Why Social Media is Important
Social Media is now the #1 most popular major Internet activity for Americans, (and that’s including email). The average online American spends over 2 hours a day on various social media platforms. Social media can be an insightful and profitable medium for small businesses. When correctly executed, a good social media presence can improve your business in a variety of ways.
Social media allows you to reach customers that used to be impossible to get too. Whether you are a corner store candy shop looking to gain customers from adjacent neighborhoods, a regional chocolate shop going national, or a U.S. based company that wants to reach a global audience, social media is the place where this can happen. One of the strongest features of social media is its far reach.
Social media is different than other marketing platforms, like pamphlets, or billboards, which are flat. Social media is dynamic. It’s changing. It’s updated in real time. It’s moving and alive. It allows you to have a conversation with your current and potential customers. It gives you feedback on the information you put out there, and the feelings users have towards it and you. Social media helps you listen and learn about your target market, which is invaluable information, and will improve your customer service and thus, your business.
72% of people entrust online reviews just as much as personal recommendation.
That means that what people say about your business online is potentially influencing the perception customers have of you. Having a presence on social media will help you shape your perception that way you want to be seen.
Different platforms enable certain businesses and services better than others. For example, Pinterest is a wonderful platform for businesses that service weddings, since that is the #1 search term on the site. Utilizing the right platforms in the correct way allows you to target different niches of your audience or strategically reach out to new segments of the population. There are also plenty of tools that allow you to zone in on particular demographics and psychographics when running Ads on a particular platform as well.
Generating Leads & Lasting Relationships
The ability to connect and converse with your audience gives you the power to answer their questions and make your business better and stronger. Customers like to be heard. By listening to your customers, relating with them and answering them, you will create a sense of trust and a connection with them that will help make and keep them as customers, both old and new.
Social Media is a strong place to reuse print, website, and event promotional material used elsewhere. Why not use the print ads you spend thousands on, and continue to market for your big event on the web as well?
How Social Media Can Strengthen Your Online Presence
Social media strengthens your online presence by being obtainable. If someone searches for your business on Facebook or LinkedIn, your page should come up. That way you get to tell your businesses story, not the guy who gave you a bad review in 2011. Consistency posting in social media platforms exposes you even more. With tools like hashtags and keyword searches, consumers will find you by searching for related terms. Social media also helps strengthen your businesses presence in search engine results. For example, when someone searches for your business on Google, instead of your website popping up with 9 other results of like named competitors, your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter accounts come up as results, making the potential customer 400% more likely to choose your business rather than one of your competitors.