July 17, 2013
A lot of business owners have the perception that social media is for youngsters to gossip and it is irrelevant to their business. They cannot be more wrong. According to a US market survey, 90% of small businesses in USA use social media, while 74% perceive social media as valuable. Below I’m going to offer 8 reasons why any small business should use social media, which in a lot of instances, offer way better flexibility and returns than traditional media on marketing.
The single most powerful reason a small business owner needs to consider why social media, is that it increases your sales. Why you ask? 75% of social users are somewhat or highly likely to share content they like online with friends, co-workers or family—49% do this at least weekly. Going viral on social media is the easiest and fastest way to spread your sales message. Coupled with a compelling call to action, your sales offer gets multiplied via online word of mouth astronomically.
Compared to traditional forms of above the line media like radio, television and newspaper, social media tends to give a higher return because it has lower cost, and also because the virality ease is a lot higher. People can share a Facebook post with their friends much easier than sharing a TV ad they saw. Even though they can use word of mouth for any media, but it’s not the same original message that was intended and value could be lost via broken telephone communication. Sharing a social post conveys the same exact message sent by the business. Also, the precision of your audience targeted with social media will yield much better results than just spamming everyone with a shotgun ad.
A major set back for small businesses compared to large corporations is the lack of a marketing team or even a marketing budget. With social media, you can launch campaigns with barely any budget at all and do it yourself as a business owner. In fact, small businesses can wield social media with more precision because they are more connected to their customers, and it’s usually the owners themselves who are engaging the public.
The first thing to realize is that 90% of all computer users are on one form of social media or the other. Your customers are on social platforms with or without you. The second fact is that with any marketing strategy, a tight audience is what gives you the best results, and social media can give you a very tight customer profile. Mass media is as it’s name implied, for masses. Only huge corporations can afford to target mass markets with their established channels of distribution. When you tailor your marketing message to this precise base of consumers like a scalpel during surgery, the returns are greatly magnified.
The thing with radio or any other above-the-line media is that there is only an estimated audience base. Perhaps 50,000 people listen to this radio channel monthly on average, but you cannot guarantee for sure that 50,000 people heard your ad due to the time slot and nature of the media (you could be talking to someone and missed it playing). It is easily missed and unaccounted for. With social media, you know precisely how many people shared, how many people clicked and view your ad, and most importantly how many people bought with direct action due to your message. You know exactly how much returns your ad has created.
Having human personality is not just doing the same function repeatedly, like a toaster that only toasts bread. It’s about communicating, reacting and adjusting. With personal responses in social media, your brand comes alive with tonality and attitude based on how you respond. And people these days want to do business with a real person, not a faceless machine.
Social media can literally be setup with a few clicks and is easy enough for any small business owner to pick up. Replying, posting, retweeting and most other social media functions are just clicks away. Most platforms are setup to be as simple to use as possible, so don’t worry about a thing.
These days, if customers are perturbed enough, they go straight to your Facebook page or twitter account and post a complaint. Same goes for any good words. Social media provides 2 way communication between buyer and seller and lets you gain feedback as well as customer reviews to innovate. Every business needs to innovate constantly in the right direction, and that can be achieved with the help of your very own customer base. The television can’t tell you what’s wrong with your product, but social voices sure can.
These days any marketing campaign is not complete without social media presence. Having an integrated marketing campaign means having to use social media and conveying the same message in all mixed media. Social media should not be the only marketing weapon, but it sure should be one of them especially for small businesses.