In the 2000s and early 2010s, the idea of using social media for business was foreign to most business owners. However, with the rise of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, more and more small businesses are seeing marketing potential in such sites.
Now, it’s difficult to neglect social media, its reach, and its impact on the world of business and marketing. What makes it appealing is the fact that it’s a level playing field (with the exception of paid ads). In other words, small businesses can have the same opportunity as multinational brands when starting off on social media. In fact, in some cases, you could argue even more so. Keep reading for more on how you can use social media for your business…
Social media marketing
Social media marketing refers to the different strategies that you can adopt to get your products and services in front of existing and new customers. You will, of course, rely on some of the world’s largest online platforms. These include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.
People tend to spend a lot of time on social media, which makes them the perfect target for your marketing endeavours. As of 2021, the average Internet user in the United Kingdom spends well over 100 minutes using social media per day.
One of the great things about social media marketing is the fact that anyone can make it work. As a business owner, you can create all kinds of content that will enhance your company profile and your brand image. From images to written content to videos, anything that works for you will do the trick.
Even if your technical skills (design, video making, writing) aren’t polished yet, if you sound passionate about your brand and products, people will take an interest.
Now that we’ve briefly explained what social media marketing is, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of social media for small businesses:
1. Boosts brand awareness
Well over 75% of the UK population uses social media (as of 2022). Platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram have become a natural choice for businesses to reach new potential customers.
These people aren’t exclusively connecting with brands they already know on social media. A huge number of them are actually discovering new products, services, and brands on the platform on an almost daily basis. Finding a platform where your potential customers hang out and engaging with their posts is a great way to start.
2. Stay connected with your clients
Social media enables small businesses to stay in touch with their fans, i.e., existing clients, at all times. This can be done by ensuring that whatever they post is entertaining and informative.
As a result, followers will be interested to see the new content in their feeds as well as excited for future pieces. This, unsurprisingly, will keep your brand top of mind, meaning whenever someone is ready to make a purchase. You will be one of, if not the first, businesses to come to mind.
3. Gives a personal & human touch to your brand
Nothing is more annoying than an inhuman brand. Inhuman in the sense that it feels almost robotic, emotionless. And the cornerstone of any social media platform is building relationships, meaningful ones. In other words, you get to humanise your brand through these platforms.
One easy way of doing this through social media is introducing your followers to the people behind your business. This will build trust amongst your current and future client base as it will give a face to your brand, or in this case, many faces. Or, if you’re a small B2B business, you can use your personal LinkedIn profile and interact through this.
And with trust comes marketing receptiveness which drives more people in. You can also showcase your brand values and how you embrace them through social media.
Lastly, your employees or you, the business owner, can show how your products or services work in real life. This makes both your customers and employees feel important and recognised.
Look at Tails.com, for example. They’re a London-based maker of tailor-made dog food. They’re well known locally, mainly due to their social media presence. One key thing they do is that they always manage to humanise their brand. This is through sharing “behind the scenes” videos of their office across all social media channels. It helps create a more genuine relationship with their consumers and enforces their engagement.
4. Establishes your brand as an industry leader
A 2021 research piece found that there has been a growth of distrust of governments, NGOs, and the media amongst the people. Business institutions still boast a 61% level of trust, though. This means that a lot of people are looking to brands for insights as well as information on the latest and greatest of their interests.
And what better place to share these insights and pieces of information than on social media. Regardless of what industry your business belongs to, social media is a powerful tool that enables you to establish your brand as a thought leader.
This means that more and more people will resort to your brand as a source of viable and trustworthy information on topics related to your business. And the more they trust you and see you as this go-to figure, the better you will do sales-wise.
Social media platforms allow small businesses to interact with fans and customers in a direct and seamless way. Back in the days of traditional media, this communication process was exclusively a one-way one. Nowadays, however, social media provides businesses with a two-way street of communication.
And you want to be engaged yourself if you want your customers to be engaged. Simply stay active and respond to any comments or questions made on your social media in an appropriate and honest way.
It’s also a good idea to closely follow what people are saying about you across the web. This can be the golden opportunity to engage with customers in a fun way that could go viral any minute.
Look at Easylunchboxes, for example. They’re a business that makes plastic lunch boxes for kids to carry to school. The owner constantly shares pictures of lunch boxes sent to them by clients. This creates a positive and engaging environment which helps to further promote the brand in this somewhat niche market.
6. Customer service
As we’ve just mentioned, your social media pages can act as gateways for people to interact with your brand. And one key interaction that they expect to have in this case is customer service.
Most social media users want a response from a brand they approach on social media in a timely manner. You can help ensure this by adopting a chatbot on Facebook’s Messenger, for example, and more.
Regular and consistent posting on social media is a great way of driving in more website traffic. For instance, you could post snippets or teasers of new blog content on your social channels. That would definitely drive in more visitors.
Additionally, being active in social media through initiating conversations will get the attention of new people and showcase your industry expertise. This will subsequently drive more traffic to your website.
Of course, you would want to include your website address in all of your social media profiles regardless of whether you regularly link to it on your posts or not.
8. Generates leads
Social media platforms tend to be an easy and low-commitment way for potential customers to express interest in your brand. Indeed, lead generation is one of the many reasons why small businesses need social media.
These solutions are proven to produce more leads than regular methods, which takes us to our next point.
9. More sales!
Your social media accounts play a critical role in your sales funnel – the journey which a new contact goes through to become a customer.
Since the number of people using social media is continuously on the rise, the ways of selling your products and services to these people have evolved. Aligning your social media efforts to sales goals is a must-do come this point.
Your social media pages can be a source of huge amounts of data about your customers. Such information can be used to make better and smarter business decisions in the near and far future.
This is the case since all major social media networks offer analytics to users that provide them with a lot of information about the people interacting with their page. Not only can this be useful in improving your social media marketing strategy, but it can help with your overall marketing strategy.
11. The competition
Another reason why small businesses need social media is the fact it offers a tangible idea of what people are saying about their competitors. For instance, with a few clicks of a button, you can track mentions of your competitors, and this can help you:
- understand pain points with their products or services that you can address
- get an idea of what they are doing right so that you can mimic it in your own way
- get an idea of when they launch a new product or service
12. Paid advertising
We’ve already hinted at this point in some of our previous points as it relates to many of them. Social media ads, for the most part, are an affordable way to distribute your content and promote your business amongst big numbers of people.
You also get access to powerful targeting options that allow you to reach the right audience and make the most out of your marketing budget. Anything from demographic information, language, behaviours to interests.
It should come as no surprise that social media advertising in the United Kingdom amounted to more than £7.25 billion in 2021. It’s also expected to reach more than £13 billion by 2026 (Statista). More and more savvy marketers are embracing the potential social media has when it comes to digital advertising.
We can manage your paid advertising
If you have a small business to take care of and want to get more leads through paid advertising, book a discovery call with us today. One of our experts will get in touch shortly to show you how we can help.