How social media marketing benefits businesses

How Important Is Social Media for All Types of Businesses?

The rise of social media has given birth to a new generation of business-minded people. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc, have helped many businesses to build a flourishing empire. Social media has effectively promoted opportunities and created new ones for small businesses. Many businesses are leading the way in the digital world.

  1. It is an essential place for businesses to grab the attention of potential customers. 
  2. Businesses have benefited greatly from social media since it allows them to make sales with fewer costs.
  3. Small businesses use social media effectively to connect with customers or build lasting relationships with them.
  4. Social media is a most useful marketing tool for small business owners.
  5. It is a cost-effective way to increase brand recognition with a small investment.
  6. It is a tool to connect with customers, address their concerns, and resolve their issues, which makes social media a high-powered tool for businesses.

Positive impact of social media on small business

Social media has transformed the marketing strategy of small businesses, which has proved beneficial for them. According to the CMO survey, the businesses spent about 13.8% of their budget on marketing in 2022, which was 9.8% a year earlier.

The reasons behind this increase are

  1. Budget-friendly strategies:  Small businesses can now promote themselves at minimal cost. They rely more on time and effort than any significant financial investment. Small businesses willingly sacrifice their time to help their business grow.

  2. Brand recognition: Social media allows small businesses to reach a wider audience, especially potential customers. This strategy is more effective than relying on traditional advertising.

  3. Understanding Customer: Social media provides a direct channel for communication with businesses and customers. This channel helps businesses address the customers' needs and concerns about the products and services.

  4. Boosting traffic and sales: Social media is a great platform to launch a new product or service and effectively promote it. This strategy helps to yield tremendous success as engaging with followers helps businesses create a friendly connection with the brand.

Negative impact of social media on small business

Social media is a commanding tool for small businesses to build their brand and boost sales. However, relying on social media can be challenging for small businesses. 

  1. More than selling: Social media marketing is not one-sided. It is about personal engagement and building relationships with the customers. Small businesses must convey the story of the product rather than just listing its features and benefits to the customer. 

  2. More power to customers: Social media is a good platform for customers to raise their voices. Any negative experience or feedback can quickly run through social media, and it may lead to negative publicity for the businesses. 

  3. Tracking negative comments: Social media is filled with many comments and conversations; therefore, it is very challenging for business owners to monitor and respond to negative statements about their brand. Businesses must include reputation management software to track feedback and enable active customer engagement.

Consumer Behaviour and Social Media

  1. Social proof: Social media acts as a social proof for the customer, a crucial factor influencing consumer behavior. Consumers use social media to see what other people think about the brand's product or services and whether it is a good idea to spend their money or not.

    • Social media influencers play an important role here as Generation Z and millennial consumers trust social media influencers before purchasing.

    • According to Hubspots, U.S. Consumer Trend Report, 2022, 55% of Generation Z respondents consider influencers' recommendations an important factor before purchasing.

    • Online reviews are the crucial indicators that determine the quality of the product or service. According to Bright Locals Consumers survey, 49% of the consumers view online reviews as trustworthy as recommendations from friends and family.

  2. Customer service: Social media platforms are an effective way to communicate with customers. According to Sprout Social Index 2023, 76% of consumers appreciate when the brand prioritizes consumer service and responds promptly to their needs. 

    • The active engagement with the customers and the customer services on social media meets customer expectation and also help businesses build trust and loyalty.

  3. Impulsive buying:  Social media inspires people to make impulsive buying. According to the Bankrate social media survey, 48% of the users make impulse purchases using social media. 60% of those impulsive buyers were Generation Z users who are most active on social media. Impulsive buying is not a good choice as it costs people $754 annually.

Social media tips for small business

  1. Consistency is the key:  Despite millions of users, Social media does not guarantee quick results, which may disappoint businesses. Social media growth often takes time, and you must be consistent to see the positive outcomes. 

    • Consistently post high-quality content. This helps users to visit your profile to get a clear understanding of the brand. A low-quality content might lose the interest of the user.

    • The mix is the key: Be creative and post diverse content on social media. Sometimes, brands find a strategy that works and stick to it, but social media is constantly changing, and what is effective yesterday might not work today. The new features of social media and consumer behavior are shifting rapidly.

    • Be open to experimenting with different content like photos, videos, illustrations, polls, live streams, stop motions, etc.

  2. Quality is the key: Quality is more important than quantity and applies to the posts and social media platforms you choose.

    • It is good to post frequently on social media; the focus should be to provide value with every post. The post should meet the standard and fulfill the goals, like resharing brand-related content for non-competitors or featuring user-generated content. 

    • Small businesses find it more engaging when sharing user-generated social media content.

    • For small businesses, managing accounts on every social platform with limited time and resources can take much work. Concentrating on 1 to 3 platforms that align with the target audience is essential.

  3. The trend is the key: Keep an eye on the trend in the type of content you create or the social media platform you use. Small businesses use live audio chat rooms and short-form videos for the first time to engage with customers, among the biggest trends of the past two years.

    • It is also essential to see the emerging trend align with your brand and audience and invest time and effort to explore and adapt to these new opportunities.

SMART Tips for Small Businesses to Master SMM 

It is vital to keep your efforts on track. Creating SMART goals can help to find answers to important questions while making a strategy.

  • Specific: Why is your small business on social media? Your objectives should be clear and direct. Do you want to connect with customers, boost conversions, or increase website traffic?

  • Measurable: What data or metrics matter most to your business? You should be able to measure your progress. Each social media platform offers different metrics. You can also use Google Analytics and social media listening tools to track engagement and conversions.

  • Attainable: Are your goals achievable? Going viral overnight is rare, so set goals that your business can realistically reach.

  • Relevant: Do your goals align with your company's overall objectives? Are your strategies relevant to your customers? If your content isn't interesting or valuable to your audience, they might ignore it.

  • Timely: How long will it take to achieve your goal? Setting a timeframe is essential. Quarterly goals can be a good starting point, allowing you to assess the effectiveness of your strategies regularly.

Final Words 

The increase in online shopping and social media has complemented each other and raised awareness for small businesses. Social media plays an important role in small businesses to discover potential customers and interact with them. Consistent engagement and connection with the brand are important for small businesses to grow. Apart from having a lot of advantages of social media,  many times, small businesses can face difficulties by not understanding its potential. Businesses must follow a strategy that helps to achieve the ultimate goal.

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Douglas Allan 22 Oct, 2023

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