Are you a small business owner who is undecided on whether to use social media as a resource? Maybe you're not computer/technology savvy, feel like you don't have the time to post or tweet, or are unsure exactly what to post or tweet about. You've elicited the pros and cons, but are still uncertain if social media is right for you and your business. If this describes you, you know someone else who fits the description, or you are considering starting a small business in the future, keep reading. I am going to share with you why social media is a Must for businesses, particularly smaller ones.
Online Content Equals Connection
Did you know that 81% of Americans in the United States had a social media profile in 2017 and that worldwide 1.96 billion people utilize social media (statista.com)? This means that most of your current customers are online and that a giant pool of prospective customers can be found there too. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels provide an excellent outlet for connecting with customers/clients online. There are many ways these platforms can be used to engage and interact with current and prospective buyers of your product or service. You can post about and discuss products and/or services that your business offers and new products or services can be introduced to those who follow your social media page or polls can be initiated to find out how your business can better serve current and prospective customers/clients. With social media, questions and concerns don't have to be limited to business hours, but can be asked or stated and addressed at any time on your business social media page/profile. Good reviews on your page from buyers or users of your service(s) can connect you to new prospects who want or need what your company offers.
Social media is a no cost advertisement tool that can help save your marketing budget. Product and service updates can be advertised as well as upcoming sales and other business-related events. You can post, tweet, or go live daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or at whatever frequency you choose, without spending one cent. As your business posts/updates are shared among various friends/followers and their networks, awareness of your brand will grow. Additionally, the more that your products/services are positively reviewed on your page/profile, the more your client base will grow. If you want to target specific customers or clients to reach based on certain demographics or other criteria, there are also paid features that you can utilize on social media to do so. For example, the Facebook platform will send you notifications about posts that are performing well, giving you the opportunity to boost them in order to reach a larger audience. For a small fee you can target a specific audience based on age range, gender, location, etc., that you desire to reach. While these special features are not free, they fall well below the cost of traditional advertising channels.
Circle of Collaboration
Interacting on the online platforms is another means to networking. These platforms have features that will suggest or recommend other businesses for you to befriend or follow. This will allow you to "meet" and have discussion with company owners that sell related or complementary products/services without leaving your business or home. These virtual connections can lead to collaboration such as referrals, discount exchanges, and joint events.
Connecting with current and prospective customers or clients, free advertising, and collaboration with other businesses are three major benefits to creating and maintaining social media pages for your business. Once you get started I am certain that you will find many more. Stop thinking about it and go ahead and post that first status or send out that initial tweet.
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