A recent study by the National Small Business Administration found that 27% of small businesses are not yet using social media. This statistic is down from 53% in 2010. Use of social media platforms among small businesses is growing dramatically for good reason. Social media now accounts for almost a quarter of the time Americans spend online, and nearly three quarters of users say they are more likely to purchase from a company that they follow on a social networking site. Small business owners are understanding more and more that that social media activity is an easy and inexpensive way to dramatically increase visibility and share information with targeted markets.
With over a billion users worldwide, Facebook is the obvious first choice for social media marketing. The average smartphone user checks Facebook 14 times per day. Considering the site’s incredible popularity and the ubiquity of social media use among consumers, Facebook provides an excellent opportunity for top-of-mind marketing. It allows you to place your brand in front of your audience on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, small, local businesses that do not engage on Facebook are at a decided disadvantage, since 91% of users report that they use the platform to find local businesses.
Facebook is also an excellent way to build relationships with potential customers. The average Facebook user has around 130 friends, so any mention made of your business on the site can result in significant exposure. By being actively involved in conversations about your business and your industry, you can build rapport and trust with potential customers. If your company already has a website (and better yet, a regular blog that provides useful content), you can further foster these relationships by linking to your website, where visitors can learn more about your business and all you have to offer.
Twitter, which claims 232 million active monthly users, is also an excellent way to connect with potential customers. The use of hashtags allows you to organize your posts so that users with particular interest in the topics of your Tweets can find them easily. This allows you to target your audience as well as reach users who may not otherwise see your posts. You can also use hashtags on Facebook and other platforms, but Twitter users are particularly savvy about them and use them regularly to view content that fits their interests.
Of course, the goal is not just to get people to read your content; it is to win new customers. Twitter is an effective tool to this end, since users have shown that they value the platform for finding products and services. A company’s number of followers is directly correlated with its frequency of Tweets. 49% of Twitter users follow at least one company, and 37% make a purchase from a brand that they follow. These data strongly suggest that if you regularly put out interesting and engaging Tweets, you will gain followers, and consequently, you will gain customers.
The benefit is not only increased exposure. Just like on Facebook, you can take advantage of your Twitter exposure by directing followers to your website, where you can further demonstrate the quality and value of your products or services, build relationships with visitors, and gain their trust.
Other Social Media Platforms
Although Facebook and Twitter are the most obvious choices to begin your social media campaign, there are additional benefits to be gained by adding other platforms as well. Google+ activity can directly influence your search engine rank. Yelp’s review feature is particularly helpful for B2C business serving local customers, and LinkedIn is important for making connections within the business world. Your particular social media campaign should be shaped by the individual needs and goals of your business.
Blue Frog Marketing assists our customers in devising social media campaigns to fit their goals and creating material that gets people talking about their businesses. We use detailed analytic reporting to make sure that our customers progress toward their goals and receive worthwhile return on their investment. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your small business kick off its social media campaign.