SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESAbstract for trade information servicesID 430902014F-13.06.02 SOCInternational Trade Centre (ITC)Social Marketing for Small BusinessesGeneva: ITC, 2014. xii, 87 pages (Technical paper)Doc. No. EC-14-244.EThe publication explaining how social media are profoundly transforming marketing practices and why thismatters for Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries - provides backgroundinformation on the origins of social media; reviews main tools and methods such as blogging, socialnetworks including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google , and content sharing methods; discussesimportance and benefits of using social media by exporting SMEs; suggests that strategies need to bedeveloped to take advantage of social media in the export-marketing context and describes how to designsuch strategies; discusses how to measure the impact that investment in social media has on thebusiness, offers a set of indicators and targets, and the ways to measure performance; includes examplesfrom various social media platforms and case studies from selected developing countries.Descriptors: Internet, Marketing, SMEs, Competitiveness, Information Networks, Information andCommunication Technologies.For further information on this technical paper, contact Mr. James Howe, Senior Adviser, InternationalMarketing & Branding, International Trade Centre at [email protected] International Trade Centre (ITC) is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the UnitedNations.ITC, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland ( expressed in this paper are those of consultants and do not necessarily coincide with those ofITC, UN or WTO. The designations employed and the presentation of material in this paper do notimply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the International Trade Centreconcerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning thedelimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.Mention of firms, products and product brands does not imply the endorsement of ITC.This technical paper has not been formally edited by the International Trade Centre.Digital image on the cover: International Trade Centre 2014ITC encourages the reprinting and translation of its publications to achieve wider dissemination. Shortextracts of this technical paper may be freely reproduced, with due acknowledgement of the source.Permission should be requested for more extensive reproduction or translation. A copy of the reprinted ortranslated material should be sent to ITC.iiEC-14-244.E

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESAcknowledgementsThis publication was written by Mark Hillary (chapters 1-3) and Thomas Hess (chapters 4-6). It wasprepared under the overall direction of Aicha Pouye, Director, Division of Business and InstitutionalSupport, and the direct supervision of Jacky Charbonneau, Chief, Enterprise Competitiveness Section, andJames Howe, Senior Adviser, Export Marketing and Branding. Martin Labbé, Online Marketing and DigitalNetworks Adviser, defined the topics to be covered in the publication and coordinated the authors’ work.We also thank Chris Lo for his review, Sue Pfiffner and Marilyn Hubble who provided editorial support,Natalie Domeisen who oversaw production and quality control, Serge Adeagbo and Franco Iacovino whoprovided graphic and printing support.EC-14-244.Eiii


SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL xiPrefacexiiiChapter 1 Background21.The origins of social media22.Social media: the main tools and methods32.1.Blogging and news creation tools42.2.Social In92.2.4.Google sharing10The importance of social media for exporting SMEs123.1.Transparency133.2.Amplification14The benefits of different types of social .4.Twitter174.5.Bringing it all together to form a full social-marketing strategy17The traps to avoid: Is it really for me?185.1.Do not spam185.2.Do not leave abuse unanswered185.3.Do not publish incorrect information in your company’s name195.4.Your account has been hacked195.5.Addressing fake accounts20Case studies216.1.Case study 1: Ark Development (Egypt)216.2.Case study 2: Wicked Innovations (Philippines)226.3.Case study 3: Evalueserve (India)236.4.References24EC-14-244.Ev

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESChapter 2: Integrating social media in your business strategy261.Social media strategy, the main considerations261.1.Market research271.2.Competitive intelligence271.3.The competition281.4.Marketing and branding281.5.Reputation management and personal branding282.3.4.Mapping your strategy302.1.Mobile302.2.Engagement312.3.Tactical goals322.4.Additional tools32Case studies343.1.Case study 4: Postcards of success343.2.Case study 5: CI&T (Brazil)343.3.Case study 6: Surge Dynamics (Kenya)353.4.Case study 7: Cambodian Rural Development Tours (CRDTours) (Cambodia)35Key resources36Chapter 3: Promoting products and services381.Using social media to drive traffic to websites and improve search engine rankings381.1.Blog more often381.2.Search engine optimization392.Using social media to increase exposure to specific customer segments and communities403.What methods can be used to improve quality of service and customer responsiveness? 414.Improving sales through leads generated through social media425.Can social media help find new buyers?435.1.436.7.viNew partnershipsCase studies446.1.Case study 8: Philippines - International Institute for Outsource446.2.Case study 9: Md. Aminul Islam Sajib (Bangladesh), freelance journalist45Key resources46EC-14-244.E

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESChapter 4: Social commerce: leveraging social media for sales481.What is social commerce?481.1.Case study 10: Old Spice body wash and deodorant501.2.Case study 11: Groupon512.Is social commerce relevant in a developing country?523.Expanding social media into social commerce533.1.Blogging and news creation tools533.2.Social networks543.3.Case study 12: Woolworths South Africa543.4.Case study 13: Dell553.5.Content sharing563.6.Case study 14: Virgin Mobile: Indian Panga League U.573.7.Which social media sites should I use for my social commerce campaign?574.Developing your social commerce strategy574.1.What do I want to sell?584.2.From which platforms do I want to sell my products?584.3.Who will buy my products online?584.4.Which social media website(s) match this demographic?584.5.How can I extend my reach by leveraging the efforts of affiliates online?594.6.How do I make my customers feel special so that they spread the news socially?594.7.What type of monitoring do I require to measure success?604.8.How can I sustain these efforts in the short, medium and long term?60Chapter 5: Allocating resources for social media: a focus on communitymanagement621.The cost of social media622.Human resources allocation633.Community management643.1.Listen: Social media monitoring653.2.Assess your position and your audience663.3.Engage in a conversation with the community673.4.Tone of nt693.8.Frequency693.9.Negative, consumer-generated content703.10. Community involvement703.11. Measure and report72EC-14-244.Evii

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES4.3.12. Improve72References73Chapter 6: Measuring impact of social media761.Return on investment762.Establish measurable objectives782.1.1.Cost reduction792.1.2.Increase revenue793.Choose measurable metrics794.Measurement tools815.Report and adjust846.References85viiiEC-14-244.E

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESFigure 1Figure 2Figure 3Figure 4Figure 5Figure 6Figure 7Figure 8Figure 9Figure 10Figure 11Figure 12Figure 13Figure 14Figure 15Figure 16Figure 17Figure 18Figure 19Figure 20Figure 21Figure 22Figure 23Figure 24Figure 25Figure 26Figure 27Figure 28Figure 29Figure 30Figure 31Figure 32Figure 33Figure 34Figure 35Figure 36Figure 37Figure 38Figure 39Figure 40Figure 41Figure 42Figure 43Figure 44EC-14-244.EHTML code sampleLinkedIn Group set up by ITC under the NTFII ProgrammeMain blogging toolsBlog of the Indian company WIPROScreen capture of the WordPress websiteScreenshot of the Facebook page of FacebookExample of a company profile on LinkedInExample of a Google hotel pageSearch criteria on Flickr, including Creative Commons optionsExample of user interaction on a Facebook pageFacebook page of Medianet, a Tunisian IT companyExample of a disclaimer on a Twitter accountExample of a survey on Survey MonkeyExample of an SME Twitter AccountFoursquare business servicesExample of Customer Care Through Twitter: UrbanearsTwitter analytics: sample of a weekly Hootsuite reportBlog with ‘Share this page’ options, including AddThisDashboard view of the web-based version of TweetdeckHomepage of the oDesk portalSocial media platforms and ways to use them for social commerceOld Spice TV CommercialGroupon South Africa websiteSocial network users in selected countries, May 2011What Are Users Using Twitter For?Woolworths Facebook ShopDell Page on LinkedInHomepage of the Swiss Community Managers AssociationGoogle AlertsSocial Mention Dashboardwww.namechk.comGetting Started with the Creation of a Facebook Fan PageBlog Assessment: Instructions for Dell employeesFacebook Poll, step 1Repurpose content using Hootsuite‘The Old Man’s Mood’ROI calculationMeasuring ROIFunnel in Google AnalyticsExample of a Facebook Insights d 55566465666868697273777879818283838485ix


SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESAbbreviationsThe following abbreviations are OISEOSMEUNCTADURLUSAUSBUSDWTOEC-14-244.EBusiness to BusinessBusiness to ConsumerBusiness to GovernmentChief Executive OfficerChief Finance OfficerGross Rating PointGlobal System for Mobile communicationsHuman ResourcesHypertext Mark-up LanguageInternational Trade CentreLimitedNon-Governmental OrganizationNetherland Trust FundPay per ClickReturn on InvestmentSearch Engine OptimisationSmall and medium-sized enterpriseUnited Nations Conference on Trade and DevelopmentUniform Resource LocatorUnited States of AmericaUniversal Serial BusUnited States dollarWorld Trade Organizationxi


SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESPrefaceSocial media are taking an increasing place in our lives, and this technology and form of communication isonly set to increase in importance. Beyond the famous examples of Facebook or LinkedIn, the ‘social’approach to digital communication marks a change in the way that we are expected to interact with oneanother on line. E-Commerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon increasingly rely on social interactionsbetween customers and buyers to generate activity and content on their stores. EBay encourages itsusers, whether vendors or buyers, to create virtual ‘collections’ of their favourite articles found on the site(whether they are the seller or not) and to share the listing with their friends. Amazon has a thrivingcommunity of sellers who, just like eBay, rely on the personal recommendation to develop theirbusiness. Even business to business applications, such as, have social media moduleswhich invite sales people and their customers to dialogue on line about products.By supporting people’s natural tendency to want to share information, social media open up a vast newchannel to communicate and offer small businesses a potentially cost effective way of reaching a largeonline audience. This is an especially enticing prospect for businesses from poor countries that may nothave any realistic alternative to promote their goods and service in international markets other thanonline. Buying banner or search term advertising is technical and costly, whereas effective use of socialmedia can be as natural as understanding where the audience is on line and what they are interested incommunicating about. Social communications fit with the cultural norm in many poor countries: thetendency to trust personal recommendation to a much higher degree than advertising. A particularlyimportant audience is the diaspora, who may have the income and nostalgia to seek and buy productsfrom their home country. Social media put a web of potential connections at the disposal of an SMEaspiring to promote their products internationally.Using the media effectively does require investment. They can be cost effective but are not entirely free touse. Firstly, the SME wishing to conduct business socially must be aware of the potential of the newmedia and make wise choices how to prioritise and work with the tools. This publication is a good start indoing just that. In addition, the company must have the right products and services in place to supportonline promotion. If the products are of consistently good quality and the service provided supports thegood reputation of the business then customers will naturally be willing to promote the company. Mistakesof quality or service can have the opposite effect, if not corrected rapidly.Business in the digital world is exciting and offers great potential. However, it comes at the ‘price’ oftransparency about quality and service: your reputation online is one of your most valuable assets.ITC’s focus is to enable small and medium enterprises in developing and least developed countries toseize the opportunity of e-Business and to take a greater part in international trade, whether throughmobile applications or other digital channels. ITC is active in the deployment of Web marketing, ecommerce and digital tools benefiting SMEs in developing countries through training, advisory servicesand customizable products. The agency works with local stakeholders and in particular trade-supportinstitutions to adapt technologies to local requirements.EC-14-244.Exiii


SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESChapter 1Background1. The origins of social mediaDuring the first decade or so after the creation of the web in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee, companies andindividuals could create web pages, but this involved a substantial programming effort – usually using thestandard HTML language (see figure below) and de facto restricting web publishing to people with the righttechnical skillsFigure 1HTML code sampleSource: source code of ITC’s website, www.intracen.orgOnce created, those pages would exist in a static form. You could find information and read it or downloadit, but you could not: Comment on something, Favourite it, Indicate that you like it, or Interact in any way with the content.All this started changing soon after 2000 as blogging became a popular activity. The term ‘blog’ was acontraction of the original term ‘web-log’ meaning a sort of online diary.The new social web that has grown anddeveloped since 2005 has become known associal media.Blogs were entirely different from anything else on theInternet at that time. Suddenly any user could sign upwith an account at sites such as and startwriting entries. These blogs would then existimmediately online and be visible as web pages. Therewas no programming effort needed to build the pagesbecause the system would automatically create them.This led to the era of interactivity known popularly at the time as ‘Web 2.0’, describing an end to the staticweb. Now bloggers could instantly create blogs without any technical knowledge of web-page design,publish them, and e-mail a link to their friends.Readers could leave comments on blogs. A new era was thus initiated when non-technical Internet userscould not only create online content, but could also comment on content created by others.The middle of the last decade saw the fastest development ever in the number of users interacting onlinewith accompanying growth in the range of tools that allow interaction. Tools launched in the middle of thelast decade include:2EC-10-174.E

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES Facebook (2004) YouTube (2005) Flickr (2004) MySpace (2003) Linkedln (2003) Twitter (2006)The social web emerged at that point in time. Instead of just blogging, it was now possible to easily uploadyour photos and share them, upload videos, upload links to your favourite new stories, and to follow all thissocial activity by creating a group of friends that you were interested in following – whether real friends orjust online ones.This new social web that has grown and developed since 2005 builds on social media, which give theability to create and exchange user-generated content online. Social media has changed the way theInternet operates compared to the old static pages of individuals and companies. Social networking – thetools that allow you to gather together a group of friends or followers like a LinkedIn group (see examplebelow) – are now the most popular tools and websites on the web.Figure 2LinkedIn Group set up by ITC under the NTFII ProgrammeSocial networking is a subset of social media, though the two terms are often confused and usedsynonymously. The specific focus of a social networking tool is around the creation of relationships and theability to share information and engage with an online pool of contacts.Because social networks are often used to share content such as news, photos, and video the terms canbe confused, but it is possible to publish video to a video-sharing site without cultivating a group of onlinecontacts – conversely it would be difficult to use a tool such as Facebook without finding people to engagewith.2. Social media: the main tools and methodsYou most probably know some of the tools and methods. You may already be on Facebook or write a blog.You might be sharing the most interesting news stories you read on Twitter or uploading photos to Flickr tobe shared with family, friends or business contacts across the world.EC-14-244.E3

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESOr you may be doing none of this at all. Or you may be asking how any of these interactions with ‘friends’can be of use to your business? For the purpose of this publication, we shall assume that when describingthe main tools and methods, the interest is in how best to use them for the commercial needs of an SME.We are going to divide the main tools and methods into three broad groups, in order to make their useeasier to understand: Blogging and news creation tools Social networks Content sharingSocial media is a vast topic. It involves much more than pushing, or broadcasting, information about whatyour company is doing. You will need to engage with friends, partners, customers, potential customers,influencers - and critics. Because engagement is more complex than just broadcasting you will need tothink about the best way to define a strategy for using social media – a strategy defining what you want toachieve and the steps you will need to take. While you develop this strategy it is worth considering how theenvironment has changed and is likely to change over time. A few years ago was a leadingsocial network and Facebook was a small challenger.When you consider the tools described here, remember that this was the situation in 2013 – the socialmedia platforms recommended here have settled into a position of market dominance so you can plan withsome certainty, but in this environment it is impossible to discount the fact that in another 5 years thingswill have changed again. Make sure that you are thinking of a social media strategy that works regardlessof the tools you are using.2.1. Blogging and news creation toolsAs mentioned in the introduction, blogging is really where the Internet started to get social. It allowed anyuser to create new content and for their readers to leave comments. The main blogging tools are describedin the following table.4EC-10-174.E

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESFigure 3Main blogging toolsBlog ets both companies andindividuals for bloggersOffers a widely used ContentManagement System forwebsitesLots of themes to choose from,easy interfaceQuick and easy to set up. Fewdesign and layout templatesTies into other Google tools,such as AdsenseOption to set up your owndomain, or ogging platform andsocial networking websiteHosting RequirementsHosted software (you need toinstall it on yourhosting platform)Web serviceWeb serviceAllows posting of text, photos,quotes, links, music, and videosfrom a browser, phone, desktop,e-mail.www.tumblr.comFreeBlogsomeCan create a subdomain foryour blog:‘’almost identical interface toWordpressWeb service version ofWordpresswww.blogsome.comSource: 7781Blogging offers you a platform, a place in which to demonstrate that you have an opinion on your area ofbusiness. As long as you get the tone right: some companies write terrible blogs that endlessly attempt tosell their products or services – almost entirely a waste of time.EC-14-244.E5

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESFigure 4Blog of the Indian company WIPROSource: for a moment about what you would be interested in reading on the subject of your own industry.Would you continue to read an article in a newspaper if it was obvious that the author just wanted to sellyou something rather than parting with some information, or a learned opinion?Blogs, however, do not need to be packed with information. They can be used just to stimulate debate withreaders. If there is a major event in your industry, write your opinion quickly and then encourage others tocomment with their thoughts. This also allows you to be seen online debating a very current and relevanttopic.When thinking about blogging for an SME you can explore it in a number of ways. All of these are validoptions and all have their own advantages and disadvantages: Should you write for an established blog? It will give you a wider and more immediate audience ifyou can approach a newspaper or trade journal from your industry and blog for them. They have theadvantage of a blogger contributing directly from the industry and you have the wider audience of anestablished paper, but this route can be slower as you may need to use editors at the magazine tocheck everything you do, and you may be prevented from saying everything you would like to due tothis editorial control. Should you create a company blog? If you want complete freedom to say anything you choose andyou would like to merge the blog into your own company website then this is the best option. It canhelp you to considerably increase the number of people looking at your company website just byregularly publishing an opinion about what is going on in your industry. Should you create a personal blog? If you have a strong individual brand as a leader in your industrythen it may be more applicable to create a personal blog, rather than a company one. Be aware thatyou really do need to have strong brand value to be taken seriously as an individual blogger notbacked by a company – you will need to have published books or serious articles about yourbusiness area for instance, or be recognized as an opinion leader.6EC-10-174.E

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES Should you create a pooled blog where many people from your company will contribute? This is agreat way to encourage people from your own company to contribute to a blog that is not just yoursalone and the variety of opinion often leads to it being a more interesting read. Be aware that youwill need an editor to make this work – someone has to chase all the contributors and ensure theywrite something, and the contribution level will vary. Some people will be able to write immediatelyfor the blog and some will need strong editing to improve their copy.So there are various ways to make this happen and many tools, such as Wordpress ( Blogger (, which can help you to create a blog. The advantages of such bloggingplatforms are that they allow you to create a more dynamic way of informing and interacting with yourpublic, allowing them to comment or even if configured so, to post articles on your blog. An added value ofhaving such a hosted blog is that this can also play a role in enhancing your Search Engine Optimizationefforts as both and are ‘SEO Friendly’ systems.Figure 5Screen capture of the WordPress websiteSource: is by far the most important blogging platform on the Internet today . It is free open sourcesoftware available to anyone and was originally launched in 2003.Open source is a software movement and philosophy that encourages products to be developed andoffered for free – rather than the more traditional shrink-wrapped software you always had to pay for. Opensource works because a large number of people will build and maintain a product like Wordpress just forthe kudos of being associated with a successful product. The open source movement allows thoseinvolved in installing systems, training users, and fixing problems to be paid – so it’s generally free unlessyou need to create a complex installation that will require engineers and trainingThough Wordpress is generally considered to be a tool for blogging it is also a very powerful contentmanagement system for any kind of website that requires regularly updated pages. As a matter of fact,according to the technology news site TechCrunch, Wordpress is the tool now used to build almost a1quarter of all new websites .2.2. Social networksThis is an important area to engage with because it allows interaction with the people who may beinterested in your company and also those who might influence potential customers.The three most important social networks for you at present and their main features and advantages are ‘Wordpress now powers 22 per cent of new active websites in the US’ August 19 us/EC-14-244.E7

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES2.2.1.FacebookFacebook is a social networking service launched originally in the United States in February 2004. Itcounted 1.19 billion users in September 2013.Facebook has grown to become the dominant social network globally, popular not only in developedmarkets such as the United States and European Union, but also in developing countries.Facebook allows the user to group their friends, colleagues, and business associates together so that it iseasy to share information, present status updates and opinions, links to web stories, and to indicatepreferences for particular products or services.Figure 6Screenshot of the Facebook page of FacebookSource: is used as a tool for personal communications – keeping in touch with family and friends – but itis increasingly also used as a business tool for companies of all sizes. It can also be considered as abusiness communication tool, but it is important for you to consider the markets in which you operate andhow Facebook is treated in those places if you want to use it for business. Although Facebook is based onpersonal accounts, one can create multiple ‘pages’ to promote a business or a brand.2.2.2.TwitterTwitter is more of a communication service than a true social network because it focuses on creating astream of information that resembles a conversation, rather than just grouping friends together.Twitter started in 2006 and has now grown to an active user base of 200 million active users creating over400 million Tweets each day in March 2013.Tweets are limited to a maximum of 140 characters creating a focus on short, direct communication. It ispossible to address the entire Twitter user base, specific members, and to focus a message on particulartopics.Twitter has become extremely important for companies monitoring online discussions about their ownbrand, but also to view open discussions taking place on their area of business. Even if you are too smallto have developed brand awareness outside of Twitter, a demonstration of industry knowledge within theseonline conversations can encourage people to find out more about your company. Almost all Twitter trafficis open and freely available so it can be used to monitor the ‘buzz’ around a particular topic – when a major8EC-10-174.E

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSESnews story is breaking, it is likely that more information can be found on Twitter than on traditional searchengines, because a traditional search engine needs time to collate and index pages.2.2.3.LinkedInLinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service that was launched in 2003. It has reached 259million members in November 2013. The site is available in 19 languages.LinkedIn focuses on professional networking. As a consequence, the individual user profile is heavilyweighted towards details of qualifications and work experience. Users can connect to a group of contactsbased on knowing them from their professional experience and can even receive recommendations frompeople they have worked with.LinkedIn allows very powerful business networking, based on company, type of job, or industry. Theservice also encourages discussions and business questions to be answered by users.Moreover, LinkedIn allows the creation of open and closed groups, which can be used as discus

James Howe, Senior Adviser, Export Marketing and Branding. Martin Labbé, Online Marketing and Digital Networks Adviser, defined the topics to be covered in the publication and coordinated the authors’ work. We also thank Chris Lo for his , Sue Pfiffner