The Benefits of Social Media: A Guide for Small Businesses

Small Business

According to one report, 77% of small business owners use social media to complete their sales, marketing, and customer service activities. Are you ready to join their ranks?

If you’re at the helm of a budding enterprise, then social media can be your best friend and biggest asset. With just a few clicks, you can connect with your target audience and start spreading your brand message. 

Not sure why this step is important? Today, we’re sharing the benefits of social media and how it can help your small business grow bigger. 

1. Maximize Brand Awareness

How many people have heard of your small business? If you’re just starting out, the answer might elude you. With social media, you can multiply your brand exposure and build awareness. 

Studies show that seven in 10 Americans now use social media. They do so for the following reasons:

  • To connect with one another
  • To access news updates
  • To share information
  • To find entertainment
  • To find and engage with brands

Did you catch that last bullet point? People are hopping on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter (the Big Four) to find new brands they can try. If you’ve ever made an impulse purchase based on a Facebook ad, you know that it works. 

If you want more eyes on your products or services, then you have to put them out there. While traditional forms of outreach and advertising are still viable, nothing beats the instant visibility that social media provides.

The best part? You don’t need to cast a wide net to attract followers to your site. You don’t even have to follow a ton of other influencers or peers in your space. As long as the content is compelling, your audience will grow on its own.

To figure out how to make this tactic work for you, check out this informative step by step guide

2. Establish Thought Leadership

People are more likely to buy from brands that they believe are credible. This is true whether you’re slinging toothpaste or selling B2B marketing services. 

You might know that you’re the best in the business, but how can you prove that to your audience? Before social media, you could have proven your credibility by speaking at conferences, publishing white papers and professional reports, and talking to your local news outlets.

While you can still do all of those things, their reach is limited. You’ll only connect with the people who tune into the news program or purchase the white paper. With social media, you can build validity by posting insightful, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will interest your followers. 

Not only does this help establish you as a thought leader in your field, but it also allows you to connect with like-minded peers in your space. As they share your content across their own channels, your exposure only grows. 

3. Get Customer Feedback

What do people really think about your products and services? If you knew the honest answers, you could make some valuable and profitable changes. 

While paper surveys and focus groups still exist, it can be challenging to choose a select number of people to represent your buyers as a whole. By posting those same surveys to Facebook or LinkedIn, you suddenly have a much larger reach. 

In addition to submitting formal questionnaires, you can also monitor your social media platforms for feedback and criticism. While it might sting to read some of the comments, they’re ultimately helpful. You need to know what’s not working so you can make it right.

4. Engage With Your Customers

Speaking of comments, it’s critical to keep a close eye on yours. Depending on the size of your social media team, you might not be able to respond to each one. This is especially the case if your company is spread across multiple offices and different locations.

However, it’s important to check the conversations that are surrounding your brand. If someone poses a relevant question, try to answer it completely. Or, start a conversation by posting a simple question, and encourage others to weigh in with their thoughts. 

While it might be cost-prohibitive to hire a social media manager, this is an important step to take once you’re financially ready to do so. Social media is the “face” of your business, and you need someone who’s dedicated to keeping it up. If critical questions go unanswered or negative feedback is allowed to sit on your page, it can mean bad business for your brand reputation

5. Boost Website Traffic

Hopefully, you’ve already invested in tactics like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to grow your online presence and bring more visitors to your website. This process involves adjusting the content on your site to ping as high as possible on the Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs. 

While SEO is an effective approach, don’t stop there. One of our top social media tips is to use your profiles to redirect your followers’ attention.

If you publish a new blog on your site, share the link across all of your social media handles. To capture their interest, include a short blurb that will draw them in. Then, tell visitors exactly what they need to do to see the full story.

This process will look different for each platform. For instance, if you want them to leave Instagram and read the full article on your website, then nudge them to click the link in your bio. There, they’ll find the URL for your site. 

Keep in mind that while this can be a valuable tactic to employ, you don’t want to use social media strictly for self-promotion.

Share interesting and informative posts that others are creating. Ask questions to your target followers. As long as you keep the vibe authentic, your audience will appreciate the quality content you’re creating. 

Reap the Benefits of Social Media for Your Small Business 

If you’re ready to take your small business to the next level, then it’s time to open a few accounts. No, we don’t mean adjust your business finances.

Rather, it’s time to hop on the social media train! While you don’t have to join every platform, choose a few that match your aesthetic and niche, and commit to staying active on them. Then, enjoy the benefits of social media, including more brand visibility, leads, and conversions. 

Looking for more ways to optimize your social presence? Check out our other Social Media guides today!

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