When it comes to small businesses, every little way to get ahead of your competition counts. There’s just no other way around it. Small business owners don’t have the luxury to neglect small picture marketing techniques, so they need to pay close attention to every aspect of their company.
The one thing all small businesses have encountered throughout their existence is the fact that people don’t know who they are, what they do, or where they can be found. How can a business owner solve this issue? It’s easy. Social media is the first step to take.
A good social media strategy helps in more ways than one:
Getting noticed online for lower prices
Small businesses usually can’t afford the high advertising costs of TV ads, outdoor banners, fliers, leaflets and commercial prints, and have a hard time attracting customers to their ‘shop’. While online ads are a lot cheaper than advertising on TV or outdoors, prices still vary depending on the company’s activity.
This is why social media is the best alternative for small businesses. With social media, not only is it free to promote your products, your services, and your company, but you also have the capacity of controlling the entire communication process. You decide how much you want to get involved and you decide who to target in order for your company to get in touch with future clients. Social media is a must for small businesses and the above-stated reasons are one of the most important on why it is crucial to have a strong online presence.
The ability to know your customers and understand their needs
Not only does social media allow you to promote your business, thus increasing the chances of landing new clients, but it’s also the best place to go (as a small business) in order to start knowing your customers.
Social media is the place where your customers are already spending a lot of time, all you need to do is start analyzing their behavior. Start interacting with them. Ask them about their needs. Respond to their questions regarding your company. Collect the feedback and start making iterations to your product/service, if the situation calls for it. Soon you will have a more adaptable product to the current market needs and you will have already had established a relationship with your future clients.
Social networks help business owners in doing valuable research for their activity sector at fractions of the costs (close to zero) of what a specialized agency would ask for.
A large variety of platforms to choose from
You may not find your future clients on social media right away. Big changes don’t just happen over night and you will not (most probably) be getting clients calling you the next day after you have set up your social media accounts. No, it simply doesn’t work like that, but no need to worry. It’s still a whole lot easier, more efficient and cost-effective than any other available methods for businesses on a budget.
Let’s say you have created your Twitter account and started tweeting about your products, services, your company, your industry, and you may have even started interacting with a few prospects. However, new clients are still not coming. What should you do? Well, the good news is that if something doesn’t work on Twitter (let’s say) right away, you can always switch to LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, or wherever you think the majority of your target audience may be present. With over 2 billion people on social media, your clients are certainly on one of the networks.
It just takes time to get to know a social network, its mechanism and the way people interact on it. If you put in the time to develop your company’s social accounts and interact with people on a constant basis, you’ll get to collect the fruits of your labour and build steady business relationships with your clients on the long term.
Social media is a definite must not just for small business owners, but for all companies. However, when you have a small business, or when you’re just starting out as a company, if you’re not present on social media, you basically don’t exist. And when you don’t exist, it’s pretty hard to find new clients. Social media is not just important for small businesses, it’s essential.