The world runs on social media now and has for a long time. Ever since the days of MySpace in the early 2000s, social media platforms have captured the imagination of several generations worldwide.
Understandably, businesses quickly realized that social media could be a veritable gold mine, and social media marketing became a new hot-button term. Of course, some believed that social media was a fad that would eventually wear itself out.
Nearly two decades later, we’re still talking about it. Not only is social media still crucial for small businesses. It’s more important now than it has ever been before.
So, how could that be? What can social media do for your small business? Read on to find out.
How do small businesses use social media?
First of all, small businesses have been using social media for years to expand brand awareness, communicate special deals. Bringing in new leads and customers.
For example, take Clean Origin, a lab-grown diamond jewelry brand. It understands the power of social media. Particularly Instagram, in capturing attention and sparking interest in its
Clean Origin’s strategic use of Instagram, shown above, showcases visual content’s inherent strength in capturing potential customers’ hearts and minds. By posting captivating photos of their beautiful lab-grown diamond tennis bracelets on Instagram, the company creates a visual feast. It grabs attention and generates intrigue among users scrolling through their feeds.
For instance, the allure of these exquisite bracelets captured in high-quality imagery is hard to resist. Ultimately drawing people in and prompts them to explore more about Clean Origin’s offerings.
As evident in the example above, it’s important for business owners to develop an appealing social media profile. After all, users engage more with authentic, fun content. For this reason, small businesses design posters with icons, graphic elements, and photos from their brands. Creating beautiful visuals will pay off in the long run when building a brand.
Showcase What You Have
Let’s quickly mention, StudioSuits, a brand known for its custom, high-end clothing products. They understand the importance of using a channel to showcase its offerings. Understandably, it is important to recognize that social media is a place where people explore different preferences, make purchases, and share posts. StudioSuits has harnessed the power of these platforms to enhance the brand’s success.
Above all, social media platforms provide a visually immersive experience, making them an ideal space for StudioSuits to display its impressive range of products.
By posting high-quality photos of its clothing on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, StudioSuits can capture the attention of potential customers. These photos allow people to see the craftsmanship, design, and fit of StudioSuits’ garments. It will instill a desire to explore and engage with the brand further.
Why is social media even more important now for small businesses?
Small businesses have been using social media for years, so why is now the most crucial time to focus on these plentiful platforms? Below we’ve highlighted several reasons small businesses need to hop on the social media train and stay there for the foreseeable future.
More people use social media now than ever before.
However, social media has always remained popular. The exact opposite has occurred. We’re seeing more users year by year, with massive increases numbering in the hundreds of millions.
As shown in the image above, social media usage has been consistently rising quarter by quarter, year after year. With social media’s power growing consistently, so does the reach and influence of these platforms.
More diverse social media options
In the beginning, you had MySpace. But then along came Facebook, pushing our first great social media love out of the public conversation. Then along came Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat, and more. However, these diverse platforms have equally diverse audiences. Representing more opportunities to reach more people.
Small businesses have great potential to accomplish various marketing goals via these many social media platforms. That includes raising brand awareness, promoting interaction, and increasing brand loyalty. Businesses must, however, use the platforms wisely.
For starters, that means understanding which demographics frequent which platforms. If you’re
trying to reach an older crowd with relevant content, you’ll use Facebook. However, Gen Z and younger Millennials are on TikTok and Snapchat.
A compelling example is Mos, a student money app that tries to remove financial barriers. It provides insightful tips on financial aid, among other topics, to engage with its audience on social networks like TikTok.
By leveraging TikTok in a social media marketing campaign, Mos can reach college-age Gen Z students. It can then share valuable advice with them on “The most important date for financialaid.”
For instance, the impact of this TikTok campaign was remarkable, as seen above. These social media efforts garnered over 1 million views, 56K likes, and 536 comments.
Moreover, nearly 20K users saved this tip, signifying its value to the audience. This accomplishment positions Mos as a reliable source of information and establishes the company’s credibility in users’ minds.
Create valuable connections
One can’t forget the value of networking for small businesses. After all, social media is a great place to network with other businesses and individuals. You can find your next major promotional partner on these platforms.
For example, a company like Form Health uses social channels as a launching pad for sponsoring services. Looking at its Instagram profile, we can see how Form Health sets itself up as an expert in the field. It posts content from trusted nutritionists on Instagram. This tactic ultimately spreads awareness and trust to the audience using connections created on social media.
One more thing, you can also use social media to partner with influencers. These popular personalities will market your business and products, generating sales for you in exchange for a commission.
Influencers are social media users with vast followings in your niche. You should use it to identify and contact these individuals, creating an excellent opportunity for increased brand visibility.
Enhanced targeting and flexibility
Another benefit of modern social media platforms is that they offer advanced targeting and post flexibility.
When you run Facebook Ads, you can target your specific audience and make sure that no money is going to waste.
Suppose a small e-commerce site can offer a same-day delivery option due to arrangements made with a local courier service. Undoubtedly the most effective way to spread the word is through social channels. A Facebook Ads campaign would specifically be the best way to sponsor this type of delivery. You can target the audience using Facebook Ads based on factors like age, gender, location, interests, occupation, and more.
Of course, managing a social account isn’t easy. You need to post on these various platforms at the right time. And all of them have different optimal posting times.
With millions of active users, Instagram offers a vast potential audience for businesses to connect with and promote products or services. To maximize their presence on this popular platform, small businesses can leverage tools that enable them to schedule Instagram posts strategically. That creates a more flexible management style, where you can set up all your posts to go out automatically at high-traffic times.
It saves time and effort and allows for thoughtful curation and optimization of captions, hashtags, and visual aesthetics.
A window into your customers and what they like
Furthermore, social media accounts also offer valuable data analytics to small businesses. For instance, traffic data, click-through rates on ads, and more. You can even use outside services to track social media conversations about your brand.
You can use a social media monitoring tool to learn what content followers react to. That will help enhance future social media campaigns accordingly. You’ll be able to reach followers and drive them to your site with authentic graphics, captions, videos, and ads.
By using analytics tools, you can also learn a lot about who your followers are and where they come from. That’s essential information for effective marketing.
Increased opportunities for engagement
Furthermore, lets mention that engagement can help drive conversions and even help you save face when you’re given negative feedback.
Here’s a great example from Burt’s Bees, a beauty supply company based out of North Carolina.
As an example, this company faced some backlash on one of its posts regarding a product for sensitive skin. Someone commented back with negative feedback on the new formula. Without missing a beat, the company engaged the disgruntled customer, apologizing for their experience and trying to move the conversation into private messages.
Even if they weren’t able to resolve the customer’s specific complaint, this engagement is out there for all to see. In fact, it’s the most relevant exchange on this thread and pops up first. After all, customers can now see how this company interacts, how they own issues raised by customers, and how they strive to make those issues right.
Therefore, conversations and engagement are two more reasons small businesses can’t afford to ignore social media channels. It’s an opportunity to address customers directly and then continue the conversation through comments or private messages. Try using social media influencers to spread your good word.
More so, by commenting back positively and starting a public dialogue with its customers. Burt’s Bees gets proactive with its reputation management, begins the social conversation, and opens opportunities for further engagement.
Conclusion - social media is more important than ever
In conclusion, a social media presence is important for small businesses and has been for a very long time.
The information above should be enough to prove why your small business can’t afford to sleep on the power and opportunities afforded by a stellar social media marketing strategy.