Social Media Marketing: Luxury Or Small Business Necessity?

Why are so many small businesses reluctant to build a social media presence?

Why do they shy away from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google+? Well, research would suggest that some small businesses see the social media as more of a luxury rather than a necessity. They mistakenly believe that social media marketing is only for the big boys – those well established businesses with big audiences and even bigger marketing budgets. The sad thing is they couldn’t be more wrong if they tried. Social media marketing can be beneficial for all business, big and small. If you’re prepared to invest the time, you’ll reap the rewards. Still not convinced?

Then here are 8 reasons why your small business should give it a try:

Social media can help with visibility.

By engaging in social media and blogging on a regular basis, a business can be constantly visible to its audience. If you join in conversations within your community and share your thoughts, ideas and expertise, you are effectively making your business and your brand an essential part of this community. Visibility is crucial for any business wanting to lever itself into a niche market.

Social media can help you use your voice effectively and share your expertise.

Why should you go to the bother of sharing information, and putting in hours of work when you can’t necessarily see any concrete results? Well, because you’ll be making yourself a resource. Information, particularly useful and germane information, is crucial on social media channels. If you develop a reputation as the go-to guy in your particular niche market, visitors will come back to you time and time again. They’ll return because you’re seen as an expert in your field, and they know that others trust what you have to say. Once you have this trust, you and your brand will be the one people turn to.

Social media can help to build a community.

By making yourself available to other users, and reaching out to customers and sharing information with them, you strengthen your community. What’s more, you strengthen your position within that community. You’ll also form new connections, and facilitate other community members meeting one another. This will create a deeper and more meaningful dialogue as the number of voices increases.

Social media can speed up conversion rates.

Statistics show that potential purchasers who come to a website through social media referrals tend to buy faster than those referred to websites through search engine referrals. The reason for this is that they already know you and are aware of your reputation. So, there’s no need for hand-holding or cajoling. They’ve no doubt already read your blog, or followed you on Twitter and Facebook, so they know exactly what you’re about. More importantly they already know they can trust you.

Social media can help you highlight your products and services.

Social media gives businesses an additional channel to show off and talk about their products in a friendly and informal way. It gives them the opportunity to talk about their products normally, without resorting to the hard-sell or promotional approach. It also helps them interact with their visitors by answering any questions they might have, and allows them to demonstrate just what makes their product so special and different than everyone else’s.

Social media will help you find new projects and clients.

Businesses will receive new client referrals and leads as a result of a social media presence. People will contact them for services or to partner on something because they like what they’ve seen on Twitter or because they read one of the blog posts and it struck a chord with them. A business that makes itself part of the conversation, makes its brand part of the story too. People notice these things.

A social media presence will let you hang out with other influential businesses.

The company you keep on social media can be beneficial because if you’re associated with other businesses that are seen as niche leaders and true authorities, customers will treat you with the same sort of respect. It’s kind of credit by association if you’d prefer: your authority becomes synonymous with their authority.

A social media presence will let you tell your company’s story.

People like to do business with companies they know, or at least think they know. They like being introduced to the voices behind the logo because it helps them to feel a part of the company and gives them an investment in its success. If you tell your company’s story and share that with users, you’re creating a personal experience and other users will want to join you on the journey.

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