As a small business owner, it’s only wise to always be on the lookout for new and savvy ways to get your business the attention it deserves. With that said, I’m sure you’ve heard by now how being on social media can do wonders for your business. In my opinion, in terms of attracting, engaging with, and retaining your customers, social media is unbeatable. But what about social media for small business specifically? How effective is it? And what are the benefits that you can reap as a small business owner?
Social Media for Small Business
Effective Engagement Can Mean More To Small Businesses
People say social media is a numbers game. But contrary to popular belief, the number of followers isn’t the be all and end all of social media, especially when we’re talking social media for business. The truth is, it all boils down to engagement. So no matter how many followers you may have, if you don’t know how to engage with them effectively, you won’t find much success on social media. And this is one of the biggest reasons small businesses can find greater success on social media compared to bigger businesses. Small businesses are more community and individual focused, which means they put more effort into getting involved in their communities and the people that they serve. This helps them forge stronger and more genuine connections with their customers, who are usually local. And since social media is currently one of the most effective and most valuable avenues of communication (whether we’re talking business, or otherwise), small businesses can use it to reach out, respond, and serve their customers online. This is something big businesses can do as well, but as a small business, the influx of comments from a smaller pool of customers should be easier to handle. And part of effectively engaging with your social media following is replying to them in a quick manner. Small businesses are also big on personalizing their customers’ experience and that can be easily incorporated into any social media strategy. This is something that big businesses who have customers across the nation might struggle to keep up with as they might have less time to focus on crafting personalized responses for each customer.
Social Media Can Help Your Small Business Understand Its Customers
Any business can benefit from this. But as a small business, understanding your customers with the help of social media can be of even greater help for you. I mentioned above how small businesses are all about delivering personalized services to their customers, and how they’re more likely to focus on individuals and the community compared to bigger businesses. By being on social media, a small business can better identify who exactly its customers are, what it is they need, when they need it, and what can be done to help them. 53% of consumers already say they want to shop at small businesses because of the personalized service that they receive, so there’s that advantage. By being on social media, small businesses can deliver even better and more personalized services and products, and form an even more direct connection between the business and the customers. Being in the know of what things customers are looking for, when they look for it and how they want it provided to them can also help keep you ahead of the competition.
Increase Leads while Reducing Advertising Costs
Social media is free. Sure, you can pay for advertising, but it still costs way less than traditional advertising. It’s also more targeted so it’s a brilliant bang for your buck since you don’t have to unnecessarily spend on advertising outside of your local customer base. But even if you’re not looking to spend on paid social media advertising, you can still reach, expand and engage with your followers. How? By providing valuable content and equipping them with the right hashtags. After all, people don’t go on social media for the ads. By providing your customers with content that add value to their lives, you’re already building that trust and forging that connection. Another reason small businesses can better leverage social media is the fact that it’s the best pick for people who want to rave about or review products and services. So your customers can even post about you -- which can help with spreading brand awareness. And it costs nothing! In turn, you can post about your customers, which can help build your reputation, as well as customer loyalty. Claiming your social media pages can also positively affect your business’ ranking on search engine results, which can then help potential clients find you. So not only are you building up your social media numbers while creating connections, you’re also helping with your business’ search engine ranking. Sounds like a win to me!
Effectively Establish Your Small Business’ Message and Voice Online
I’ve touched on how important social media can be for small businesses when getting to know your customers. The flip side of that, which is just as important, is making sure the customers get to know your business and what you’re really about. You can establish this through the content that your small business share on social media. Reputation management is an important part of any business, but as a small business with a smaller pool of customers who expect personalized services from you, it can be even more important. And social media is a great tool for managing your businesses’ reputation online. You can even increase your ability to receive positive feedback by proactively interacting and engaging with your customers on social media. What’s even more wonderful about it is every great feedback you receive on social media is public, so both your current customers (who you want to retain), and new ones (who you want to attract) can easily see them!
Small Business Saturday is a brilliant initiative established by American Express in 2010. It promotes small businesses across the nation by encouraging consumers to shop small. SBS is a shopping holiday that takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Given that it’s American Express, it’s definitely big business marketing. But it’s big business marketing that small businesses can leverage simply by posting that they will be participating. And this is just one example of mass marketing that small businesses can take advantage of on social media. Hashtags, holidays and awareness days, as well as other trending events, discussions and matters are things your small business can participate in to gain attention and build awareness.
Ready for your business to get social? Let’s help you get started!