The Value of Social Media for Small Business
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SMALL BUSINESS SERIES #1
It’s no longer up for discussion; a social media presence is a must for small business. With the rapid growth of online marketing and commerce, the possibilities for marketing your business to reach your core customers have never been bigger. So where to start? Social media is a very attractive, cheap and useful marketing channel, especially for businesses with limited resources.
Small business owners who haven't started using social media yet might be overwhelmed and confused when considering what to do with sites like Facebook or Twitter for their business. In our Social Media for Small Business series we’ll help you understand why social media is important, how to get started, and share tips and insights on specific social media outlets particularly beneficial to small business.
But first things first.
Why should small business engage in social media?
For any small business owner, it’s all about visibility and networking. In short, you want to get your name out there, hopefully with a positive reference at the same time. This kind of 'word-of-mouth' marketing has always been highly relevant for small business, it’s just digital now and that’s why you need to be digital, too.
Social media is THE outlet for recommending products and services online. According to the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner, 89% of business surveyed said that the biggest benefit of social media is increased exposure to potential customers.
2. Increased traffic
Interacting with your customers and encouraging them to share their experiences with your business on social media will not only strengthen your visibility but it will generate buzz. Google and other search engines love buzz. With good buzz you’ll start to experience better search engine rankings for your website and all that follows - namely increased website traffic and increased conversions, be it foot traffic, leads and/or sales.
3. Customer loyalty
Repeat business is extremely valuable for small business but with today’s consumer it’s harder and harder to keep their attention. Social media is an outlet that allows you to keep your existing customers engaged and happy. You can more easily stay front-of-mind and allow them to express their gratitude or perhaps any hesitations they might have. Everyone likes to be reassured. Keeping in touch via social media allows you to assure a customer that they are important to you.
The list goes on...
There are of course other benefits of social media but any business ought to make a few goals for their social media engagement to assess whether or not it’s working. For example, for some businesses customer loyalty might be more of a priority than getting new customers but using social media in the right way can help you achieve either.
Stay tuned for our next post in our Social Media for Small Business Series for a foolproof checklist to get started quickly and tips on how to keep yourself and your followers engaged. Later in the series we’ll discuss building a custom Facebook presence and ideas on how to get ahead with some of the quickly growing social channels like Pinterest and Instagram.
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