Having an effective social media presence for a small business is vital. Many small businesses know this but often fall short at execution. They are faced with the decision to either run their business or focus on social media marketing. However, in the digital age, social media marketing is sometimes just as important.
As a Marketing Consultant, my clients often say:
“I don’t need social media because I already have a great customer base.”
“I’m afraid of social media, especially negative feedback.”
“I don’t know how to use social media, so I’m just going to avoid it.”
Apprehension is valid, but social media isn’t going anywhere; it’s only going to become more prevalent, especially for small businesses. Here are 3 reasons why you need to focus on social media marketing:
Provides instant customer service
Service-based businesses should absolutely be using social media. It can be nerve-racking since it is like an open forum for negative comments or bad reviews. However, it also presents an interesting dynamic for interaction. This happens when a small business engages with customers through polls, feedback, or sharing different aspects of the business.
Social media allows real-time communication, which is something users crave.
Tip: Negative comments should never be ignored, even if a significant amount of time has passed. Responding shows you care about your customers for better or worse.
Offers inexpensive targeted advertising
Advertising, whether it is traditional or digital, is an important part of any small business marketing plan. Marketing and advertising efforts should be determined on a case-by-case basis. It is most effective when targeted advertising is used in some capacity.
Targeted advertising – i.e. Facebook ads – hit an audience exactly where they are and what they’re interested in. In most cases, social media advertising can be inexpensive and achieve tremendous results.
Tip: Advertising in any capacity is experimental. Start small and boost a Facebook post that seems to be performing well. This is a good indication of what your followers like.
Helps shape the conversation
Consumers want brands that are personal. Social media allows you to personalize on your own terms. It also puts a face to the business, allowing customers to understand who they’re doing business with.
Think of social media as an orientation before the first day of school. During orientation, you see where you’re going, meet your teachers, and adopt a sense of belonging before the first day.
Tip: Use your pages/platforms to share what your business does, why you do it, and where you’re located. For example, restaurants, (i.e. a pizza shop) don’t always offer ‘eat-in’ seating. Use social media to show your interior and exterior so customers know what to expect when they visit.
Social media marketing is more than just getting likes and followers. It is about building a brand that resonates with your customer base. Offering insight as to why your small business is as awesome as you believe it to be.
Still unsure about how to implement social media marketing in your small business? Click here to find the right content package for your business.