Why Social Media Marketing is important for small businesses…
As a small business owner you’re constantly looking for new ways to get your company’s brand out there, we completely understand this and recognise the pressures small businesses face to remain noticed within their industry. However, if you don’t already, using social media in business is a great way to engage with your current customers, build brand awareness and attract potential new ones.
When done correctly a social media presence tells consumers that your brand is active, forward-thinking and focused on customer communication. Social media marketing has the power to increase customer loyalty as 71% of consumers receive an instant response on social media and would recommend the brand to others.
This blog outlines nine reasons your small business should use social media marketing.
Firstly, we are going to take a look at personalisation and how customers favour companies that create personalised offers and content across their social media profiles.
In order to unleash the full power of social media for a small business, personalisation has, and always will, remain a key element of a successful marketing strategy.
Social media is the perfect platform for small businesses to establish and develop personal relationships with their audience and even target potential customers. By producing personalised and engaging content, businesses are more likely to received engagement which is more likely to be relevant to your business and of interest to their target audience.
For example, one of the most common and successful examples of this is Spotify’s “Daily Mix” feature. Spotify creates a daily playlist based on the listening history of its users, and this kind of personalised service contributes to why they’re so popular. Also note how they include “Made for” and add your username, which adds a little bit of a personal touch to the experience as well.
2. Show your unique personality
Secondly, when done correctly social media gives small businesses a platform to showcase what makes them unique. On the one hand, we have all seen it before, those bland and boring corporate social accounts who are scared to post humorous content, keep up with current trends and would never dare of posting picture of their office pets. On the other hand, we think it is important to showcase your company culture and give users a sneak peek into your company’s daily life. As social media gives you an opportunity to showcase your company culture, the soul and personality of not only your business but your valued employees.
So say yes to sharing your office bake off treats, say yes to sharing news about your employees’ fundraising efforts and showcase the side of your business that makes you truly unique.
Just be real and be you, it’s like the old saying goes “people buy from people” and everybody is nosey (whether they admit it or not). Most people enjoy having a good old ‘Facebook stalk’ and this platform may even become the first thing new employees and job candidates view from your company.
But always remember to be appropriate and strike the right balance between professional and everyday office culture images.
3. Awareness to a mass audience
Thirdly, with an average of 3.2 billion daily social media users, small businesses have a huge audience waiting to view their content. Social media’s effectiveness also lies in the amount of time users spend online daily. Small businesses are almost guaranteed a large viewing audience for their campaigns and the more effective their social strategy becomes; the more the results will flow. As well as being able to reach your audience, your audience will also be able to reach out to you which contribute to build trust around your company.
4.Engage with customers and network.
Most brands understand how important it is to be on social media and how much customers now value being able to instantly connect with their favourite brands via social media.
According to the 2018 Sprout Social Index, nearly half of all consumers have already taken to social media to ask questions and raise concerns.
Unlike awkward phone calls or lengthy emails, social customer service is quick and to the point. Providing social customer service means having meaningful, back-and-forth conversations with your customers that are oftentimes forward-facing.
In other words, prospects, customers and competitors alike can see how you interact with your buyers. Putting positive interactions front and centre is a huge plus for any business.
Whether it’s listening to feedback or addressing specific concerns, an ongoing advantage of social media is that it’s the perfect place to provide speedy service and let customers know that you’re there to lend a helping hand.
However, many underestimate the value of engagement. If you are shouting out into the abyss and rarely taking time to truly interact with your current and potential followers, you are missing opportunities to increase social media engagement.
When you interact regularly, on the other hand, you are building the relationships that can drive conversions and profits. Utilise these strategies to increase social media engagement and improve awareness of your brand.
Furthermore, there are even local social hours dedicated for small businesses to network and reach potential customers. These are great tools for starting conversations which could lead to future sales or generation of leads.
Social media also becomes a self-generating FAQ resource as common questions are answered in your feed. Social is a priceless way of finding the things that customers really want to know so that you can add it to your website with confidence. Instead of generating the same old FAQs you assume people will ask, you will have the actual questions that are popping up regularly in your feed.
Social media is also the best way to make announcements to counteract negative occurrences such as the need for a recall or to respond directly to negative press your business might receive. It allows you to take a proactive approach, so people know you are aware of issues and are acting on them quickly.
Social media is a communication tool meaning a specific tool you can use to communicate directly with customers. You can publicly communicate by commenting, or you can even reach out privately.
5. Learn more about your customers
Today’s consumers base their perception of a brand on the meaningful moments they have with it. Importantly, those moments don’t just happen at the checkout page, or speaking to someone in customer services. Social media has emerged as a crucial touchpoint in building customer relationships.
The advanced tools now used in Facebook targeting allow all businesses to be able to receive real data regarding their customers’ behaviour which can benefit their future marketing tactics. This type of data can then be used to set advert targets/audience segments to guarantee you are being noticed by the right audience.
For example, if you are an estate agent looking to target people searching for new homes, this can now be done very easily through selecting ‘looking for new home’ in the behaviour segment on Facebook.
It can also help you create better future content depending on what your audience engages with.
5. Keep an eye on your competitors
Competitive rivalry has significant impact on the competitive environment a company operates in because the degree of competitiveness has direct impact on the potential for profit that a company can expect. A highly competitive market may end up being detrimental to all companies involved, with lower profit margins and less ability to decide price points.
A company can choose to treat competition as a positive factor and use it to build a better and stronger business.
It’s an opportunity knocking at your doorstep that you certainly shouldn’t turn down. For this, you need to keep an eye on competitors’ social media activities and how users respond to them.
It’s as easy as looking at who has liked/engaged with your competitors’ posts (these are your new potential customers). Follow their page, like their content and start building an online relationship they can trust.
6. Be seen as industry experts
Knowledge is key and your power to becoming classed as an ‘industry experts’. Everybody that knows you and your business may already know that they can come to you and ask you industry related questions face to face and you never struggle to provide an answer. However, have you portrayed this knowledge and your expertise across your social media platforms? If the answer is no, then why not? Again you are missing a huge opportunity for greater brand awareness and a mass amount of potential customers.
For example, if you have been in the print industry for over 30 years the vast amount of knowledge you will have obtained can be easily transferred into a regular blog. By filling this blog with key words and making it SEO rich, when users are searching social media or standard search engines they come across your content.
As well as claiming your spot as industry experts you are contributing to building trust with new customers. The more you show that you are well educated around the services you offer and the industry you are part of, the more likely your consumer will trust you to supply what they need. They are also obtaining additional benefits from the learning you provide them with via the blogs and resources you produce online.
7. Generate leads to your website
A long time ago, lead generation consisted of things like sending out surveys in the mail, or having you fill out a form in the back of a magazine. But the internet has completely changed the way businesses get leads—for the better.
Content such as the following can be used to generate online leads…
Create a custom tab
Offering free samples
Download free resources send to landing page
8. Be creative
Images, videos and other visual content have proven to be most effective for engaging users on social media. So, by posting creative pictures or product demo videos on different social networks, you can bring huge attention to your product.
Many social networks started to support different types of media including images, animated GIFs, videos and sound tracks. This extended support allows both designers and artists to explore new ideas and inspirations for their own projects.
We believe that every business can be creative and it is one of our key services to help solve businesses problems creatively. Therefore, social media gives you a blank canvas, a fresh start to get your creative juices flowing whichever industry you may be part of. For example, we have heard customers say to us before “we are an engineering company, we can’t be creative” which is nonsense. Be creative with your social posts, introduce team members, create short GIFS and be creative with the services you offer as social media is the place to do this.
9. Cost effective way of advertising
Social media marketing has reduced costs for 45% of businesses.
Social media marketing is much cheaper than traditional marketing for making connections with an audience, such as advertising online or in print.
Additionally, the best advantage that social media marketing has over traditional marketing is that it costs nothing to set up social media accounts. The real costs to a business are the time and resources a company needs to put into their social media profiles. If you are a larger company, you may want to hire an online marketing company to help organise your social media contents, which still costs less than putting ads on other mediums.
However, a company with a limited advertising budget is still able to maintain its social media channels and interact with costumers. Compared to traditional media marketing strategies, social media provides a relatively inexpensive platform for executing marketing campaigns.
However, with social media marketing you have more flexibility. Moreover, you are able to evaluate campaign results through each network’s analytic tools. You can use the data to calculate costs and estimate potential customers’ behaviours to adjust your brand strategy. You can easily see how many people clicked on links and how many shares took place during a specific period.
Also, the real traffic numbers are attractive to your advertisers and investors, compared to traditional marketing, in offline campaigns where it is harder to measure and know your audience.