, the business will carry out systematic work on subscribing the right people. Such a page will affect only the overall numbers for views and subscribers, but not sales, in any way, maybe a little later.

The true reason for the popularity of social networks.

Obviously, the reason for using social networks was their popularity and relatively small advertising budgets. A small business whose incomes are not always stable cannot spend significant budgets on promotion. You can manage the page yourself, but it takes time and possession of a minimal package of specialized tools and skills. Here is the choice of the business owner. Engage in business development, production process or SMM. In this case, it is more efficient to hire a specialist who will ensure the quality of the content, awareness of the target audience and the flow of potential customers. And here is the main question. Does it mean that the awareness of this audience and the transition to the company’s Internet resources will lead to sales. Is the social media tablet magical to drive sales? The answer is obvious, no of course. This is just a low-cost advertising and information channel, which should be the default. If you still make small efforts to make a landing, where to place an application for an online order or purchase of goods, and to ensure the collection of contact data, then this audience can be used for active sales. Then this is another matter.

How to increase efficiency and convert it into sales?

Here, it will be relevant to use the very marketing mix, where advertising and a page on social networks will be only part of the big process. To build a marketing strategy, you need to start with the target consumer, study his motives, habits, locations, and understand what value the product or service of the company carries. In addition to all, motivational and loyalty programs should and should work. Not to mention promotional programs: 2 for the price of one, a discount on the second item, a seasonal discount, a catalog with the collection of stickers for buying more expensive goods, discount and savings cards. If you constantly keep in touch with the consumer, stimulate repeat purchases, then business success is guaranteed.

What can give CRM?

How to start forming an analytical base for customers? The answer is simple – implement CRM. Unfortunately, there are still customer relationships on the market, for some reason they are often conducted without the introduction of automation. Usually, with a good sales department: there are specialists, an office and a telephone, scattered bases, customers are lost, relationships are broken and there is no connection, naturally there is no loyalty and repeat purchases. With such a system, the results depend on the seller’s experience. The issue of building a system and clear rules for working with clients is fading into the background. Today there is a professional – business has won. Tomorrow the professional went to the competitors and stole the accumulated base. In this situation, the company is completely dependent on the manager. And this trend is observed not only in small and medium-sized businesses, there is also a large business where sales are still built this way.

To successfully sell, you need to know the consumer: his name, age, place of residence, marital status, availability of children, preferences in purchases, shops, average check and in what seasons does this check increase? All this information must not only be collected into a single database, but also analyzed in order to timely respond to changes in the market situation. Therefore, it is obvious that the use of automated information systems and analytical databases allows you to build effective sales. The consumer receives due attention, unobtrusive advertising and the necessary information to make purchasing decisions and returns again and again. A dream for any business. And all this is possible with CRM.

There are various solutions on the market: local and foreign developments. On each pocket, as they say. Before deciding to take this step, you need to understand that both financial and labor costs are necessary to build a working system. The main thing to understand here is that it is not CRM that is important, but the full use of its functionality. It should be a working business process with the involvement of staff from a sales specialist to clerk and accountant. Then it will be possible to analyze the data collected and build a sales funnel, constantly improving it and increasing its effectiveness, refuse unpopular products and offer what the consumer needs. And social networks will help direct only the flow of potential customers (leads) into a working CRM system.

Evgeniya Shatunova Marketing and PR expert