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Small businesses more likely to ‘strike the right tone’ on social media than big companies, Portsmouth suggests

Small businesses are more likely to be striking the right tone on social media platforms than large numbers of highly paid experts brought in to handle accounts for big businesses, a researcher from Portsmouth Business School has revealed.

Dr Lillian Clark, a senior lecturer in human resource and marketing management, said that big businesses would be better to follow the lead of its smaller counterparts, and that ‘throwing huge resources at social media was not the answer’.

She said: “Social media is changing the DNA of businesses and of marketing. Big businesses are flying by the seat of their pants; they are hiring large numbers of people to take care of their social media, but it hasn’t been proven that earning Facebook ‘likes’ adds anything at all to the bottom line.

“What matters most, and the dot com crash proved it, is that what underpins any business is the business model – is what you’re selling and at what price right for your market?

“We will be studying the effect of social media on businesses’ bottom line in some detail over the coming few years, but what we can see already is many SMEs are doing social media brilliantly. Informal, open communication is often at the heart of their business and that works in social media.”

She also suggested that return on marketing investment should be based on understanding how much customers are worth rather than how much they are spending.