Nowadays, a large part of the consumer market is active on the internet, which makes it an extremely dynamic tool. Millions of users meet online daily and chat through blogs, social networks, and other services. Social media is flooded with people who aim not only at consumption but also at the actual production of content and ideas. This new generation thinks and works very differently from the previous ones. Every organization or business needs to be part of this community.
A basic condition is to understand that it is no longer addressed only to some demographic groups, but to real people who are ready to listen and express their opinions. Modern organizations focus on technologies to find ways to better reach their audience. However, the most important thing is not the technology itself, but how you use it.
Equally important are the relationships and personal contact that you build with your audience, making use of these new technologies. Does social media marketing work for small businesses? The answer is a resounding “YES”! But why is it such a powerful tool for small business owners and how can you leverage it? These questions and many more will be answered in detail, in the following lines.
Why Is Social Media An Important Part Of Inbound Marketing?
The answer to inbound marketing benefits from social media is at some point clear. Your audience is already part of social media! How can you ignore them when the vast majority of your customers frequent these online “cafes”? By taking part in this concept you learn the habits and preferences of your prospective clients and you better understand their psychological profiles and needs.
After all, who said that product promotion and the free market are not directly related to psychology? Another advantage of social media is the immediacy with millions of people around the world. Distances are eliminated and your products can be easily promoted in the global market. Social media is a part of inbound marketing, and an inbound social media marketing strategy is a business key to success.
Social media is, in short, the most direct way to approach your customer in a friendly and humane way, while ensuring the best advertising options compared to the time-consuming and cost-effective traditional promotion methods. Users admit that they are more satisfied and you benefit in every way.
Why Does Social Media Marketing Work for Small Businesses?
One of the things about social media marketing that makes it so powerful for small businesses is that its success has largely resulted in proven tactics. In other words, success does not require deep pockets and huge budgets. Thus, unlike other marketing channels, social media marketing is something that small businesses can benefit from as much as large businesses.
Consumers spend a lot of time on social media every day. According to Forbes, the average American spent 1,300 hours on social media last year. They share content, exchange photos, play games, and take part in contests. Your customers are there, and if you approach them with the right strategy and interesting content, they will not only hear your message, but they will spread it as well.
Economical and fast
Affordability is a key factor, however just as important is the fact that results can often be achieved within 90 days. So, unlike some marketing investments that take semesters or even years to get results, social media marketing is something that can help you achieve your goals in a much shorter period. For small businesses with a modest cash flow at their disposal, this is a very important issue.
Compare it to other forms of marketing and you will see a very different picture on social media. For example, designing a new website and optimizing it for Google results is likely to require thousands of euros in investment, while it needs more than 12 months before it begins to bear fruit. Creating a large email list takes a similar amount of time and requires constant costs for its development.
Conversely, if you focus on the right tactics with social media marketing it is quite possible to see regular sales within the first 90 days. You could also get to this point at a relatively low cost. Overall, then, social media marketing is a much more affordable choice for small businesses, that can bring results much earlier.
Why Is Social Media Marketing Important For Small Businesses?
The benefits of social media for a small business, are countless. Some of the many ways that can contribute to your business development are listed and described below.
Develop a relationship of trust with potential customers
People tend to buy from suppliers they know, like, and trust. One of the greatest benefits of social media marketing is that it allows small and local businesses to build customer trust. Whatever the niche market you serve, it makes perfect sense to create a target audience on social networks.
Provide valuable or entertaining content, and over time, potential customers will get to know you more and more. They will learn from you and trust you. In addition, creating this audience on social media means that you will be able to learn more about their needs. Find out their desires and fears through social listening.
Social media can help you not only gain loyal customers. Customers who will gladly say a good word about you and recommend you to friends, relatives, and, acquaintances. Customers will defend your product/service if a user writes something negative about it. You might create a loyal community!
Social “proof” of your business
With a little planning and some clever tactics, small businesses can find themselves in an exciting position to be promoted by others. Even when the owner and the team of this small business are not even working! The element of “social proof” is even more valuable. A strong social media presence will start to attract customer reviews on your Facebook page.
This means that when your users search on Google, they will see reviews from your satisfied customers. These are the most obvious forms of social proof. Other people who share your business, your posts, and other business elements are much more likely to attract attention even from paid advertising campaigns.
Create a friendly profile
Social media is by nature a more relaxing, interactive, and personal medium. So, your presence in them gives the consumer the image that he can approach you more easily, that you are close to him and that he can talk to you at any time.
Create or enhance brand awareness
Your brand comes in daily contact with many of your common goals and reminds them of your presence. Every post you make, helps you build the branding of your business.
Stay in the minds of potential customers
Only a small part of your audience is ready to buy from you at any time. That’s why it is so important for your small business to find ways to remain on the radar of your potential customers. That way, when they will be ready to buy, your business will be on their mind. So they will be more likely to turn to you and make a purchase.
Small businesses can achieve this by having potential customers follow them on social media. And therefore to see regular updates and reminders from the company. They can also achieve this with low-cost advertising campaigns, targeting people who have previously visited your site but have not yet completed a purchase.
View your experience
Another challenge for small business owners is to ensure that potential customers see the business as a true expert in its field. Whether you are an insurance consultant, wedding planner, or photographer, the future sales you make in your business will be directly related to your credibility as an expert in this field.
Social media is a great channel for building that credibility. Partly through what you share, you prove your expertise. Then, by commenting and answering other people’s questions, you have to prove that you deserve to be preferred, thanks to the depth of your knowledge and your willingness to help.
In addition, if other people in the area start sharing your content or commenting on your posts, or recommending you as an expert, then all of this will boost your credibility as an expert in this field.
Enhancing marketing results
Another way that social media marketing works for small businesses is by boosting results in other marketing channels. Imagine if only a few percent of your site visitors did what you wanted them to do; to buy from you, or make a reservation. How big an impact could this have?
Alternatively, what if more people who would find you on Google results chose to click on your site because they have already heard about your business? It is not difficult to imagine how this aid could significantly increase the sales and profitability of your business. If you have not invested in the social media marketing or do not have an outside partner to do it for you, then all these gains will be wasted.
Become the customers’ first choice
By building a special relationship with your audience, you know that you will be their first choice when they need your products or services. Thus, you gain new customers, a stable clientele, and increase your income.
How To Get Started With Social Media Marketing For Small Businesses?
Let’s get back to the question “does social media marketing for small businesses work”? The most important question is whether there is a sales mechanism to which social media can be connected. Some examples will help you understand the whole process.
Suppose you are a business that needs to attract 20 people to make a significant sale. Or that you are a B2B technology provider who needs to create 10 suggestions to make a sale that will have significant value. If social media activities can directly contribute to doubling the number of customers who request a demo, then over time this will translate into a doubling of sales.
Social media is linked to an existing sales mechanism. Conversely, if you expect it to generate interest in your products or services then if there is a lack of success, you will simply not be able to determine if this is due to a social media marketing failure or if it means that this sale will never pay off.
How To Make Social Media Marketing Work?
The first part of the answer to “how to start social media marketing” is to map the desired result from the activities on social media. Select results that relate to existing proven sales mechanisms. This is a key step in developing a successful social media strategy.
The second part of the answer is to determine if you are going to try it yourself or you will find a specialized social media management company to propose to you the best possible ways for fast results. If you are trying the DIY approach then, at least, be aware that it might take longer to produce results. Also make sure you give your team the tools, resources, and timing they need to succeed.
We did a comprehensive guide that covers more ways to use social media effectively here. We recommend you give it a read.
Automated Social Media Marketing
Automating your social media marketing efforts will provide your business the ability to schedule posts across all your social media platforms in one convenient package. They are tools designed to provide consistent, time-saving social media marketing promotion. At the same time, they help to distribute content by finding the best influence options for you. Contributes to a wealth of facilities, as summarized as follows:
- automating of social media posts,
- improvement of your social media marketing strategy,
- slow, but steady business growth.
You can check out our article here for an in-depth review of this product.
We hope you enjoyed how social media marketing can transform the fortunes of your small business if you do it right. It all starts with a clear and achievable action plan in mind. Plus the skills and know-how to effectively implement your strategy in your business.