Social media continued: The power of video

With Facebook’s video service specifically aimed at small and medium sized businesses, the debate as to how useful social media is to companies has been reignited. Containing over 50 million business pages on its social network, Facebook is in a powerful position to influence the way in which SMEs execute their marketing strategies.

The tool allows SMEs to create a brief introductory video that will provide information about the way they do business, their back story and anything else entrepreneurs consider worthwhile. The video consists of a photo slideshow over which business owners are able to add short passages of text and select a soundtrack.

Although small businesses may not be Facebook’s primary audience, they form an important demographic that the social network would be foolish to ignore. Figures released from Facebook show that small businesses upload 1.5 million videos every month, contributing to the incredible library of videos shared on the site and from which eight billion videos are watched every day.

When it comes to deciding how useful social media marketing is to small businesses, entrepreneurs are often divided. While social media is considered a free platform for marketing, critics argue that a great deal of time is required to create a successful social media presence and that this does not always lead to good returns on investment. On the other hand, many business owners are impressed by the power of the viral video and feel that social media is too important to ignore.

Recent research compiled by AOL shows that advertising budgets for businesses are shifting away from traditional platforms, such as television and print, towards digital platforms, with an emphasis on digital video advertising. This coincides with greater use of mobile digital technology and on-demand services, both of which have forced marketing experts to reconsider their approach to video.

Though it appears SMEs are embracing digital marketing, and video in particular, it’s also important to face up to the potential problems it may cause. Many of the statistics used by organisations like Facebook can be called into question, and have been. This is largely due to the way in which the social media site automatically plays videos without forcing users to intentionally begin them – leading to figures for watched videos that may be misleading. It is also important to consider over-saturation on the advertising platform. By 2019, it will take an individual over five million years to watch the amount of video crossing global networks in a single month. With this amount of video available, how will businesses use the medium to truly stand out?

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