The internet has over 3 billion active users, more than 2 billion of these digital nomads have active social media accounts. The average American spends about 37 minutes on social media each day. The influx of people in different social media platforms is actually skyrocketing in the past few years. Social media has become a place where people don’t only socialize, but it’s also a place where they look for products and services.
This newfound role of social media in the effective social media marketing for small businesses is the reason why more and more businesses are trying to establish their names online. In a world where almost everyone you know, almost everyone you met in the streets, and even their pets has social media accounts, the need to build an online presence has become an important task or businesses.
Connecting your business to different social media platforms offer a vast amount of benefits. Social media can increase your business or website’s exposure and traffic. In effect of this increased exposure and traffic, leads generated are also increased, marketing expenses are trimmed down, online search rankings is improved, and the number of fans and loyal readers can increase more.
This is why social media accounts of almost every brand or business keep popping out like mushrooms in the digital land. From restaurants, gadgets, fashion brands, to fast foods, cosmetic lines, car companies, and even that little café in your neighborhood – they all have social media accounts of their own.
Here are some of the reasons why you should be setting up your business social media accounts now.
Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses …
(1) Builds Brand Awareness and Professional Presence
The consumers’ awareness of your business is a vita factor in making them choose your brand over other competitors. Building brand awareness and exposure is the first step for any business or brand to succeed. Television or radio advertisements and billboards are the traditional and guaranteed way to do so, but these methods tend to cost a lot. Social media, with its huge user base and growing popularity is the best alternative for this. Social media provides access to millions of potential customers Susan Tatum of Biznology believes that social media as one of easiest way to make people aware of your business or brand.
Most customers nowadays, are very keen and picky of the brands they choose. People want to make sure that the company they are choosing is a trusted and reputable one. Getting a feel and impression of your business is a huge factor in the decision-making process of the customer, searching for your brand online and checking for your social media account is the usual way they do it. If your brand or business is invisible, inactive, or unappealing, customers would tend to move on to your competition.
(2) Offers Useful Customer Insights
There are over 4.5 billion likes on Facebook, 500 million tweets on Twitter, and 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram, each day. These staggering statistics generate an enormous amount of data about customers at any given time. These data can be a gold mine for valuable information and provide an insight about who your audience are, their preferences, and their impression about your brand.
Gathering these significant customer data through actively engaging and listening to your audience can lead to smarter business decisions. Hootsuite recognizes the importance of gaining valuable customer insights that’s why they developed their own Hootsuite Insights where you can collect information across different social platforms in real time. This would allow business owners to better gauge their customers’ sentiments, and have an idea of the conversations running around their brands.
(3) Offers Versatile Marketing Platform
There are a lot of social media platforms out there and more and more are coming out each day. This ensures that there is always a platform for your business marketing needs. If you want to recruit new employees, LinkedIn is the place to go. If your business can benefit most to posting pictures and videos, then Instagram should be your focus. If you want to have better insights about your customers and run ads, promotions, or sales, then Facebook is always at your disposal. If you want to deliver real time and simplified updates for your audience, then it is just a tweet away on Twitter.
Pete Polgar of ClikzDigital blog suggests the use of social media for business because of their versatility. The good thing about social media is that it is continually evolving and are very versatile giving business owners the chance to customize them for their marketing needs.
(4) Provides Tools for Advertisements
Advertising companies can charge thousands and thousands of dollars to run campaigns and advertise for your business. But with social media, you could do it all by yourself. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook provide tools to simplify the process and help businesses to run their own campaign or advertisements. Near Me Blog tried to experiment on using Facebook ads, and found that social media provides great opportunities for businesses to increase their exposure.
Various features of social media platforms such as user’s ability to like, favorite, share, retweet, or reblog your posts or your page itself creates free advertisement for your business. This provides a way for your business to expand its reach and attract potential customers.
(5) Offers Cost Effective Marketing
Creating brand awareness and building audience can be a challenging task for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and start-up companies. Businesses would need to shell out lots of money for traditional marketing and advertising approaches. But social media can do the same job at a much lower to no cost at all. This permits small businesses and entrepreneurs maximize the returns they get for their investments and provide a rapid positive growth for the business or company. Potential blog recognizes this importance of social media for a better and more cost effective marketing for businesses suggesting that the more time and effort that is invested in social media, the greater the impact it would give to the growth of the business.
(6) Enables Targeted Marketing
Identifying your audience is an important step to effectively grow a business. Social media cannot only be used to identify these audiences, but it also provides effective targeting options for you to reach your intended market. Facebook ads can be tailored to target specific users based on their interests, location, behaviors, demographics, and connections. LinkedIn ad campaigns on the other hand can be modified by company, location, gender, age, or profession, etc. The good thing with these campaigns is that their performance can be tracked and measured in real time.
Potential blog emphasizes the importance of understanding your audience through an in depth analysis of their interactions, movements, and behaviors. Perception of these variables will enable you to shift your marketing techniques and strategies more efficiently.
(7) Delivers Better Customer Experience
A social media benchmark study showed that 67 percent of consumers seeks social media for customer service. The direct contact between the customer and the business is one of the benefits brought by social media. It allows the development of a better customer relationship and the building of a supportive network. Finally, the hassle of going through tedious calls and lengthy email correspondence just to complain or ask about something are over.
Customers expect brands to be on social media and provide quick response time, around the clock support, and exceptional customer service. Businesses and companies that offer such customer support are a step ahead of the competition. A study conducted by Aberdeen found out that companies who engage with their customers on social media saw higher percentage of annual financial gains (7.5% YOY growth) than those who do not (2.9% YOY growth).
(8) Increases Customer Loyalty
Having social media presence makes it easier for customers to find and connect with your business. Emily Copp of Hootsuite believes that by having a direct connection with your customers increases the likelihood of customer retention and their brand loyalty. A study conducted by The Social Habit proves this when they found out that 53 percent of American consumers are loyal to brands that they are following on social media.
Gaining and establishing customer loyalty can instantly drive more traffic to your business. Loyal customers have the power to advocate and influence other consumers to choose your business instead of other competitors. Furthermore having a direct social media contact with your customers decreases their probability of posting their dissatisfactions in public in case of unfortunate events. This is because having a direct communication with them validates their value as a customer. This way, they will feel that their voice is being heard and their complaint are given attention, and instead of being another disappointed customer, their loyalty and trust can be strengthened.
(9) Allows Instant Feedbacks
Social media platforms provides an avenue for customers to leave feedbacks, whether they are positive or negative, for your services as a business or company. For example, Facebook has their own rating system where customers can rate business pages and leave compliments or complaints. These ratings and comments about your business can give an insight on the things that needs improvement and where the company should focus more. These instant feedbacks generated can cut off the need for sending email surveys or conducting call surveys just to evaluate their satisfaction levels.
(10) Attracts Prospective Clients
Telemarketing and email marketing are often ignored by consumers, but they are open and usually entertains personalized outreach on social media. Although social media has proven effective as a way to market your business, it is still important to take care not to spam your prospect customers. Instead of bombarding their timelines or feeds with the details of your products or services, you should provide them contents that they can relate to and provide them buyer-related value. Biznology founder and writer Susan Tatum suggests that the key to attracting and engaging clients on social media is using the platform to educate and help them instead of directly selling to them.
(11) Helps Develop Diverse Connections
One of social media’s key feature is its ability to create connections with people no matter who they are or where they are. And one of the secrets to growing and staying long in the business is to forge lasting relationships with influential people, or other businesses. These connections and relationships can help your business in the long run by increasing your visibility and increasing your generated sales. Business2Community blogger Lucas Hardonk swears by this as most of his social media campaigns have helped start ups and small businesses develop connections with other businesses, helping them grow in result.
(12) Improves Search Ranking and Increases Website Traffic
The increase in website traffic caused by social media is one of the biggest benefits of marketing on different social media platforms. Aside from this, having more followers and engagements through likes, comments, and shares on your social media platforms also increases your search ranking on search engines like Yahoo and Google. This rise in the results ranking could also mean more clicks and website traffic since people tend to click on the top results when searching for something. Almost all the sources mentioned above agrees to this benefit of using social media for businesses.
(13) Gives an Insight About Your Competitors
Making decisions and planning out business strategies is very crucial in the growth and development of any business. As mentioned in an article by Business2Community blog, 3 in 5 small businesses have gained new customers through the use of social media. Moreover, 8 in 10 small businesses makes use of social media to drive business growth. A big part of these decision making processes and planning out strategies is having an insight about what your competitors are up to. Social media will allow you to gather information about their new products and strategies, at the same time this will allow you to improve your own strategies. Use this data to improve or create services and products that may be lacking to them.