Is your small business already a ninja when it comes to social media? If not, you could be making the same mistake as my old employer who was hesitant to get on board with a Facebook profile and a Twitter account. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes any small business—be it a bakery, marketing firm, real estate agent, or pet store—can make is ignoring the value of social media.
Don’t ignore this free, global-reaching marketing opportunity
So if you’re a business owner that shrugs off social media as something that juts the kids are doing—you are missing out on an incredibly free marketing opportunity—one that your direct competition is probably already doing. The power that social media harnesses is definitely worth your time and effort (i.e., via blogging, Tweeting, creating and managing an active Facebook profile), however, like any marketing effort, you need to put in the adequate time and work before you’re going to see the results (i.e., any impact on your bottom line).
The research says is all! Thousands of sources show that social media holds remarkable opportunities for small businesses who are willing to invest in it. For example, Zoomerang interviewed 1,180 small- to mid-sized business (SMB) business owners (or decision-makers within companies, like CEOs) as well as 500 consumers for a study that asked, “What are the 3 most important reasons that small businesses utilize social media”? The answers were unanimous:
- To connect with customers and potential customers
- For free self-promotion
- To appear relevant online
Social media marketing has reinvented the business marketing environment—for customers as well as business owners. It’s true; customers embrace social media—to search for and do research on businesses before making an in-store visit. Plus, many would rather buy online from a reputable vender than deal with a business with a bad reputation (or no online reputation) in their own community.
If you aren’t already convinced, the following 7 statistics will show you why your business should embrace social media—ninja-style:
- 1.Social media is great for business—especially small business trying to establish relationships with customers as well as online credibility.
- 2.50% of small business owners say social media has helped them gain new customers, and give the majority of credit to social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- 3. 64% of Twitter users claim they are more likely to make a purchase from the businesses and brands they follow via the social network.
- 4. And small businesses spend less time Tweeting, blogging, and answering customer questions than you’d expect with 60% of business owners claiming they spend less than $100 on social media efforts per year.
- 5. Potential customers expect to businesses on the social media networks they’re spending their time—with Facebook members “liking” a brand page every 20 minutes; while 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks.
- 6. With over 80% of all Americans engaged in a social network and approximately 23% of online time spent devoted to social networks, small businesses would be foolish not to be a part of this free marketing tactic.
- 7. Think about it this way—the average Facebook user has approximately 130 friends and “likes” 80 pages, events, and groups, which belong to brands and businesses.
Are you going to let your competition take all the glory?
About The Author
This guest post is contributed by Colleen Harding, who regularly writes for a car accident attorney in Louisiana. She welcomes your comments at her email ID: colleenaharding [at] gmail [dot] com.