There’s no doubt that social media has become a marketing “Must” for everyone! That’s right, whether it’s a large, recognizable brand, or a local small business, social media has become a way to reach and interact with customers, meeting them where they already are. But what can social media for small businesses really accomplish? So glad you asked! Since marketing can be a determining factor of success for many small businesses, social media provides an excellent way to cost-effectively compete with companies in the same industry. The benefits of social media for small businesses are numerous: marketing and reach, customer interaction, customer service and creating relationships that last.
If social media for business seems vexing to you, that’s ok! It’s important to understand that simply having a social presence isn’t the same as using it in a way that will for you. The kind of content your business creates and how social profiles are maintained are crucial determining factors when it comes social media success—meaning brand recognition, generating business, and fostering loyal relationships that help to grow your business, and ultimately increase ROI.
Here are 5 top benefits of social media for small businesses and some tips to help along the way!
1.) Brand Recognition
You’re sure to have seen your favorite brands using social media to share videos, pictures, and updates that reinforce their brand. You know it when you see it, right? But how do you know if your company’s social media updates are reinforcing your brand? When you put your small business on social media for everyone to see, every post becomes an opportunity to raise brand awareness.
TIP: A great way to determine if your posts are branded is to ask yourself these questions, 1.) Can people tell what kind of business we have? and 2.) Is it clear what we stand for?
2.) Lower Cost Lead Generation
Social Media Advertising is usually less expensive than traditional media, takes far less time to develop and is much easier to target an audience
TIP: When it comes to social advertising and targeting ads, Facebook’s ad platform is as detailed as it gets!
3.) Increases Search and Website Traffic
There are many elements that factor into search traffic, ie) the length of time your website has been active, the number of web pages attributed to your business, and a solid keyword strategy to name a few. Social bookmarking is also an effective way to build a larger online presence and increase website and search traffic.
TIP: Consistently post relevant and quality information on your social media networks that link to your website!
4.) Customer Service
Smart business owners know that social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become an opportunity to provide excellent customer service and gain valuable feedback. In a world so fast-paced, potential customers are more likely to private message a company on Facebook or Tweet to a brand on Twitter with a question rather than wait on the phone or write an email. This is perfect because your brand can offer a timely response that both educates and fosters brand loyalty. Another reason to be on top of social comments and inquiries is to show customers that your brand cares about feedback, suggestions and yes, even criticism.
TIP: Remember that customers are much more likely to share a negative experience than a positive one, so not responding to comments, questions and feedback is a big NO-NO on social media. While no one is perfect, always make an effort to respond with the most genuine answers to comments from fans and users.
5.) Reach: Content is King – Social Media is the Queen
On WordPress alone, users produce about 69.8 million new posts a month! In a sea of valuable content, there is real power in using social sharing of content to extend your reach to a larger audience. Create content that is fun, educating, positive and/or interesting to your fans and encourage them to share it. When a customer shares your content with their followers’, you’ve provided value to your current customer, generated new leads for potential customers and raised brand awareness for your product or service – go ahead and pat yourself on the back!
“Followers will be more inclined to post comments or share more of your content if you give them credit for doing so. People love to receive recognition.” – CoSchedule Blog
TIP: When someone Tweets, shares, or comments, give them a thank you or offer an incentive and let them know you appreciate them!
So you know the benefits of Social media for small businesses, but having consistency is building your brand in the digital space can still be confusing and time-consuming. If your business is struggling to keep up with marketing in the social space, remember this: When your small business cares enough to maintain its social media profiles, provides engaging content for consumers, and uses social media as an opportunity for customer service, you are not only in the game, you’re ahead of the 34% of small businesses have no social media presence and the 36% small businesses who do not respond to customer comments online. Celebrate how awesome you are, and know that this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Market It Media Group builds effectiveSocial Media Marketingstrategies for small businesses specifically tailored to their audiences. We provide supportedandmanaged social networks, content planning (and generation),social media ad campaigns and video distribution among other services that aim to attract new customers and increase brand awareness and profitability. Get a Free Social Media Marketing Analysisfor your small business.