Social Media and Small Business: What are the Benefits?

Many small business owners fail to take full advantage of the marketing opportunities provided by today’s social media platforms.

There are a number of popular misconceptions about social media marketing: that it’s for larger companies only, that it’s difficult to figure out or learn, that it’s expensive. In fact, social networks are one of the few platforms whereby small businesses experience the benefits of unbiased public perception. The behavior of the Internet user is the great equalizer; when it comes to content, the Internet user doesn’t care about the size of the company providing it to them, they simply want something of value.

Improve your ROI

Marketing via social networks doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes, all you have to do is reach the right people. By giving your customers what they want, in terms of valuable and engaging content, you will gain the interest of people who want to hear what you have to say. They will share, retweet and otherwise re-distribute your content for you, saving you money on advertising and improving your bottom line.

Promote Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is a stumbling block for small business. They don’t typically have the budget available by which to take full advantage of traditional advertising platforms, and it can be hard for them to get the word out about who they are. This is where social media really comes to the rescue: brand awareness is fostered through customer engagement. Someone hears about you, through someone else who heard about you and now they’re subscribed to your feed.

Local SEO

This is one of the most-neglected areas for social networking engagement. People often think globally when it comes to digital advertising, which is fine, however, as more people become permanently connected to the internet via mobile devices, social platforms are offering expansive options for locally based advertising. Facebook offers local, niche-specific sales groups, as well as the opportunity to link a company Facebook page directly to an online store or product. Google displays local search results first, even before paid advertisements, to mobile platform users.

Seasonal Content & Promotions

Temporary promotions, special details and bargains are sought-after by well-informed and frugal shoppers. These highly interactive networks are a great way to spread the word about something that’s “coming soon” or “for a limited time online.” By re-using the same content year after year, with adjustments, you can conserve additional resources and always promote your brand during these unique times of the year.

Engage Your Customers

Social networks are highly interactive. They’re a great way to give your company a human voice and relate directly to your customers on a powerful, individual level. Managed effectively, this allows you to present a caring and concerned attitude to your customers, while simultaneously answering frequently asked questions and drawing attention to valuable content.