Why Social Media is Important for Small Businesses

If you are a small business owner and still haven’t entered into the world of social media, there is a lot you are missing out on. Social media can help you stay competitive within your market and reach customers that you may not be able to reach otherwise. The best part, most social media platforms are entirely free aside from the time you will have to put into actually utilizing it. For your small business, this is absolutely beneficial and worth your time and effort to invest in. Here are just a few reasons why you should be using at least one social media platform for your small business.

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1. Your customers are already using it.

There’s no reason to beat around the bush on this one – in today’s world, most people in the United States are using at least one or more social media platforms. According to Statista, just 10 years ago, a mere 21% of the U.S. population had a social media profile and now, in 2019, that percentage has grown by almost 8 times. If this percentage isn’t convincing enough to get your small business established on social media, the number of social media users is only projected to rise from here. So, why should you care? Well, there’s really no better way to connect with your customers than through socializing with them on a platform they are already using. Your small business will become integrated into their daily lives through social media. Talk about brand awareness! This increases your odds that your marketing message that you put out on social media will stand out to them which sends them to your small business.

2. You will gain a competitive edge.

Now that you understand your customers are already using social media, that definitely means that your competitors are using it as well. Therefore, by not using social media, you are falling behind your competitors and they can easily be capturing the attention of potential customers that could have been yours. Don’t let this happen. Just by being active on social media, you’re doing your business a huge favor by increasing your small business’s overall visibility. If you are on the other side of this situation where your competitors may not be on social media yet, RUN. You can easily get a one up on competitors by taking advantage of social media before they do.

3. Allows for a valuable communication avenue.

Something that I have learned in my studies at Grand Valley and through work experience is that as a business, whether small or large, you should always make it easy for customers to reach you. Imagine being in a situation where a potential customer is ready to practically hand you money for your product or service, but they don’t have any avenue for getting ahold of you… What a nightmare. Just by having a presence on social media, you open up additional avenues for your target market to reach you. It’s better to give customers more than one option to reach you rather than limiting them to only calling you or sending an email. Sometimes, a customer may just have a quick question that needs a response and it’s much easier to get this question answered by sending a quick Facebook message than sending an email or hoping someone picks up the phone. Social media gives you the opportunity to personally communicate with your customers in a timely manner which only boosts your customer service perception.

4. You get a glimpse into the lives of your target market.

As marketers, it’s a dream to be able to step into the shoes of our target markets and really being able to see and understand what thoughts are going through their minds when making a purchase. Well, social media is the closest we can get to actually being able to do this. Think about why someone creates a social media profile in the first place… A person wants to join a community or group of people who share similar interests, or they are looking to keep in contact with friends and family. As a small business owner, you are able to capitalize upon this and see what they are interested in by analyzing data and truly defining your target market. Small businesses tend to be community oriented anyways, which fits right into social media communities. Most importantly, you are able to have a real conversation with your target market through social media platforms which can turn into a very loyal customer base.

Wrapping things up…

You don’t have to be an expert at social media in order to establish a presence for your small business online. Social media will be sticking around, at least for some time, so it’s better to hop in now rather than later when you are behind the curve. Plus, marketing costs can get expensive, especially as a small business owner just getting started. Therefore, social media provides a pretty valuable marketing platform without going broke. If you do want to spend additional money, most social media platforms have ad campaigns that will boost your posts to reach an even greater target audience. Overall, social media is crucial to your small business. Take a leap and create at least one social media profile and begin interacting with your customers.

Kelli Kaufman

Kelli joined the Netvantage Marketing team as a Junior Search Analyst in April 2018. She assists the search engine optimization team as well as managing clients' social media accounts.

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