This is why small businesses need social media management
Harnessing social media is not just a cost-effective way of growing your business. It’s one of the most effective ways. Here we explain all
You’ve no doubt heard the buzz around social media. Nowadays it seems like everyone – and every business – is getting on the social media gravy train.
But what if you’re just a small business or start-up? What if you are already chugging along nicely? And what if you aren’t exactly a social media guru? Is it really necessary?
In a word, absolutely. When you know how to do it right, that is.
Here we explain why – and why it doesn’t matter if you are not yet sure what you are doing.
In this article we cover:
Now, let's explain them.
First up: Why does my small business need social media?
Once upon a time, the only way of getting your brand in the spotlight was by paying top dollar for glossy ad campaigns. Clearly, this wasn’t an option for smaller companies.
But now, thanks to the explosion of social media platforms, there are a number of options to suit any budget and level of marketing know-how.
Did you know…?
Of the 3 billion internet users, over 2 billion of them have active social media accounts
Social media is an ideal network for connecting with your existing customers. It helps build greater loyalty – which in time will mean repeat sales – with your business.
Plus, it’s a social space, making it ideal for meeting new people who might be interested in hearing what you’ve got to offer.
What do small businesses use social media for?
The three main benefits of social media for small businesses is its ability to improve: your brand awareness, sales, and customer service. But if you are still not convinced, it's worth looking at the data on this.
66% of small business owners use social media to boost sales
And with this number growing year-on-year, there’s a good chance some of your competitors are already zooming in on your potential customers online. You probably want to stay ahead of them.
73% of consumers are likely to buy from a brand that responds to them on social media
Embracing social media as a small business is an easy way to grow, be seen, and show your customers you care.
Facebook accounts for 16% of the total time spent on the Internet
Out of sight, out of mind. Social media networks are buzzing with eyes and ears. They are a great place to get discovered, and keep your customers coming back to you.
3 reasons why
Why should you join the bandwagon? Essentially, it all boils down to three key reasons: the good, the great, and the necessary. With social media, you:
1. Save Money – Get results on a shoestring
One of the best things about social media is its ability to drive traffic – for free. But perhaps the greatest benefit for small businesses is the hard-to-beat ROI (return on investment) the networks can deliver for very little upfront costs.
Did you know…?
For as little as £1 per day on Facebook ads, your start-up could reach upwards of 4,000 people?
There is even user-friendly software that will kit you out with the tools you need to create regular, well-targeted content, and track your success. Plus, they do much of the legwork for you – we explain more below.
2. Avoid Disasters – Top customer service made easy
We’ve covered the benefits of social media. Now, here’s why you need it.
Did you know…?
Over 67% of consumers now go directly to social media for customer service
Customer service has always been an important part of any business. But now that social media networks have made it easier than ever to vent your grievances publicly online, customers have the power to make or break a company.
When you hear United Airlines, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For a lof people, it’s a video of a customer being hauled off one of their flights.
Thanks to social media, that one customer’s experience managed to knock $250 million off United’s share value.
Of course, that’s an extreme example, and such PR disasters are fortunately rarer in smaller businesses. But in the age of the internet, all businesses are vulnerable to social media tides.
The United Airlines story reminds us of the power of the internet to amplify one person’s bad experience, so we all hear about it.
True, customer reviews of your start-up may not be headline-leading, but if you exist, they probably exist somewhere online – in a tweet, on a public forum, perhaps popping up in a Google result not too far from your company page.
Did you know…?
90% of customers check out reviews online before visiting a business
Given that reality, social media accounts give your business a voice to build your brand, and show existing and potential customers online you care about customer service.
3. Work Smarter – Get the insights to make better business decisions
But social media is not just cost-effective. It is also, in general, a more effective way of running and growing any business.
If opening up social media accounts sounds like hard work, it can be helpful to think about networking sites like a treasure chest of insights into your company. They can actually make your life easier – and your business smarter.
On Twitter, you can listen to what people are saying about you. On Instagram, you can see how people are using – and liking – your products or services. And on Facebook, you can understand better which marketing campaigns are trending.
That’s some powerful data, and today with the help of social media management software (like Hootsuite and SocialPilot), everyone can get their hands on it.
Finally, what easy tools are available to help me?
Now you know why social media management will be vital to your small business’ success, let’s look at the best places to start.
Which social media channels grow small businesses the most?
The results are in:
- Facebook (18%)
- LinkedIn (14%)
- Company blog (13%)
- Instagram (11%)
For most small businesses, Facebook is the ideal springboard for your social media marketing. But of course, different networks are best placed for different business needs and target audiences.
Since you can now sell directly from Facebook and Instagram, these platforms are ideal for retailers. On the other hand, LinkedIn and company blogs often get good hit rates with B2B start-ups.
Often, a combination of social media networks is the way to go. For more on this, read our in-depth beginner’s guide to getting noticed online.
Think you could do with some help?
Then you might want to turn to one of the many powerful social media management tools on hand to make it easier.
43% of marketers see social media as their most effective platform.
But 49% find it one of the most difficult to use.
Harnessing social media can be a game-changer for small businesses and start-ups. Time, money and expertise are no longer barriers to entry into this essential space. But of course, it all hinges on doing it properly.
Social media management tools help you achieve this by making it easy to:
- Manage all your marketing from one simple interface
- Save time by scheduling and automating posts
- Boost engagement using AI expertise
You can read our deep-dive review of the best social media marketing tools for small businesses by following this link.
Or if you want to find out which social media management tool would work best for you and get some quotes, just fill in the quick form at the top of the page.