If you’re a business owner, chances are you’ve already contemplated on using social media to market your business online.
You’re not alone. Over 75% of small business owners are now using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to market and grow their business. And if you are still considering social media marketing, there’s never been a better time to get started.
Why? Because it totally works.
Social media get the word out about your business
Social media allows you to build relationships and create connections through social engagement. The exposure it provides your organization is an opportunity to grow the relationships with target audience. And since, that engagement is easily visible to your current fans and followers, social media can introduce your business to a whole new audience and enable you to reach your next great customer.
Social Media is highly popular
For most small businesses, Facebook is the starting point with social media marketing. Because of Facebook extensive reach and dynamic functionality—there are not many businesses that couldn’t benefit from having a presence on Facebook.
Social Media is Free
There’s no catch—getting started on social media is absolutely free. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all offer free accounts to users and businesses and signing up only really require an email address. Some sites—like LinkedIn—do have paid accounts with features that are targeted at more advanced users, but just for the purposes of getting started, there are free accounts which have no upfront cost for most of the social network sites.
Social Media Reached all ages
Social Media has really broken down all of the age barriers that once accompanied the ways people thought about social networks. In fact, according to a 2011 study conducted by IBM, Baby Boomers have demonstrated the most growth on social media sites. In 2010, 72% were using Facebook, Twitter, and other networks — up from 50% in 2009. So, no matter how young or how old your target audience may be, chances are most of them are already signed on and waiting for you to start a conversation with me.
Social Media Users Are Active
One thing you have to know about social media users is that when they say they are on social media; they are really on and active with social media. When it comes to Facebook, more than half of its users sign on to the network every single day and 60% of those users say checking Facebook is one of the first things they do each day. This level of activity isn’t unique to Facebook either, today more than 500 million tweets are sent on Twitter each day. While a customer may visit your store once a week—they could see you on Facebook or Twitter every single day.
Social media encourages two-way communication
There is no other effective marketing tool available to small businesses today, that provides the high level two-way communication that comes with using social media. It has the power to take any of the feedback you may receive from using a tool like email marketing and amplify it— letting customers share their thoughts, questions, and ideas quickly and publicly without having to take the time to write an entire email. It also allows you to respond just as fast, without having to pick up the phone or worry whether the customer gets your response.
Social media is perfect for customer service
Providing stellar customer service is likely already a top priority for your small business. But along with the two-way communication that social media provides, it also offers a unique opportunity to step up your customer service and provide instant gratification to your target audience.
This will allow you to showcase just how much you care about providing a memorable experience and will ensure that no customer inquiry goes unnoticed. And by monitoring social media for customer feedback and offering a response, you can drive real business results.
Customer service through social media is quickly becoming an expectation of consumers. If customers are already searching for you on Facebook or Twitter and not finding your business—you may already be missing opportunities to win new customers.
Social media lets you share info about your business
Social media sites are becoming the go-to place for consumers who want to learn more about a business. That’s because social media sites allow businesses to offer the latest information about anything from products, services, to upcoming events.
Also, much of your activity and proﬁles on social media sites can be made “public,” meaning they can be indexed by search engines — one more way to make sure your business or organization comes up as the answer when someone is searching for a local solution to a problem.
Social media allows email marketing integration
Social Media completely changed the game when it comes to how small businesses think of email marketing. Sharing your email newsletter across your social networks can open your content up to a whole new audience and generate the t buzz you’ve been looking for. Not only that, but you can also use sites like Facebook to attract more readers by including a “Join Our Newsletter” form right on your Page.
Together, these two powerful tools have reshaped the marketing landscape and have really leveled the playing field for small businesses trying to better connect with current customers and reach new audiences for their business.
Social media is everywhere.
Today, more than half of all Americans use smartphone and increasing amount of businesses are offering mobile-friendly experiences. The benefit of the increased presence of mobile activity in our daily lives is huge for small businesses. Every major social network (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.) offer free mobile apps that let business owner manage their presence on-the-go.
More importantly, these apps let customers connect to their favorite social media sites wherever they are. For a site like Twitter, 60% of its entire userbase is connected via their smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. These users aren’t just sharing updates from their own lives, they’re searching for businesses, products, and services, and connecting with brands through their social channels.
If your business is running late when it comes to making your content “mobile-friendly,” social media can be an easy and cost-effective first step to marketing in the digital age. Plus, it can improve the chances of your business getting found when someone is searching for a place to eat or a product to buy, while on-the-go.