If you own a business, one aspect that is usually necessary if you want to grow your business, is marketing. Traditional marketing today is quickly being replaced or at least complemented by social media marketing and other online efforts like a website and email marketing.
Clutch reports that 76 percent of small business owners are using sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram to help grow their businesses.
And even if you decide that you don’t need any growth for your business, maintaining a positive presence online and monitoring any reviews is still extremely important.
Here are 7 reasons why social media marketing can help grow your business.
Social media is cost-effective
Traditional marketing can sometimes seem out-of-reach to small businesses, however using social media can be very low cost.
Wait, isn’t social media free? Yes, however using social media advertising such as Facebook ads do cost money, though a low budget can prove high results.
I recently ran a lead ad for a client on Facebook, spent $114 and received 3 qualified leads. Their average sale is around $2,500, so that is a great ROI for a low up-front cost.
Facebook ads are one of the best advertising options online right now because of the in-depth targeting, and the multiple options to suit your needs:
- Lead generation
- Get more traffic to a website
- Increase video views
- App engagement
- Brand awareness
You can also run the same ads on Instagram that you setup for Facebook. Facebook even has their own training modules where you can learn for free and has a Facebook ads module available.
There are additional advertising options on Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter but I haven’t used them enough to compare or give advice on them.
Social media helps to get the word out about your business and if you have a product or service that can help people around the world, the opportunities are great for this.
Even if you are just starting a new business and have a small audience, you can take advantage of groups on LinkedIn or Facebook, adding local hashtags on Instagram and Twitter, or getting more views on Instagram by using Stories.
Along with more awareness of your business, social media provides you with the opportunity to grow relationships with your ideal customers. Once you provide outstanding service to someone, or people learn about your amazing product, they could share with their friends and family, which grows your reach and awareness to more people.
Reach all ages and demographics
Depending on your ideal customer and your goals for social media, there is likely a platform suited for your business.
Facebook is the most common platform, although the younger generation is starting to use it less, and use Instagram and Snapchat more.
If your ideal target market is women between 35-54, Pinterest could work very well for you.
As mentioned above, Facebook ads provide amazing targeting ability, and you can set up ads to target a specific demographic, which is very beneficial to your business.
Need feedback on your product or service? Want to understand what your target market wants to be changed with your service? Ask them.
You can use social media as a customer service tool and keep people updated on new things happening, change in store hours, etc. but you can also gain valuable consumer insight.
Let’s say for example that you are a floral shop and you aren’t sure between two different arrangements which one to promote for an upcoming holiday. Take a photo of each arrangement, post on social media, and ask your audience to vote for their favourite and let you know why. Entice more people to get involved by offering everyone who participates 10% off their next arrangement, or a free plant for their home, whatever you decide is appropriate.
Not only can you gain valuable insight into your product, but you can get this feedback quickly. Post now, get insights within hours (or even minutes).
Social media allow you to share the most up-to-date information about your products, services, or upcoming events and promotions.
Sharing valuable tips, tools to help your customers, or other useful information can be a great way to build trust with customers and show potential customers how knowledgeable you are, that you care about your community, or a more personal side of you and your business. It allows you to put a face and voice to your business and allow people to get to know you without even meeting you yet.
This video by Dr. Kallie Doucette gives valuable information about sunscreen and being protected for summer. She isn’t selling anything, simply providing great valuable tips to her community and in less than one day reached over 3,000 people. That’s more people than what’s on her Facebook page, so you can reach people even when they don’t ‘like’ your page.
Provide customer service
Using social media as a customer service tool is smart for your business.
Imagine one of your customers is at work and unable to call you with a question, but they do have access to send you a message online. They could send a question via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and within minutes you could follow up with an answer and they could go about their day.
People are time-strapped and want information quickly and on their schedule. Using social media to help serve your customers if a way to help them, and provide them with answers they might be looking for.
Just make sure you actually check your profiles and/or get notifications to your phone when someone messages you.
If you are worried that you don’t have the time to use social media, here are some of my social media tips for busy business owners.
Once someone visits you online, is that it? Not even close. Just because someone happens to like your page, or interact with you, it doesn’t end there.
One way to complement your social media is by growing your newsletter list. By sending out regular newsletters, you can then stay top of mind with customers who have interacted with you online and signed up for your email newsletter.
You can grow your email list by creating a valuable download for people in exchange for an email address. Then you can continue to give them valuable tips, discounts, etc.
Need help getting set up online? Check out the Social Media Success Course to learn the ins and outs of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.