If you’re a business owner, chances are you’ve already considered using social media to help get the word out about your business. Over 73% of small business owners are now using sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to help grow their businesses. 95% of small business owners reported that not only were they using Facebook to market their business, but 82% of those people found it to be effective. Here are 10 reasons why social media marketing could be right for your business: 1. Social media does help get the word out. Social media not only provides exposure for your organization, but it also provides the opportunity to grow the relationships with that target audience. Your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and LinkedIn connections are people who know your organization, have likely done business with you in the past, and will most likely to tell their friends about you. Since the engagement with these connections is easily visible to the connections of your current fans and followers, social media can introduce your business to a whole new audience and enable you to reach your next great customer. 2. Social media is popular – really, really popular. With over 1 billion people on Facebook, 200 million people on Twitter, and 200 million more on LinkedIn – social media will touch nearly every customer that walks through your door. For most businesses, Facebook is the jumping-off point for getting started with social media marketing. With its extensive reach and dynamic functionality – there are very few businesses that couldn’t benefit from having a presence on Facebook. And starting there will make it easier when you want to try something new. 3. Social media sites are free. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all offer free accounts to users and businesses and signing up won’t require anything more than an email address. Some sites – likes LinkedIn – do offer paid accounts with features that are targeted at more advanced users, but for the purposes of getting started, there’s no upfront cost for most of the social networks. 4. Social media reaches all ages and demographics. According to a study conducted by IBM, Bay Boomers have demonstrated the most growth on social media. 72% were using Facebook, Twitter, and other networks. So, no matter how young or how old your target audience may be, chances are most of them are already logging on and waiting for you to get started. 5. Social media users are active. When it comes to Facebook, more than half of its users log on to the network every single day and 60% of those users say checking Facebook is one of the first thing they do everyday. This level of activity isn’t unique to Facebook either, today more than 400 million tweets are sent on Twitter everyday. While a customer may visit your store once a week – they could see you on Facebook or Twitter every single day.
6. Social media encourages two-way communication. Social media has the power to take any of the feedback you may receive from using a tool like email marketing and supercharge it – letting customers share their thoughts, questions, and ideas quickly and publicly without having to take the time to write an entire email. And it allows you to respond just as fast, without having to pick up the phone or worry that the customer isn’t seeing your response. 7. Social media is perfect for customer service. Social media offers a unique opportunity to step up your customer service game and provide instant gratification to your target audience. This will allow you to showcase just how much you care about providing a memorable experience and will ensure that no customer inquiry goes unnoticed. And by monitoring social media for customer feedback and offering a response, you can drive real business results. According to InboxQ survey, 64% of respondents said they would be more likely to shop with a business after receiving via Twitter. Customer service through social media is rapidly becoming an expectation of consumers. If customers are already searching for you on Facebook or Twitter and not finding your business – you may already be missing opportunities to win new customers. 8. Social media lets you share a lot about your business. Social media sites are becoming the go-to place for consumers who want to learn more about a business, because sites allow businesses to offer the most up-to-date information about anything from products, services, or upcoming events. Also, much of your activity and profiles on social media sites can be made “public,” meaning they can be indexed by search engines – one more way to make sure your business or organization comes up as the answer when someone is searching for a local solution to a problem. 9. Social media can make a big difference for your email marketing. Sharing your email newsletter across your social networks can open your content up to a whole new audience and finally generate the type of buzz you’ve been looking for. Not only that, but you can also use sites like Facebook to attract more readers by including a “Join My Mailing List” form right on your Page. Together, these two powerful tools have reshaped the marketing landscape and have really leveled the playing field for small businesses trying to better connect with current customers and reach new audiences for their business. 10. Social media is everywhere. Today, more than half of all Americans are smartphone users and more and more businesses are offering mobile-friendly experiences. The benefit of the increased presence of mobile activity in our lives is huge for small businesses. Every major social network (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.) offer free mobile apps that let business owner manage their presence on-the-go. For a site like Twitter, 60% of its entire user base is connected via their smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. These users aren’t just sharing updates from their own lives, they’re searching for businesses, products, and services, and connecting with brands through their social channels.