Social media platforms have become very essential for small businesses. Even the least internet savvy small business owners are recognizing how vital the role of social media can be for their companies. However, a lot of people still consider social media a fad and aren’t completely convinced that they should time and money on developing these platforms. We examine what role social media plays in the performance of small businesses and what makes it so important for them.
1. Low-cost marketing
For a small business, social media platforms provide a free, or at least very cheap, means of advertising. Most small businesses cannot afford to advertise through traditional means though they can increase their public visibility using social media.
2. Cheap promotion opportunities
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become very pervasive in consumers’ lives. Most people configure their smartphones and computers to show social media notifications throughout the day. For a small business, this aspect of consumer behavior helps make promotions through these platforms very cost-effective.
3. Constant exposure
Even by conservative estimates, an average social media user spends 2-3 hours per day on these sites. If a small business has a strong presence on these sites, they can garner more eyeballs for their promotions and product ranges than they could by putting up a billboard ad on a premium site in town.
4. Exposure in international markets
Thanks to the power of international connectivity that social media provides, small businesses can gain international exposure very easily. And all it takes to get this kind of exposure is a marginal amount that businesses need to pay towards paid advertising options.
5. Easy feedback
Social media sites provide customers with a way to directly express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a company’s products. For small businesses, they make self-improvement very easy as they do not have to spend additional time and money on obtaining customer feedback.
6. Interaction with customers
Through social media profiles, small businesses can interact with their target customers more easily. And doing so is as easy as simply checking your business’ social media profile regularly and keeping an eye on customers’ comments on the company’s posts. Customers’ feedback and comments on promotions, special offers, sales, exiting or forthcoming product lines, etc. help small businesses stay in touch directly with their customers which can prove to be invaluable for a business in the long run.
7. An easier way to promote new business ventures
If you have just set up your business, you can use social media to promote it to a target audience. Even if you don’t have the resources to set up a proper website yet, you can use social media platforms as a way to create a buzz about your product line in the meanwhile. Supplementary social media efforts like blog writing and YouTube channels also allow small businesses to create a niche for themselves in the market. Even if you own a small business like a local yoga class, social media can help you widen your customer base as people from other parts of town would be able to easily contact you, see what kind of classes you offer and even browse the merchandise you sell without taking up your time through a phone conversation.
8. Contact with industry pros
By using social media platforms that cater to industry professionals, small business owners can widen their professional network easily as well. Sites like LinkedIn provide small businesses with the chance to follow and converse with established names in the industry and see what makes them successful. These platforms also make it easier for small businesses to easily look up professionals that they might need in their own ventures (like web developers, marketing professionals, contractors, and suppliers, etc.). This presents an incredible opportunity for small business owners who can easily look up relevant professional contacts and save time and money in the development of their business.