Did you know? Most small business owners do not use social media. This is because many assume that their target audience is not using social media since they are not there themselves.
Your whole audience will not be on social media. That is true. However, a significant portion will be. Or at least on one platform.
70% of U.S. adults use Facebook. Seven out of ten people then. In 2019, internet users spend 2 hours and twenty minutes per day social networking. One thing thus becomes very clear: your small business needs social media.
That is not all. According to Sprout Social, 1.5 billion users log into Facebook every single day. If they want to grow, small brands and businesses need some form a social media visibility.
Be more active online. That is how your will get to reach more people.
Your small business needs social media. Here’s why:
Social media is essential to small business marketing. It helps increase brand awareness and online visibility. An online presence helps people find you. Then, more people can know about you.
More people knowing your brand means more prospective customers. Social media has a powerful snowball effect. It would be a shame to miss out on such an efficient online marketing tactic.
1. High returns, low efforts
Good news! Social media is free. It does not cost a thing to set up an Instagram profile or a Facebook page.
Each social platform us different. Thus, each social media account will require a different type of content. Some platforms are easy to grow. Others are not.
Each social media platform has specific benefits that small businesses can take advantage of.
Growth usually relies on sharing engaging content, using the right hashtags and influencer marketing. However, followers are not everything. For example, on Pinterest, pins can be seen by anyone. Yes, even if they do not follow you.
A social media strategy that combines several platforms is more effective. 79% of marketers notice an increase in website traffic after they started using social media.
According to 92% of marketers, spending six hours managing social media will help increase a business exposure. Facebook and Twitter can also help make a brand look more genuine.
Social media provides a great return on investment. Indeed, it is free. A few hours of engagement and creating good quality will make all the difference.
2. Increased visibility on Google
If you are just starting out on social media, you need to set up your channels. Use your brand name as username. Make sure it is consistent and identical across the board.
Doing so will create several instances of your brand name across the web. It is like mentioning your brand in different places. Which Google will find if someone types in your brand name.
Take a prospective customer. They research your brand name. The first result should be your website. Second and third results may be other pages from your site.
Following results will be your social media channels. Indeed, they all use your brand name and therefore are relevant to your search. Your social media will blanket the first page of Google with webpages you control.
Then, users can only click on a link related to your brand. This increases the likeliness of a landing page view and purchase.
One last thing regarding social media marketing. It can improve search engine ranking for non-brand keywords. More exposure, more clicks and higher rankings, that’s why your small business needs social media.
3. Better customer retention
In the age of social media, people love to share what they are doing. Where do they do that? Social media of course! Actually, one in three customer shares a milestone on social media.
Customers tag restaurants on their photo and in the caption. Their followers can then have a closer look. If your small business do not use social media, it could be missing out on a lot of prospective customers.
Social media provides an easy way to interact with existing customers. Just share their posts on your social channels. People trust family, friends and acquaintances more than they trust businesses.
User-generated content and posts are a social proof. They confirm that the business is delivering on its promises. They can really help convert potential customers.
4. New audience coverage
Social media is used by a lot of people. Thus, it covers many demographics. However, some social platforms will do better with certain age groups. As a consequence, small businesses need to decide which platform to use.
Basically, you need to go where your audience is. It is possible to your ideal customer hangs out on several platforms. Be every where they are. That is how you reach them.
Remember that people need to see an average of 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision. Being on more platforms means more exposure.
Make sure you create engaging content. If your followers like it, they are more likely to share it. Fans sharing content is another organic way to increase brand reach.
Your follower’s followers are probably also part of your audience. Content sharing will expose them to your brand. For free, we may add. Those people may decide to follow you or straight click on the links shared.
We said it earlier. People trust testimonials from friends and family. Encouraging your followers to share content can only be beneficial for you. People finding you through referrals are more likely to become customers.
5. Improved customer service
Bad customer service can undo a business. That is why it needs to be perfect. Social media can help gather customer feedback.
People, followers, customers drop comments, like posts, share reviews of your product. They can also reach out directly in DMs or via Messenger. Social media becomes a direct way to communicate with your audience.
Open your social media to customer service. Your small business will look more accessible. This helps strengthen customer relations. Remember that social media is a two-way street.
The study looked specifically at tweets. Customers who receive a response to their tweet are willing to spend more with the brand on later purchases. The spending increases if the response arrive within five minutes.
This holds true even if the tweet was negative or a complaint.
6. Higher conversion rates
Social media help connect with existing and prospective customers on a deeper level. And it does so much better than traditional advertising. While, again, being free. That is why your small business needs it!
Social media gives your business a personality. It makes it more human. It shows that your company is not just a collection of images and products.
One key ingredients towards success? A strong brand personality. This naturally leads to brand loyalty, which in turns lead to higher conversion rates.
Strong content and brand loyalty leads to more shares. Followers, likes, shares are social proof. They bring confirmation that people know, like and trust your business.
Social media is also a great tool for following-up with customers. Make sure they keep your business at the top of their mind. Follow-up is important in the sale process. It helps with customer retention.
7. Stronger brand loyalty
Need another reason why your small business needs social media? Because it increases brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is essential to generate higher sales and increase conversion rate.
Selling to a client once is great. Having that customer come back and buying again? Even better!
Studies show that 53% of all Americans are more loyal to brands they follow on social media. This increases to 66% amongst Americans aged 18 to 24.
Small business owners need to remember this. Attracting a new customer is five time more expensive than keeping an existing one. In today’s market, people are bombarded by content and social media posts.
When the competition is that high, customers hold all the buying power. And they know it. That is why you need a strong social media marketing strategy. One that part with a content marketing strategy, will help you keep existing customers.
Brand loyalty is a two-way street. It can and should be encouraged. Customers expect rewards in exchange for their loyalty and dedication. Freebies, giveaways, discounts, sweepstakes work great on social media.
8. Establish credibility
Would you trust a brand you know absolutely nothing about? What if you can’t find any information anywhere? You’d think it is a bit dodgy, isn’t it?
One the other hand, you are more likely to trust an established brand with a strong online presence. Credibility is key to create trust. And that is why your small business needs social media.
An active and strong social media presence establishes credibility. It makes the brand more legit. And create trust too.
What do most prospective customers do? They check you out on social media of course!
They need to see that you are active online. And that you do actually exist. But also that people can vouch for you.
Potential customers use your social media to validate your authority. A company with 5,000 followers looks more credible than a company with 50 followers.
At the end of the day, what you sell does not matter. Hamburgers or multi-million dollar equipment. Your brand needs to be on at least on social media platform. Social media needs to be part of your marketing plan.
9. Humanize your brand
Did you know? 50% of adults do not trust a brand until they have validation that it delivers on its promises. People need proof. Social and real-life proof.
They need to know what other people think. Prospective customers need to know that existing clients are happy with their shopping experience. This goes beyond products and service quality. It also relates to values, missions, corporate responsibility, etc.
What do customers want to see from a brand? Honest communication about products and services. Integrity in their initiatives at all times.
Creating meaningful relationship moments mostly happens through social media. This will help humanize your brand. The ability to create real human connections is one key benefits of social media for small businesses.
You need to show the human side of your brand. What happens behind the scenes. How you adhere to your values. Who makes your company in real life.
What benefits your products bring to customers. Why people should trust you over other brands. What makes you, you.
10. Keep an eye on the competition
You are a small business owners. One thing you know is that you must stay relevant. You need to know about what is going on and how to adapt.
Trends, frenzies and customers needs are important to you. And thus, you need to keep an eye on the competition. You need to know what they are doing too.
Monitoring the competition will help you know what your competitors are up to. It will also help you get new fresh ideas. You can also analyze what works and what does not.
After all, one key selling point is that you are better than the competition. Look at what they do and do better.
Track mentions of your competitors. This could reveal a pain point that their products do not address. That is where you can step in. If you solve a problem, you get the customer’s attention.
Social media monitoring will also help you keep track of new product launches, promotions and campaigns. Seeing what their audience react to can help you fine tune your own strategy.
We provided you with ten reasons why your small business needs social media. There are of course more. As the social media landscape changes, so does the use you can make of it.
Social media provides small businesses with advantages and opportunities. Most importantly it is free. Even a few hours of management in a week can make a huge difference.
Build a social media marketing plan. You will not regret it.