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7 Reasons Why Social Media is Important for Small Businesses

7 reasons why social media is important for small businesses

By The Editorial team

Why is social media important for small businesses? Social media can seem like an intimidating place, especially if you’re just starting out as a small business owner or entrepreneur. But, once you start to get the hang of it, you’ll discover that social media can be a valuable marketing tool – and one that’s not all that different from any other form of marketing you might use.
 
So why should small businesses spend time and energy on social media? In this article, we’ll explore seven reasons why social media is important for your business, and how you can start building one for your business today.

Competitor research

You don’t want to reinvent the wheel, so it’s important to do some research on your competitors. What are they doing? How many followers do they have? Where are their followers located? You want to be able to measure your social media efforts against those of your competitors. Remember: They’re not going away, so you might as well learn from them and use that knowledge for your own benefit.
 
Although many businesses focus solely on Facebook, remember that there are other platforms out there as well; LinkedIn has a lot of potential and can serve as a platform for professional networking. If nothing else, make sure that you at least have an Instagram or a Twitter account—the visual nature of the platform makes it great for marketing!
 

Increase brand awareness, reputation and trust

The importance of social media can’t be understated. Established business owner knows that your reputation means everything and it’s always best to create the impression of being open, honest and transparent with your customers by keeping your social channels current, professional and active.
 
The next thing people look out for after they look at a company website is the company’s social media presence. If you have an outdated profile picture or no photo at all, they might assume you’re disorganized or lack professionalism—even if that isn’t the case! By creating a strong social presence, you’ll show potential clients that you are trustworthy and worth doing business with.
 
People tend to buy from brands that are on one or more social media presence than those who have none at all; and I bet you do too!Because brands are easy to reach out to on social media platforms, it’s easy to find testimonials and reviews about a brand’s products and services. It certainly adds a lot of positive points to a brand when potential customers can hear from people who are already using their products or services.

Still cheaper to start (than traditional marketing)

Even though social media has been around for a while, it’s still cheaper to start (than traditional marketing). With the advent of free social media tools and platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, all you need is your time and energy (and maybe a small amount of money, if you want to go fast). You don’t need the help of an advertising agency or the money to hire a public relations firm. The tools are out there—you just have to use them. And when you do, the results can be impressive.
 
When compared to traditional marketing like ads on TV and billboards, social media can be a bargain. According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook users spend an average of 15 minutes per day on the site. That’s a lot of eyeballs—and a lot of potential customers for your business. If you have something compelling to say (and you’re saying it in the right way), you could get those people interested in what you do, with as little as $5. And you will be targeting more people who are likely to buy from you than you will get with traditional advertising.

Build Community

As a small business, your most important resource isn’t always cash. Your ability to get the word out about your products and services—whether it’s through traditional channels or via social media—can have an enormous impact on the growth of your business. The more people you reach, the better the odds are that at least some of them will become paying customers.
 
So why is social media so critical? It has all the customers you have been dying to meet. They’re just waiting for you to talk with them. The only thing stopping you from reaching these potential customers is the fact that they don’t know who you are yet. That’s where social media comes in: You can use it to introduce yourself, explain why your company matters, and show how much value it brings to the table. When done right, the payoff can be huge: According to a report by McKinsey & Company, companies that actively engage with their online communities enjoy higher customer satisfaction rates than those who don’t.
 
Twitter is a great place to start. It may seem slow to get eyes on what you offer, but keep going, and you’d see the difference in a while. Remember that it mustn’t be Twitter, it should be any social media platform where your audience gathers and where you can really engage with them.

Gain leads

Leveraging social media platforms for your business means gaining leads in order to attract new customers. This seems simple but so many businesses aren’t prepared for the amount of attention, time and energy that it takes to maintain a social media presence. Don’t underestimate the importance of social media—following today’s digital marketing trends will definitely increase your leads – and social media marketing is one of them.
 
As businesses begin to grow, they often wonder how to market themselves and connect with their audience. Today’s market offers free and relatively easy access to people who might be interested in what you have to offer or may even want it right now! If you are smart about how you implement these channels into your marketing strategy, you could gain all the momentum you need and more.
 
So how do you gain leads using social media? LinkedIn is a great place to find professional clients for your products and services. With over 830 million members in 200 countries, you will have more than enough customers for as long as your business spans. The key here is to give to get – give value to your connections and you can gain your way into their pockets. An simple example is to create content that provides a solution to a problem. Ask your connections to share and engage. Who knows, you may soon be contacted by your potential client. Don’t forget to add how potential clients can reach out too.

Promote products and services

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean that you can’t make social media work for you. The key is to figure out what your target audience wants and promote products and services accordingly. Ask your friends, family, or customers which social networks they use the most, then focus on those.
 
Use hashtags in your posts, create lists of followers who share similar interests with you, and find ways to network with other businesses in the same industry. The more authentic the better—you want potential clients to feel like they know you personally (and trust you) before ever making a purchase. And if you don’t have time for it all? You can always hire someone else! There are plenty of social media marketing firms out there that specialize in helping small businesses get started online.
 
Nowadays, running ads on your favorite social media platform is a lot easier than it used to be. Many platforms offer the option to run ads for a list of campaign objectives needed by your business, with little more than a credit card and an idea of how much you want to spend.
 
If you’re just getting started, there are plenty of free ways to promote your business online. Here are some suggestions: one way is to use the share button: The easiest way to get the word out about your business is by using the share buttons that are built into most platforms. Just click the share icon at the top right corner or anywhere you can find it, and more people can see what you want them to see.

Increase ROI

The importance of social media in driving ROI lies in the fact that it helps your business develop meaningful relationships with your customers. So instead of throwing money at advertising in a bid to reach new audiences, why not simply use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to build relationships? That way, you can boost engagement and gain additional exposure at the same time.
 
Adding to their undeniable utility in attracting traffic, social media platforms also help you get more out of your existing customers. After all, your social presence offers real-time insight into how people are engaging with your content—and whether or not they find it useful. This sort of insight helps you learn which posts and campaigns are hitting home with your audience and which aren’t. Armed with that knowledge, you can tweak future efforts accordingly and ultimately develop a superior brand experience for users around your product, and get more sales in return for all your hard work.

Wrapping up

When you’re a small business, it can feel like you’re constantly playing catch-up. But what if there was something that could level the playing field—something that businesses of all sizes could use to stay relevant and on top of their game? Something simple, affordable, and effective…like social media?

Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, social media offers an incredible opportunity to get your name out there, grow your audience, and connect with new customers.

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