20 benefits of social media for small businesses

There is a good reason why so many businesses use social media to market themselves. Because it works. And it doesn’t require a huge amount of your budget, yet still has the ability to help to build your brand and find new business opportunities. If you are not convinced or just getting started, this is why you should consider making social media part of your marketing strategy:

1. Increased brand awareness

This is probably the most obvious benefit that would come to mind. With the volume of social media users, you are reaching a large number of potential clients who were previously unaware of your business. It won’t happen immediately, but you will see the real benefits over time.

2. Improved brand loyalty

Social media helps your brand to stand out and keep in touch with your existing costumers. You can use it to inform them about anything new, remind them about your products and services and encourage to spread the word via their own social networks. You are also able to interact and answer questions in real time, building trust with customers and making them feel valued.

3. Human face

Social media helps to add a face to your brand and show your clients who the people behind your business are. It’s very often not what you do, but how you do it and social media is a great way to show your clients your company’s personality and tell your story.

4. Social listening

Listening in on conversations online helps to identify who talks about your business or industry, identify new leads and see what your competitors are doing. Your potential clients share a lot about their wants, needs and pain points on social media, which helps with making your first contact with them much more personalised – and more likely to generate their interest.

5. Social search

Your potential clients are likely to be already using social search to find potential companies and brands they want to buy from and work with; and would form an opinion about each of these based on what they are seeing online.

6. Thought leadership

Social media a great place for you to establish yourself as a thought leader via sharing relevant content, engaging in conversations and responding to questions. Your profile will stand out the more engaged you are, making you a go-to subject matter expert as you build your brand as a thought leader.

7. Reputation management

Over time, people will talk about your business and it’s important to listen to what they are saying so you can respond accordingly and use their feedback for ongoing improvements. It’s a powerful way to tailor your business’ offering to what your potential clients are asking for.

8. Real time customer service

Having a large number of customer issues shared publicly is not ideal, but being able to respond to them in real time is very helpful – both for your customers and your brand’s reputation. It’s also a more time efficient way to communicate compared to calls and emails.

9. Targeted advertising

With the large volume of data available with user demographics and interests, social media platforms allow for detailed segmentation and audience targeting, making your marketing campaigns and messaging much more personal and specific to your potential clients.

10. Lead generation

The likelihood is that most of your potential clients are already using at least one social network, ready to hear from you and you should always be present where your potential clients are. Connecting with actual people via social networks is an effective way to build long term relationships based on trust.

11. SEO

When you Google your company’s name, what comes up in top results are your social media profiles. Google also uses social media to discover new content – sharing content via Google+ will push our content up the search engine and likely to come up high in searches.

12. Employee engagement

Employees are great brand advocates and keeping them engaged in social sharing can not only help with your brand awareness but also with building a culture where everyone is actively involved in content creation and sharing. The more people share, the larger audience you are reaching.

13. Website traffic

By sharing content published on your website via social media you are attracting new visitors to your website and increasing your brand awareness, especially if you can share engaging content that has the potential to go viral.

14. Digital storytelling

Social media is the ultimate place to tell your story, especially with the recently launched new story features. Storytelling is a great way to connect with your audience and attract their attention without making your posts look as advertising.

15. Events engagements

Social media can also be very effective as part of your event marketing – both when it comes to pre-event promotions as well as live updates from your event. A simple way to start is to introduce a hashtag that you and your guest can use with any event related updates.

16. Cost efficiency

Compared to traditional marketing, social media marketing is much cheaper, yet one of the most effective ways to promote a business of any size.

17. Online community 

Engaging in online conversations not only helps to connect with your existing social media followers, but it also opens up the potential of those followers sharing your content with others, creating a rapidly growing online community who recognises and talks about your business. What helps is sharing interesting content and sharing it regularly.

18. Education

Social media not only helps to showcase your brand, it’s also an important learning resource. You can educate yourself on what your clients are saying and keep on top of the latest industry news and insights.

19. Competitor analysis

Because everyone is sharing their best work, it helps to get a good idea about your competitor’s activities and helps you learn from their successes and failures.

20. Recruitment

Social recruiting is a great way to attract new talent and spread the word about open roles through your existing connections.

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