Why Social Media is Critical for Your Small Business

With the digital increase that the last decade has seen, it seems like a no-brainer that a website and social media are critical to a small business’s success. Still, a lot of businesses aren’t putting an ample amount of resources into either of these elements, specifically social media. The result is a loss in potential for bringing in new leads and creating brand awareness. The Marketing Trends Report indicated that almost 1 out of 5 businesses still have no plans to invest in social media. In competition with businesses that are maintaining a social media presence, the decision not to presents a challenge to these small business owners. Why exactly does social media have such a large impact on small businesses? What evidence is there that the revenue is worth putting resources into social media?

According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. Connections made for clients through social media are imperative for growth, especially when millennials are the target audience. Reports determined that 73% of people in the 18- to 34-year-old segment want to see a business owner’s photo with the company’s history on its website and 63% of people 55 and older feel that the owner’s photo and company’s story is important. Further, social media presence can increase inbound traffic (through external links to the site) while decreasing marketing costs. Ultimately, this can also lead to better search engine optimization (SEO) and higher rankings.

Aside from these factors, social media makes a large impact on your small business in a variety of ways:

Brand Awareness

Perhaps the most noticed benefit that social media provides to small businesses is increased brand awareness. Small businesses can sometimes struggle to gain attention for their business, however, social media can make it easier. The different platforms make it easier to gain visibility through hashtags, sponsored posts, and spreading your content around through shares, likes, and retweets. It gives users the opportunity to share their brand with people who may not have otherwise come across your business. Additionally, social media makes it easier for clients and leads to make recommendations for your business and share it with a larger reach of friends.

Furthermore, having social media accounts establishes credibility for your business. Customers are more likely to choose a small business that they can see is keeping up with the modern digital world. It also helps potential customers get a glimpse into your business and values. The use of different social media platforms allows businesses to share and post content that reflect their products and beliefs.

Positive & Negative Attention

Your small business is bound to get a little bit of digital attention from consumers whether you have a social media account or not. Having a social media presence will allow you to control how that attention affects your business. When customers have positive things to say about your business, it can go a long way in boosting your image. It’s important to highlight these positive reviews and messages, making sure that the good attention your business gets online is seen.

However, negative comments about your business can also go a long way. Having a presence on social media presents the opportunity to turn negativity into positivity. Responding to negative comments with an apology and a suggestion to fix the situation can be beneficial in many ways. It begins by offering a solution, but more importantly it shows that you value your customers and want to offer them the best options. The approach can deter a negative snow-ball effect while potentially even winning back the customer. Adding to this, monitoring social media attention can allow you to gain better customer insights for your business overall.

Client Interaction

Client interaction holds potentially the biggest effect on your small business out of them all. Small businesses must take a different approach to social media than larger businesses. While large businesses gain a large reach, smaller businesses have the opportunity to personalize Interactions make followers and potential leads feel more personal with you and your business. Responses, retweeting, and ‘liking’ comments all help followers to increase their connection to your business. This presents opportunities to convert potentials and to maintain current clients. Additionally, these interactions can build into relationships.

Building Relationships

Building relationships is crucial to a small business success. Relationships formed with customers and social media followers make people want to share your business with others. This will expand social media presence, word-of-mouth referrals and ultimately grow your business. The more relationships created with clients, the more opportunities will present themselves.

Aside from relationships with clients, social media offers the chance to build relationships with bigger name organizations or people that can help to promote your business. Interaction with large corporations in your niche, influential people who have a voice in your industry, and significant content producers can lead to relationships. When your business is actively responding, ‘liking,’ and sharing the content of these high-reach leaders, they notice. The attention your business will gain from this can be great and can lead to relationships built with these professionals who will happily help you to build your business.

The application of a social media plan to your business’s marketing strategies can be largely effective. There are a variety of opportunities that your business can take advantage of with social media. Ultimately, it can give your small business a competitive edge over businesses that don’t have social media or aren’t maximizing its benefits. With the endless approaches and chances to share your content, social media can add an entirely new group of clients and leads to your small business.