Social media has grown into something phenomenal in the past few years. Consider this:
- 93% of the Inc 500 use at least one social media platform or tool
- 94% of the Inc 500 use LinkedIn.
- 80% of the Inc 500 use Facebook.
- 79% of the Inc 500 use Twitter.
- 81% of US respondents indicated posts from their friends directly influenced their purchase decision.
A business is only as good as its reputation, and social media marketing is the best tool for crafting your dream brand reputation.
What you, or others, say about you feeds the social media stream. Moreover, different social media platforms present exciting new ways to build your reputation. Good reputation helps increase your search engine rankings, your trustworthiness among customers and ultimately your sales.
Six ways social media marketing benefits small businesses.
1. Use social media marketing to sell your products and services
Before major social media networks ventured deeply into ecommerce, most businesses sold to their customers in three steps; listening, helping to solve problems and then making the sale.
Nonetheless, the rise of social selling has brought along infinite opportunities to interact with potential customers during the research phase of their purchase process. Tools such as social media monitoring and social media engagement tactics have rewritten the rules of social media marketing for small businesses.
2. Large social networks like Twitter can improve your customer relationships
Extensive social media networks such as Twitter can increase your customer relations. Numbers say that 72% of users are likely to make future purchases with small businesses after interacting with them on Twitter.
Finding the right social media network that works for your products and clients is imperative. Twitter has over 200 million daily active users, therefore, there is a high chance of meeting your prospective clients there.
Large social networks such as Twitter and Facebook allow you to build a relationship with your customers. Furthermore, they connect you with the business community of your interest.
3. Social media marketing can increase your reach drastically
Large social media networks have put in place sponsored messages and targeted ads that allow you to target your audience more accurately. Social media allows you to reach clients who are looking for your service or product all over the world – compared to traditional marketing methods such as billboards, which are only visible to prospects on a specific route.
4. LinkedIn profiles help expand your professional network
Whether your business is small or large, it helps a lot having a LinkedIn profile set up. LinkedIn information covers the important business basics such as who, what, and where your business can be found. Such platforms allow you to show the credibility of your brand on a platform where your small business cn interact with professionals, potential investors, and customers. If used correctly, a LinkedIn business page can be a free, highly useful marketing tool.
5. Improved customer support through Facebook
Providing customer support may be a tedious and expensive process. However, social media networks like Facebook provide an outlet where you can effectively solve customer problems cost-effectively. The ability for you or your customers to post directly on your business page or direct messaging allows customers to communicate with you directly in case they are having issues or would like some feedback.
6. Use social media presence to influence your brand reputation
Trust is important when you are seeking to cultivate customer loyalty. One of the most effective ways of providing trust in the online sphere is by offering easy access to information about your brand. When your social media presence is neglected, you lose the opportunity to gain new clients and nurture the existing relationships.
Creating social media accounts across social channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, allows you to gain the trust of your customers, cementing the sense of loyalty. Giving a face or voice to your brand provides the people with an incentive to trust your business.
Implementing a small business social media strategy
Marketing has evolved from the traditional door-door advertisement to something far more sophisticated than most traditional advertisers could have imagined. Technology has allowed marketing channels to grow both in reach and in the availability of information related to customer needs. Today, print advertising is no match compared to social media marketing. Consumers have become increasingly evasive of traditional marketing efforts which they find intrusive.
Social media is a web-based inbound approach to marketing that can help small businesses get found online. Social media is an umbrella term referring to platforms that allow people to interact, connect, and share online information.
A survey suggests that 62% of all adults in the world use some form of social media to connect to friends, family and brands using either mobile or desktop devices.
Statistics to consider
- One billion people actively use Facebook every month
- 500,000 people use Twitter every month
- Google’s +1 button is used 2+ billion times each day
- 5 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every hour
- 3,600 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every hour
Social media started as a way to connect with friends and family. Today, it has become part of the identity all types of businesses who seek to maintain a vibrant online presence.
Social statistics by Burson-Marstellar fortune 100 show that:
- There are more than 10 million social mentions each month of Fortune 100 companies
- 87% of Fortune 100 companies use social media (Twitter being the most popular)
- 75% of Fortune 100 companies are on Facebook
- 50% of Fortune 100 companies have a Google+ account
- 25% of Fortune 100 companies have a Pinterest account
- Each corporate YouTube channel averages 2 million views
You do not have to be a fortune 100 company to enjoy the marketing features that social media offers. As the numbers show, today’s most successful businesses are on social media. Moreover, considering the sheer number of people who use social media actively, it becomes impossible to ignore this highly impactful trend, especially for small businesses.
Any business, small or big, can take advantage of social media’s rich marketing potential. The number of active daily users on social media makes it impossible for any small business to make a stance against social media marketing.