As a small business owner, have you ever wondered, should I open a twitter account for my business? Or should I start a Facebook page? What about LinkedIn?
For many small business owners, social media is yet another thing to juggle & one they are not particular sure how too. Some question the value of social media to their business & wonder if their efforts are largely going unnoticed. However social media can be a valuable marketing tool that can greatly contribute to a business’ growth & success. It is a tool that must be fully incorporated into a business’ overall marketing plan, and one that must be maintained in order to achieve results, however with proper management, social media can provide businesses with a valuable return on investment. Here are a few ways social media marketing can help your small business.
- Creating relationships & Getting to know your customers
One of the most beautiful things about social media is it is social! Brands, businesses & other organizations can use social media to start up conversations with potential customers & start a relationship with these customers before they have even entered the store. Social media allows one-on-one interaction with businesses & their customers.
2. Expanding your audience
Like traditional media, such as radio & television, social media has the ability to broadcast to a wider audience. You, as a small business owner, can use social media to speak to potential customers across the globe. And social media is unique in that it allows you to directly target those customers whom you hope to reach. Imagine a radio ad. The advertisement is broadcasted to all the listeners of the station that plays it. Only a small minority of those listeners may be your target consumers. Now imagine that same ad, broadcasted through a social media campaign. The campaign can be created to broadcast to a list made primarily up of your target customers & reach those who are really interested in your message.
3. Brand recognition & personality
You can really change how your business or brand is perceived by your customers using social media. Social media is visual & interactive and using these tools, you can create a personality for your business on social media. Are you a friendly & social brand? Or maybe have a more serious, professional tone. Social media allows you to better define & show that brand persona to your customers.
4. Improving search-ability
We could talk specifically about SEO & search engine ranking, however we will leave that to another post. More generally speaking, social media helps make your online presence stronger & increases the ability for customers to find you using an online search. Your business will appear faster & closer to the top of search results for customers using Google or any other search engine to find a product or service that you provide.
The benefits of social media to a small business are many, however social media is a form of marketing which requires time & dedication to grow and foster an audience. Unlike traditional media which instantly broadcasts your message via the radio, television or the newspaper, which uses an already established audience, social media requires that the audience which your message is being broadcasted to be developed & grown through your own social media efforts. Creating engaging content, posting frequently, responding to messages & tweets & just generally, being social, will help to grow that audience.