A recent report from We Are Social and Hootsuite found that there are now more than 3 billion people using social networks across the internet. And according to Hootsuite, more people follow brands on social media than follow celebrities. On Instagram alone 80 percent of people follow at least one business.
But for some reason, when small business owners think about managing social media accounts for their business, they cringe, they make excuses for why they can’t and sometimes they just don’t do it at all.
Social media marketing for your business isn’t scary at all. And, it’s really important for your business.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of using social media for your small business:
We live in a world where people want to know what they’re getting into before they ever step foot in a business. By having updated social media accounts, these people will understand your business and if it’s a place they want to visit.
Marketing costs money in almost all forms. But, social media marketing can cost little to nothing, and still make a huge impact for your business. By having a plan, using relevant hashtags and more — you can use social media to reach new potential customers every single day.
How many times have you seen a social media post and then later purchased a product or visited a store as a result of it? Probably more times than you realize.
Here’s an example: When my local coffee shop posts their specials for the day, and they have my favorite grilled cheese sandwich (with every cheese you could imagine on it), I make a decision whether I’m thinking about it or not to get that sandwich for lunch that day.
When you’re regularly posting on social media, you’re creating this top-of-mind awareness for your brand.
Service-based businesses: this one is for you. Right now, Instagram and Linkedin are the two networks that service-based businesses generate the most new leads on. If you’re sharing your brand and expertise in a way that makes people think “I could totally use this service,” then you’ll find that social media does half of the work for you.
While it no longer is the case for every business, in the case of many small businesses, traffic to your website is a necessity — especially if you’re selling your products or services from your website. If that’s the case for your business, make sure that your social media doesn’t replace your website, but supplements it.
Make sure your social media posts drive the users that read them back to your website so they have the opportunity to learn more about you and your business.
We hear it from business owners all the time: It’s hard to come up with enough content to post on social media every day. But the great thing about social media is that your customers can create content for you.
Put signs around your business letting people know that you want to see their photos that they take during their experience. Ask them to use a particular hashtag or tag you in the photos. Then, you can, in most cases, use the content that you didn’t need to take the time to produce.
Pro tip: Always make sure that you’re crediting the person that originally created the content you use.
Every small business owner has something come up in their lives that they can’t do anything about: The kid needs to be picked up early from school, the dog needs to go to the vet, or any other number of scenarios can play out. By using social media, you can let your followers know that you might need to close, or that you might not be able to speak with them directly during their visit.
Knowing what your competitors are up to is just a part of running a business. Use social media to know what other businesses in your area or industry are up to.
Ellen Matis is the owner of Hello Social Co., a social media marketing agency that uses the Focus on Local Approach to help small businesses grow within their local communities. Learn more at www.hellosocialco.com.