If you run a business, you need to have a presence where your customers hang out. For many Americans, that's online. Studies show the average American spends as much as 40 minutes on Facebook every day. Many also actively use sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as well. When you have a social media presence, you can naturally connect with consumers where they are, and avoid losing business to your social-savvy competitors.
Why Your Small Business Needs a Social Media Presence
Small business owners must use their limited time in a variety of ways. Social media can seem like "one more thing" to do at the end of a long day. Yet for businesses of all sizes, social media can have an impact that outweighs its size. New startups and lean businesses can use social for marketing, generating buzz without spending money.
Businesses of any size can use social media to grow awareness of their brands and products, and take their business to the next level. Whether you want to attract a new target audience or reach a new quarterly sales goal, social media is a proven way to get your message out there. Scheduling tools make it easy to create content when you have time, then push it out there when your target audience is most likely to be online.
An active social media presence also serves as social proof that your business is modern, which can gain consumer trust. Users are much more likely to trust a business that has a social presence and an attractive website than one that lacks social and web presence.
Last but certainly not least, social media presence can boost your discoverability by generating links to your website. The more links that point at your website, the more authoritative your website will seem to a search engine. Thus, the higher you will rank. If you are struggling to get found over your competitors, this can help.
Social Media Marketing Basics
Social media marketing can sound intimidating, but it does not need to be. Broken down to its most elemental, this means using social media channels to drive traffic to your website, advertise your services, and connect with your customers.
How you actually accomplish this depends on the platform. Since Instagram is visual, you might share behind-the-scenes snapshots of your processes, or post pictures of new collections or products. While you can share the same content on Facebook, you might also post links to your latest blog posts, create events for seasonal sales or promotions, and engage one-on-one with brand fans. On Twitter, you can do much of the same, but with a 140-character limit.
No matter what channel you select, your content needs to be relevant to what users want and shared in a timely manner. If you want to drive customers to your store for a seasonal sale, you need to begin advertising it ahead of time. To sustain momentum, you must interact on social media regularly.
If you're worried about getting started with social media, or really don't think you have the time, consider hiring a social media consultant. They can develop your social presence, set up social scheduling tools, and even craft messages that will resonate with your brand. Whether you use them to do all of your social or just help you get started and develop a game plan, the results will amaze you.