I recently had a casual conversation with a small business owner about social media marketing and its impact in today’s marketplace. Within the first several minutes into our conversation, I was shocked to hear that he didn't believe in the benefits of marketing on social media. He primarily relied on his customers referring their family and friends to his business, which provided him great success for many years. However, he also mentioned how much his consumer base had decreased in the recent years.
I then began to explain that his consumer base was dwindling due to a lack of brand awareness in his neighborhood. I have been living in the area for several years and did not even know his company existed. This is due to the many competing businesses in the area, which have effectively diluted his brand through social engagement, product giveaways, and other promotional content advertised on social media. Today’s customers are not the same customers from twenty, or even ten years ago. Today’s customers obtain all the product’s information and find value and legitimacy in the products they buy through social media platforms.
Therefore, it is imperative for business owners to increase awareness of their businesses and the products and services they provide by utilizing social media marketing strategies, regardless of its size in the marketplace. Most of us already know that over 70% of Americans living in the United States have at least one social media account. Social media platforms provide a place where people share ideas and opinions. However, there is still a great number of small business owners who don’t take advantage of social platforms. They are not aware of the benefits of social media marketing and how they can use social media to increase their earnings substantially. With that said, here are the top three main reasons why your small business needs social media marketing as part of its marketing strategy.
1. Social Media will Increase Brand Awareness and Brand Loyalty
As mentioned earlier, customers find value and legitimacy in the products they buy through social media platforms. Therefore, social media has become the new word of mouth (WOM) in today’s digital marketplace. Customers traditionally enjoy referring their family and friends to their favorite places to eat and visit. Social media allows customers to continue this tradition, but in a far greater scale, online. With just one post on social media, the neighborhood business owner is able to reach more customers. Everyone who follows the business page will be able to see the post, like the post, and share the post with all their connection. This will drastically increase brand awareness and allow business owners to market their brand to a larger populations while simultaneously engage their customers in a more intimate level.
2. Social Media will Boosts Website’s SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most critical tools for increasing online visibility of a website and overall brand awareness throughout the web. As web crawlers search and rank websites, the sites with the most traffic are listed at the very top. Business owners need to develop and utilize their content strategy to increase their ranking on various search engine sites. Therefore, business owners need to create multiple points of entry into their business and funnel their users from social media sites back to the business’ website. This increases the site’s SEO ranking and increases the number of opportunities for customer conversions. Not only will the business’ brand become dominant on the web, but also the business’ customer base will increase.
3. Social Media Provides Hypertargeted Advertising Capabilities
One of the greatest benefits of advertising on social media is the ability to customize and target a defined audience. Demographic data listed in individual user profiles such as location, age ranges, profession, education level, and a variety of interests help define the target audience. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, to name a few, have some of the best advertisement creation tools and analytics capabilities around. Such social media editor tools allow businesses to create advertisements, manage multiple campaigns and track site activity and engagements through detailed analytical reports. Therefore, local business owners can target individuals within a specific community and surrounding neighborhoods, advertise promotions and product giveaways, and increase the confidence and loyalty of their customers.
These are just a few of my main reasons why local small businesses need to advertise on social media. Social media marketing is an integral part of doing business in today’s dynamic marketplace. Its reputation amongst its consumers can only take them so far. So, businesses need to adapt to the changes in the marketplace and communicate more intimately with their customers on social media. Customers change, neighborhoods develop and people move. Therefore, without a strong social media presence, it is impossible for a business to be competitive in today’s marketplace.