It seems strange to think there was ever a time when social media wasn’t an integral part of growing a small business. While many entrepreneurs still struggle with how to best use social media to engage their audiences and promote their businesses, there are signs that they’re gaining confidence in their social media skills. In 2012, 54% of small-business owners, who participated in a survey administered by Constant Contact, reported they needed help with social media. This year, that number dropped to 45%. This confidence seems to be translating into success, with 72% saying that their marketing efforts across the channels that matter, including social, email, mobile and Web, are yielding results.
Social media has become mandatory, and here is a list of reasons on how you can use SM to your business benefit.
1) Increased sales
Social media increases sales and customer retention through regular interaction and timely customer service. World-class companies rate social media as the most effective way to find new business opportunities.
2) Valuable customer insights
Social media generates a huge amount of data about your customers in real time. Every day there are over 500 million Tweets, 4.5 billion Likes on Facebook, and 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram. Behind these staggering numbers is a wealth of information about your customers—who they are, what they like, and how they feel about your brand.
3) Running targeted ads
Social ads are an inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute content. They also offer powerful targeting options so that you can reach the right audience. Mind the fact that, when running a Facebook Ad, you can target based on location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections. This way, you can track the performance of your social ads in real time.
4) Providing rich customer experience
Even if you aren’t on social media, most of your customers expect you to be. Customers are likely to visit your Facebook Page when in need of service and they expect fast response. This where the golden rule of business applies once again: Do your best to keep up with your customers’ needs.
5) Building a relationship with customers
Social media isn’t about blasting your company’s sales pitch through different platforms, it’s a two-way channel where you have the opportunity to enrich relationships with your customers.
Also, we encourage you to track what the competition is doing. Social media is a great source of information about the competition and, by tracking what they do, you’ll be able to make strategic business decisions to stay ahead. Based on your search results, you can improve your business to offer product enhancements, service, or content that they may be missing.
There was a time when social media was considered a passing fad by some. Something that “the kids” were using that business could never really benefit from. Nowadays, popular social platforms have become marketing giants, offering businesses valuable data about their customers and a (mostly) free way to reach them.
Thus, social media for business is no longer optional.