Small businesses are faced with a variety of challenges and hurdles to overcome. And if you’re a small business owner, you know that finding the cash to alleviate those challenges, grow your business, and invest in marketing can be trying, if not impossible. One tool that small businesses can use to market themselves, ultimately leading to new customer acquisition and increased profits, is social media.
Social media is a fantastic resource that all small businesses should be utilizing. Not only are social media platforms relatively easy to use, but they also have the potential to connect you with hundreds of clients and new customers. And, using social media for small business is completely free. If you’re not already using social media, here are some social media for small business tips and benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.
How Does Social Media Help Business
- Social Media Helps You to Influence Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing, or WOMM, is the term that’s applied to people talking positively about a brand, providing it with a little free advertisement. With social media, WOMM spreads like wildfire; a single comment about your small business can reach dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of people in the blink of an eye. While this can happen regardless of whether or not your small business has a social media profile, having a social media profile and posting content that matters allows you to steer the conversation about your business. Rather than people talking about the customer service experience they had alone, they can talk about their customer service experience and the awesome photo you just posted. Which leads into point number two…
- You’ll Build Brand Recognition
By having a strong presence on a social media site, attracting a lot of followers, participating in online conversations, sharing others’ content, and engaging users with great content and comments, you’ll build your brand’s recognition without even trying. Not only will people start to recognize you more, but you’ll also be able to shape what exactly it is people think about you. By using social media well, you can establish yourself as a knowledgeable source of information, a company with great customer service, a business with a sense of humor and good attitude, and more.
- Your Customers Will Become Life-long Customers
What’s the key to transforming a one-time customer into a life-long customer? Building trust through a great consumer-business relationship. And, with digitalization and social media, building a strong relationship with your customers is easier than ever. Social media helps you to cultivate a community, and allows you to provide that community with everything that they want from a small business – reliability, dependability, honesty, and relatability. When forming relationships with customers online, you can increase all of these things by sharing their content, replying to messages or comments in a timely fashions, following them back on Twitter (not just having them follow you), and responding to all feedback, not just positive feedback. In fact, negative feedback is one of the most important types of feedback that you should respond to. By responding to negative feedback on social media, you let your customers know that you care about what they think, and reassure them that you’re committed to providing a great product and service.
- Social Media Boosts Your SEO
SEO is the shorthand name for search engine optimization, which is the process of making your small business more findable for search engines like Google or Bing. A great SEO strategy means that when a user searches for a service or product that your business provides, your business will be one of the first results listed. SEO can be improved by a lot of things (like great content and relevant keywords) but one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO rankings is to be active on social media. The more social media platforms that you use – like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+ – the more SEO-friendly your small business will be. By improving your SEO approach, you’ll automatically improve your findability, therefore potentially increasing the amount of traffic that your website receives. More traffic is usually synonymous with more profits.
- You Can Improve Your Customer Service
If you’ve ever wondered how you can improve your services or products for customers’ needs, social media can provide you with the tools to discover the solutions. Through social media polls, surveys, contests, votes, competitions, and thorough monitoring of comments and messages, you can find out exactly what your customer wants and how to give it to them. For example, not sure whether you should manufacture your newest bathrobe in pink or periwinkle? A quick social media poll can allow you to discover which color the majority of your customers would prefer. Or, planning on shutting your business down on Sundays? Announce it on Facebook, and monitor feedback; maybe you’ll discover that closing on Mondays, instead, is much more preferable to patrons.
- Give Yourself Competitive Advantage
Most small businesses already use social media. So, if you’re not using social media, you’re falling behind the competition. However, not all businesses use social media well. By using a variety of social media sites, positing frequently and consistently, sharing content that’s relevant to your audience, networking with other small businesses and influencers, sharing others’ content, and always responding to all customer feedback, you’ll give yourself competitive advantage over other small businesses in your industry.
- Save Some Moolah
As mentioned above, social media marketing is extremely inexpensive. By using social media for your marketing efforts rather than paid efforts (like pay-per-click advertising), you can save big bucks on your small business’s marketing campaign this year. The cost of a social media campaign can range based on your personal needs and budgets. If you have the time and the know-how, you can manage your social media marketing on your own or in-house for no cost at all. If you need help with finding customers on Twitter, tracking data or analytics, or managing all of your social media platforms from a single location, paid services can help.
In conclusion, using social media for small businesses is a must, with an endless array of benefits. To jumpstart your business, start showing your social profiles a little love!
Nearly all social media platforms work effectively but it depends on the industry. It’s important to do research on which platform will serve your industry and niche best.