The Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are being encouraged to utilise social media to collect primary data in order to gain a better understanding of and serve their target market.
The Chief Executive Officer of BlueDot Insights, Larren Peart, in giving the advice says social media is a cost-effective way for entrepreneurs to solicit feedback on the products and services that they offer. He says “Social media is your largest focus group as people are a lot more willing to share information online. So pay attention to their feedback, engage them and encourage them to share their opinions. You want to ask questions to get feedback, so if you know that someone bought your product, ask about the experience with the product and you start to engender your customers to feel safe to tell you their opinions.”
Mr. Peart was participating in the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC)’s weekly online series, ‘JBDC Virtual Biz Zone’, held recently.
The JBDC Biz Zone is a weekly series of webinars organized by the JBDC to assist MSMEs to further their development. The JBDC is the Government’s business development agency that assists in the sustainable creation and development of MSMEs in Jamaica.
Mr. Peart says information gathered from social media can be used by entrepreneurs to improve their offerings. He says “You can start to tailor or customize your products or your services to fit the profile of your target consumers, so simply reading your comments and responding, looking and listening to what is being said, is important. Social media platforms such as Facebook,
Twitter and Instagram provide analytics that allow you to see your highest engagement time, so again, it is using the tools there to learn more about your target audience’s interaction and view of your products.”
Mr. Peart encouraged entrepreneurs not to be scared by the technical nature of social media platforms. “If you believe you aren’t tech-savvy, there are tutorials that can help you to set up your platforms, but everyone should have a social media presence.”
Shanaa Black is a student at CARIMAC, UWI, Mona.