Despite its proven efficiency, social media is still not used by a lot of business owners. They assume that because they are not themselves on those platforms, then their target audience won’t be either. However, even though not everyone you wish to sell to will be on social media, a significant portion of your audience will be on at least one platform. As a matter of fact, 70% of U.S. adults use Facebook. Thus, it seems obvious that the high proportion of people using social media is one very obvious reason why your small business needs social media.
Thus, It is of course not the only reason why your small business needs social media. Furthermore, according to SproutSocial data, 1.5 billion of Facebook’s 2.27 billion users are logging in to Facebook every single day! For businesses to grow their brand, they need to have a form of social media visibility. The more often you are online, the more your brand will be exposed to a wider coverage of people.
Your small business needs social media. Here’s why:
The benefits that social media can provide to your small business go beyond brand awareness and be seen online. When you are online, anyone can find you. If more people can find you, you do indeed increase brand awareness. When more people find you, more prospective customers will find you too. Social media can have a powerful snowball effect that it would be a shame to miss out on.
1. Receive high return for low effort
First of all, social media is free. Organic social media that is. Setting up an Instagram profile or a Facebook page will not cost you anything. While some platforms are harder to grow than others, they all have their own advantages that you should make the most of. Growth is mostly based on engaging content, the right use of hashtags and influencer marketing. On Pinterest, follower count does not matter as much as pins can be seen by anyone even if they do not follow you.
79% of marketers notice an increase in website traffic after they started using social media. 92% of marketers who spend at least six hours managing social media agree that using social media did indeed increase exposure for their business. Furthermore, having pages on Facebook and Twitter contributed to increase the brand’s legitimacy online.
Social media can provide a great return on investment as it does not cost anything to set up a profile and just a few hours engagement and focusing on content can really make a difference.
2. Increase visibility on Google
Your small business needs social media simply because setting up profiles on different platforms means that you increase brand recognition and ensure your brand name is seen in many different places. Social media usernames will usually match your brand name. Thus, they will be searchable on engines such as Google under the same brand name.
As a result, when prospective customers search your name online, they will land on a search result page displaying not only your website but also all the social media channels associated with your brand. Then, you will blanket the first page of Google with webpages you control. The more pages you control in the search results the better because it increases the chances a prospect will click on one of your pages.
Furthermore, social media marketing can help improve your website’s search engine rankings for other non-brand keywords. To sum up, social media gives your website more exposure, which leads to more links from other websites, which in turn can boost your rankings.
3. Increase customer retention and referrals
In the age of social media, one thing small businesses need to remember, regardless of their industry, is that people love to share what they are doing. And they take to social media to do so. For example, one in three customer share a milestone on social media and 69% of millennials take a picture of their food before eating.
72% of customers have used Facebook to make a restaurant or retail decision, based on comments and images shared by others. People will tag the restaurant in their caption or photo, allowing their follower to have a closer look. If a business does not have social media, this is not possible and it is missing out on a lot of prospective customers.
Furthermore, an easy way to interact with existing consumers is to share their post on your business’s social media. Considering that people tend to trust family, friends, and even acquaintances more than they trust businesses, this is a great way to convert more potential customers.
4. Reach new audiences easily
There are a lot of people that use social media and social media covers all demographics. As some platforms are more targeted to certain demographics, it will be up to each business to decide where to go depending on the target audience they are trying to reach out to. This is why it is a good idea to be on different platforms as well: to reach different audiences.
As you post content on different social media pages, you are likely to gain a following of many different people. This following will be made up of people who are interested in what you are selling. They will end up sharing your posts with others, many of which will also be interested in your content.
As these different people begin to follow you, they will click on the links that you either post or that you have in your profile. This is how you will be able to reach an audience and guide them to your website. These people that find your website in this manner will be very likely to purchase items or services from you, as they are clearly interested in the content that you offer.
5. Improve customer service
Your small business definitely needs social media because it is a great tool to get customer feedback. People will leave comments, like, share and reviews of your product on your channel. They will also reach out to you in DMs and via Messenger should they have questions. Thus, social media can be used as a direct way to communicate with your audience.
Opening your social media to customer service will allow your business to look more accessible, feel close by and strengthen customer relationships. Social media is a two-way street. Furthermore, people expect brands to be available on social media and seek out their social accounts for customer service. Research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that brands who don’t meet those expectations damage their bottom line.
The HBR research, which specifically looks at Tweets, shows that customers who receive a response to their Tweet would be willing to spend more with the brand on a later purchase, especially if they get a response within five minutes. That holds true even when the initial Tweet was a flat-out complaint.
6. Increase conversion rates
Your small business needs social media because it allows you to connect on a deeper level with existing and prospective customers than other more traditional advertising methods. Social media gives your business a personality, makes it more human (more on that later), shows that it is not just a collection of images and products.
A strong brand personality is the first ingredient towards success and can naturally lead to more brand loyalty and higher sales conversion rates. Furthermore, When users follow, like, and share your updates, then that is social proof that other people know, like, and trust your business.
Finally, social media is a great tool for following up with prospects and customers to keep your business top of mind. Follow-up is important in the sales process and social media is another channel to stay in touch with prospects.
7. Improve brand loyalty
Your small business needs social media because they are great at increasing brand loyalty, which is key to generate higher sales and increase conversion rates. Selling once to a client is great, but having that customer come back and upsell to them is better! Studies show that 53% of all Americans and 66 percent of Americans age 18 to 24 who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands.
Remember that it’s five times more expensive to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. In today’s market, where customers are bombarded with a variety of options, this adage has never been truer. When the competition is so high, customers hold all of the buying power, and they know it.
Like many other things, brand loyalty is a two-way street. Customers expect brands to provide them with something in return for their dedication. Social media is a great tool to do just that freebies, giveaways, discounts, sweepstakes, etc.
8. Establish credibility
People tend to trust established brands with a big online presence more than confidential brands that they know nothing about and have trouble finding information on. Simply put, they might just dismiss your business altogether if they do not find it on social media. That is why having established and active social media accounts is a huge part of creating a brand, building trust and making it seem legit.
Multiple social media pages with consistent branding, high follower counts and engaged fans will make your small business look more professional, legit, in the know and like they can trust you. It’s not uncommon for prospects to look your company up on social media to see how active you are.
Prospective customers will use your social profiles as a way of validating your authority. Again, a company with 5,000 followers seems a lot more credible than a company with only 50 followers. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if you’re selling hamburgers or multi-million-dollar equipment—Your brand must be on at least one social platform.
9. Humanize your brand
A study found that more than half of adults do not trust a brand until they have validation and proof that it delivers on its promises. By proof, we mean social proof and real-life proof. In other words, they need to know that other people before them have bought from your small business. This goes beyond products and can also relate to values, missions, etc.
The top qualities customers want to see from a brand are communicating honestly about products and services and acting with integrity at all times. Those meaningful relationship moments mostly happen through social media, which thus humanize your brand. The ability to create real human connection is one of the key benefits of social media for business.
Businesses need to use social media to show the human side of their brand! What is happening behind-the-scenes? How do you adhere to your mission and values? Introduce your followers to the people who make up your company and showcase how existing customers are using and benefiting from your products.
10. Keep an eye on the competition
In order to stay relevant, in the know and to adapt to new trends and to what customers want, it is important to keep an eye on the competition. To know what your competitors are up to, to get new ideas of what you could do, to see what works and what does not. But mostly to ensure you are not left behind and grab opportunities.
For example, tracking mentions of your competitors might reveal pain points with their products that you could reach out to address, winning new customers in the process. Monitoring the competition on social media also means you’ll be aware when your competitors launch new products, run promotions, and release new reports or data.
These are ten reasons why your small business needs social media amongst the many that we could have given you. Social media provides a list of advantages that small businesses should definitely make the most of. First of all, as mentioned above, social media is free and even a few hours of week of management can make a huge difference.