Why Small Businesses Need Social Media With people ignoring real life to focus on what’s happening online, and tales of social media-driven bullying abounding, it’s easy to write off platforms like Twitter and Facebook as unimportant for your business. Yet, the effectiveness of social media as a way to reach and connect with customers and influencers cannot be denied. It’s true that nasty comments and false rumors can cause problems, but with thoughtful posts and habitual attention, you can become known as a thought leader in your field.
Here’s why using social media to grow your business is more important now than ever before.
Get Direct Access to Customers
Remember how annoying it was 10 years ago when your favorite supplier didn’t have a website? Now, you wouldn’t think twice of checking online to see if a proposed new partner has an online presence. Legitimate businesses have an online presence, and not just through their websites. Social media gives businesses a direct connection with the people who are buying their products and services.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn let you connect with the customers in your marketplace in an incredibly personal way. High-quality posts that establish a relationship with customers reinforces your brand and raises awareness. Emails get deleted, and direct mail gets tossed out. Social media, when done right, is read every time.
Establish Thought Leadership
Posting value-added content cements your reputation as a thought leader in your field and provides a free service to your customers. For example, imagine you own a vacuum repair shop. On Monday, you could post your top five stain removal tips. On Tuesday, share a coupon for a service you offer. On Wednesday, post a funny meme about cleaning. Thursday, remind your customers that you’re now open on Saturdays. And Friday, share an article about why regular servicing prolongs the life of your vacuum, thus saving money.
No matter what your type of business may be, social media gives your enterprise’s brand a human, helpful touch. And it’s also an opportunity to correspond with your customers in the event that something goes wrong.
Manage PR Problems Faster
Let’s face it: even a successful business sometimes experiences a customer relations problem. And if one of your customers is complaining online, it’s a golden opportunity to enhance your reputation.
Most angry customers want two things: to feel heard and understood, and to get their money back or a free replacement. And although you may not be able to furnish the second, listening and responding appropriately is always free. Other customers will watch you to see how you respond to angry complaints and criticisms. When eyes are on your words, make sure you’re putting your business in the best possible light.
Get Free Advertising
What’s the best thing about social media? It’s free. Completely, 100 percent free. That means you can connect with your customers, grow your brand, cement your reputation and solve PR problems with time instead of money. And although your time is certainly worth a pretty penny, with social media, you won’t have to write a check to accomplish your marketing goals.