5 Great Reasons Small Businesses Should Care About Social Media Presence

By Diana Adjadj

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As a small business owner, you may have felt some hesitancy about social media. It can seem as if social is too saturated to make a difference. You might even feel as if it’s not worth the time it takes for the ROI you think you’ll receive. Maybe you’ve tried social media marketing without much success. Whatever the case may be, it may be time to rethink your views. Done right, your social media presence can play a key role in your success. Here are five points that answer the question, ‘Why is social media important for businesses like mine?’

 

It’s Less Expensive Than Other Marketing Methods

Because many small businesses operate on a shoestring, marketing and advertising efforts can suffer. It’s difficult to gain traction through paid advertising channels when you simply don’t have the funds. This makes social media a perfect choice.

While there are certainly paid advertising options on social media, there’s a lot of marketing that small businesses can do there for free. As long as you dedicate time and effort to your presence there, you can reap the rewards of more followers, engagement, traffic to your website, influencer relationships, and conversions. That’s a worthwhile payoff for an investment of time.

For small businesses that do opt for PPC advertising, social media may very likely be the better choice when compared to Google. The CPA for Google Ads is significantly higher than it is for Facebook advertising.

Try these tips to use social media for marketing without breaking your budget:

 

  • Focus on social media channels that match your audience profile.
  • Target your advertising to your desired customer personas, not a general audience.
  • Sell your value proposition and differentiate yourself from similar brands.
  • Use the analytics available to you to measure your results and make changes quickly.

 

You Can Earn Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty isn’t just earned through great products and good service. It’s built through familiarity and relationships. When people feel as if they know your brand and your team, they’re more likely to want to do business with you. Social media acts as the perfect vehicle for establishing those relationships.

Through social media, you can share your company’s stories, values, and passions. You can engage directly with customers in one on one discussions, answer questions, and otherwise build a community. As a result, your audience grows, your branding efforts become more powerful, and you can stand out from your competitors.

You can build customer loyalty by:

 

  • Following influencers and active users back.
  • Participating in conversations and responding to follower questions and comments.
  • Reaching out with live broadcasts.
  • Holding question and answer sessions.
  • Sharing stories about any charitable or philanthropic work your business does.
  • Giving followers a personal or behind the scenes view of your company.
  • Publishing user-generated content.
  • Sharing more visual content.

For many small businesses the challenge is knowing whether or not their efforts to earn customer loyalty are successful. This is where social listening comes in. These techniques allow you to get honest insights into customer sentiment towards your brand.

 

It’s Expected of You

Failing to establish some sort of social media presence is almost the same as not having a listing in the yellow pages 20 years ago. It just doesn’t make sense. Social media is certainly not the only way for people to find your business, or to learn more about you. However, it’s one of the more common. If you haven’t made an effort to show up there, chances are you’re losing business to your competition.

With social media, you have an additional channel to provide your customers with insight and information on your business, and your products. Customers and potential customers can visit your social media pages for information about your hours, learn about products that you sell, read and watch your content, and learn about upcoming events.

You can even use your social media presence to reach out to customers through social media channels that you don’t own. In fact, 96% of people talking about brands don’t do so through the brand’s owned channels. That means it’s important that brands use social media to connect and participate in discussions outside of their own pages.

 

You’ll Increase Traffic to Your Website

One of the most powerful uses of social media is to drive traffic to your company website. Facebook and other social media channels are perfect for sharing information about your products, sales and specials, product demonstration videos, and other posts that generate interest in your company, and encourage your followers to move further down the funnel (and over to your website). When it comes to driving high-quality traffic to your landing pages, social media and businesses have the perfect partnership.

If increasing traffic is one of your goals, there are a few things you can do to make this happen:

 

  • Complete your social media profiles. You may be tempted to fill out the bare minimum of information, but you’ll get much better results being thorough. Include your company hours, link to your website, phone number, and other information. Not only can customers use that information, but that’s also the kind of metadata that search engines love.
  • Encourage followers to share your content on social media. Add social share buttons to your blog and website. Don’t be shy about asking for shares on social media either.
  • Earn even more shares with great visual content.
  • Use calls to action in your social media posts. They aren’t just for ads and landing pages.
  • Use social media to promote your blog posts.

Of course, driving traffic to your site is only as effective as the quality of your on-site content. It’s important that you provide your audience with great blog posts and other web content. Many brands get the best results by using content creation tools and resources including, Canva, Whitesmoke, Trust my Paper, and Grammarly. These are ideal for helping brands produce well-written content with great visuals.

 

You Can Use it as a Customer Service Channel

As long as customers interact with brands on social media channels such as Facebook, social media is going to serve as a customer support channel. This is true whether small businesses prefer that or not. Brands that embrace this can benefit through increased growth, traffic conversions, and improved customer sentiment.

Customers use social media to ask questions, lodge complaints, express opinions, and seek out the community. Your response is imperative. Here are some tips for using social media for customer service effectively:

 

  • Be as transparent as possible. Let customers and followers see you in action as you work to solve problems, provide information, and make customers happy.
  • Know which issues to resolve in view of the public, and which ones to take public.
  • Consider expanding customer support efforts with chatbots.
  • Be personal. Use real names and profiles to engage with customers who have questions and complaints.
  • Respond quickly to customer service requests. Keep in mind that many eyes are watching your responsiveness.
  • Make every effort to respond to all questions and comments.
  • Keep things upbeat and respond to negativity with patience and positivity. Avoid matching wits or calling customers out on social media.

 

Final Thoughts

Small businesses that create a social media presence are at a clear advantage when compared to those who don’t. This is a cost-effective, engaging means to reach out to audience members, drive traffic to your website, and provide great customer service.

 

About the Author: Diana Adjadj is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Diana also runs her own 3to5Marketing blog. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people.

 

 

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