29 March 2017

10 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Social Media

Hampshire social media manager, freelance social media manager, 10 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Social Media
Photo taken for Feminicity launch campaign

Gone are the days when social media was viewed as a platform for ‘kids’ to share pictures of cats in fancy dress and challenges to provoke a reaction out of each other: over they years, social media has proven results for businesses as a medium to connect with buyers, clients and spread the digital word of mouth. With over 3 billion internet users, 2 billion use social media on a daily basis - the jury rules that social media is no longer optional, but rather necessary for your business to succeed. Why? Here are the top reasons why you should invest time into building your platforms:

1. Help increase brand awareness. By having a presence on social media you give a voice to your brand and make it easy for customers to connect with you. Good content is key as you are representing your brand, and it will help you keep customers connected and interested - studies have shown over 50% of followers are loyal to their brands and will come back time after time 

2. Convert a higher rate of customers. Studies have shown that 75% of companies engaging in selling on social media platforms have increased sales reports over the period of a year. If your customer is undecided about a purchase, but has a consistent presence of the brand and the item they are considering over their daily social media platforms, they are more like to convert the lead into a purchase. 
 
3. Deliver excellent customer service. Most of your customers and clients will be on social media, so if you’re not there, it makes it harder for them to interact with you. Show of hands how many of you have taken it to Twitter to complain about slow broadband or a late delivery? You need to be present and answering to client queries - this will help you grow your customers loyalty and leave them with a positive experience, more likely to come back. 
 
4. Use analytics to research your customers. Social media platforms collect information from personal accounts - and this information will be very useful to a business owner looking to do some research within the demographics. Daily statistics on social media show that there are over 500 million tweets, 4.5 billion ‘Likes’ on Facebook and 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram. If you increase engagement over your platforms and utilise social listening, your business will reap the benefits without annoying customers with email surveys every time you want to do an audit. 
 
5. Utilise targeted ads. There is no doubt you can grow your accounts organically, but when a post is performing really well it will help to give the post a little boost with paid for advertising. You can target your audience by location, demographics, interest, and connections. You can then track the success of the post by checking analytics on the post you have boosted. 
 
6. Increase SEO and traffic to your website. Using social media will help direct customers to your website bringing in more digital ‘footfall’; but the more interesting element of this strategy is that the more shares you receive on social, the higher your search ranking will rise. If your SEO is good, you will come higher in Google search results which means more people will find you! 

7. Push out content quicker and easier. When you have a new product launching, or a new article which has come out, all you have to do is share it on social channels to ensure your customers see it quickly, and can share the exciting news with their friends. 

8. Monitor your competitors. Use social media as a tool to help you keep up to speed with what your competitors are doing: there are tools to help you set up monitoring feeds for keywords, names, and phrases - use these tools to help you make the right business decisions, see where your competitors went wrong, and gain potential leads. 

9. Utilise the ability to tailor your audience. Set your settings to target your messages to people who will purchase from you based on their location, age, interests and gender. Most social networks will have a built in ability to do this, however there are also free and paid for tools which can help you drill down to the core of your audience to ensure your messages aren’t getting lost! 

10. Start conversations to build relationships. Social media is exactly what it says on the tin - social. It’s not a one way dialogue of you pushing messages to your listeners, but to taking the time to know more about them and answering their queries. The ability to have real time conversations with your customers is something traditional advertising cannot offer - which means building your accounts and social presence is invaluable.

There is a lot of work which goes into successful social media accounts and reaping the benefits of social for your business, but there are online tools and professionals available which can help you manage time better and ensure you are making the most out of social media marketing.
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