Social Media: Must-Have Tool for Growth or Massive Hassle?
Social media has gotten a lot of hype over the last 10 years, so much so that most marketers these days say it’s an indispensable tool in growing brands online. So, is social media a must-have tool for every small business owner, or is it just a massive waste of time? As it turns out, if used correctly, social media can indeed help propel small businesses to success. Here are a few reasons why you should use social media as a small business owner and how it can help your brand thrive online:
Profiles & posts on most social media sites are free
One of the biggest reasons to utilize social media platforms to market your business online is their cost! Most social media platforms are free to use! While many platforms do charge fees to advertise, most of the basic features are free of charge. Some platforms like Facebook and Instagram even have a robust set of business-focused tools that can help small business owners manage their social media platforms online. These tools offer things like post planners, calendars, and even expanded analytics to keep social media managers informed about their page’s performance. So, the long and the short of it is: social media platforms offer some of the most cost-effective ways to reach your audience online and most small businesses can grow their brands without ever spending a dime.
Having social media profiles strengthens your presence online
There’s nothing worse than searching for a small business online and finding nothing! Is the company legit? Does it have any reviews to go off of? Do they have a business listing on Google? Not having these important pieces of information on the web can scare away your potential customers and lead to lost sales! Having social media profiles can help dramatically strengthen your presence online, organically boost your SEO, and increase potential customers’ confidence in your brand. Fully built-out social media pages can give search engines the critical information they need to push your business to the top of the search results. Even more importantly, well-maintained social media pages give your potential customers the important information they need to help them make their purchase decisions, potentially giving you an edge over the competition!
Having social media pages can give your business a place to keep customers informed
Many customers like to keep up with what their local small businesses are up to. Whether it’s to keep tabs on sales and events or seeing the latest products you have to offer, it would be a shame to miss out on that kind of interest! By utilizing social media pages, your small business can have a place to keep your customers informed about the latest events and give them a forum where they can engage with you. Have a temporary change in business hours? Post it to your social media sites! Have a killer doorbuster deal you want to share with your customers? Post it to social media and watch the sales pour in! Better yet, your customers will have a place where they can ask you questions and post reviews about their recent experiences, both important steps in building up your brand’s online presence.
Having social media pages gives you more avenues to advertise your business
Let’s face it, not everyone is on every social media platform. That’s why it’s important to offer your customers options for where they can connect with you. While you don’t have to manage and post on every social media platform, it’s a good idea to at least maintain a presence on the big three: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Having a variety of social media platforms will allow your business to connect with a diverse customer base, open you up to more interactions online, and giving you a better chance at landing sales. While some older customers and demographics may gravitate more heavily to platforms like Facebook and Pinterest, younger groups probably interact more with platforms like Instagram and TikTok. So, it’s important to know your customers and go where they are. After all, you can’t expect to connect with your customers on platforms they don’t use!
Local groups can help you spread the word about your business
Local groups on platforms like Facebook and Nextdoor can be a great way to get to know your neighbors and spread the word about your small business. While every group is different, most have special threads or days for advertising, allowing you to showcase your company to a wide local audience. (One of the local Facebook groups I am a member of has over 11,000 members and covers a large section of my county!) Being an active member of a local social media group can increase awareness for your company, open you up to new local business, and allow you to offer your services to a receptive audience that’s often looking for locally-owned business recommendations.