If you’re a small business owner then chances are you’ve probably already heard about the many benefits of social media for your business. However why it’s so important may be something you’re still struggling with though. That’s probably because most business fail to use it properly and so they are not reaping all the rewards they could be. When used properly the benefits of social media are enormous and this article provides five simple yet valuable reasons why your small business needs social media.
2011 statistics by Nielsen found that social networks and blogs continue to dominate Canada and American’s time online, now accounting for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the internet. The same study found that 70% of active online adult social networkers shop online and 70% of them trust consumer opinions posted online. Small businesses everywhere are finding it worth their while to jump into social media and join in the conversations surrounding their business.
Although there are many reasons why businesses ultimately decide to utilize social media, here are 5 of the top benefits of social media for your small business.
Your Market Is Already Using It
More than one quarter of all the time people spend online is spent on social networks. That’s an amazing number! In fact, social media is now the #1 activity online! Men and women from all age groups and income levels are using social networking sites to get information, play games and shop. Regardless of what their needs happen to be, they are turning to sites like Twitter and Facebook in order to find what they are looking for.
One of the primary benefits of social media is that it is a great way to find and connect with more of your target market. Use resources like Twitter directories and LinkedIn groups to find your ideal client and join in their conversations. Spread your content to a much wider audience and gain exposure by syndicating content out to multiple channels. A larger audience sharing your content means more traffic to your web site and an increased opportunity for sales.
Using social media the right way means you’ll also have the ability to listen to your audience, find out what their needs are and offer them a solution. Tools like Social Mention and Viral Heat help you find out what people are saying about your brand. Monitor industry keywords with Addict-o-matic or Google Alerts to hear the conversations surrounding your brand or even your competitors. Listen closely, provide solutions and you’ll be well on your way to creating brand advocates who will help you spread the word and offer great testimonials about all your company has to offer!
One of the greatest benefits of social media is your ability to provide value to your customers and potential customers with interesting and informative blogs, tweets and posts. When you are able to solve a problem for people you immediately become a resource for them, and suddenly you have a super fan who can’t quit singing your praises to anyone who will listen! Providing interesting and valuable free content, will turn potential customers into loyal customers who will be happy to refer you to their friends and family via social media and word of mouth.
Humanize Your Company
People like to buy from people. Although organizations traditionally brand themselves through logos and symbols, social media offers an opportunity to do more. Jason Falls wrote an excellent tip in 13 Essential Social Media Lessons for B2B Marketers from the Masters. He states, “B2B is more P2P – people to people. The buyer still wants to buy from a trusted friend, not a logo or a company. Making your business more human, putting a name, face and relationship on the relationship goes a long way”.
Social media is a phenomenal tool that can facilitate business growth, improve brand reputation and support current marketing systems. It offers you an opportunity to be so engaging and valuable that your target market will naturally want to invite you into their lives to communicate with them. It’s a tool no small business owner should be without and it’s a trend no small business owner can ignore. Social media is the future. Choosing to take advantage of the all of the benefits of social media for your small business, is simply good business.
If you are already using social media for your business, share any of the benefits of social media you’ve experienced so far. Share in the comments below.