Benefits of Social Media for Small Business
Social Media are computer-based applications and tools that enable users to create, share, and exchange information and ideas to other online users via virtual networks and communities. The most outstanding social media networking sites include: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google + and Yelp among many others. The use of these social media for business tools confer lots of benefits to the users thereof some of which include, but are certainly not limited to the following:
Improved Monitoring of Customers
It is much easier for small businesses to study and learn their customers more effectively via social media platforms than through traditional media of advertising such as newspapers, magazines, radio, billboards and television. This is accomplished through analytical tools such as Facebook’s Insights in Hootsuite which tracks customer’s ages, gender, languages, geographical spread e.t.c. all of which can be used for targeted advertising. Whether you’re in Modesto or New York, these platforms facilitate options for your business and your audience.
Enhanced Customer Experiences
The social media tools enable small businesses to interact directly with their clientele unlike the traditional media. It is possible to receive complaints directly from customers and at the same time deliver a substantive feedback. In this ways, the concerns of customers are addressed with minimal delays which contribute immensely to enhanced customer experiences.
Higher Search Engine Rankings
Search engine rankings refer to the order in which the website of a given business may appear when looked up in a search engine such as Google. This order is usually arrived at by incorporating among others, the presence of that particular business in social media. It therefore implies that an active social media presence leads to higher search engine rankings which in turn lead to higher flow of traffic into the business.
Reduced Cost of Marketing
Social media unlike their traditional counterparts are very cheap and affordable. All that are needed are internet connections, laptop or desktop and a social media executive. In this way, the small business is capable of enjoying all the benefits that accrue from traditional media but in greatly reduced costs which also translates to low operational costs and higher profit margins.
Increased Inbound Traffic to the Business
Considering the fact that active social media presence leads to higher rankings in search engines, and also given the fact that more and more customers are likely to respond to a given advert when placed on social media, these tools lead to greater flow of traffic into the business in terms of customer numbers, business quotes, and internet traffic. This automatically leads to higher revenue inflows.
Improved Brand Recognition
For any business to attain a competitive edge over and above more or less similar businesses, it has to have a very visible and authoritative brand that can be easily recognized. No other platform offers an excellent opportunity for especially small businesses to build their brands more effectively than the social media platform. It is therefore incumbent upon the proprietors of small businesses to invest heavily on this platform for long term benefits.
Through the use of social media platforms, small businesses are capable of widening their spheres of influence and reaching out to as wider a market base as possible in a faster, cheaper, and more convenient manner. This has the impact of widening the market share of a business which in turn translates to higher revenue inflows and greater market share.
Increased Loyalty to the Business
The social media platform enables small businesses to nurture and develop long term relationships which are critical for the stabilization of revenue inflows and the maintenance of a tight grip on the market.
From time to time, a business conducts research on its customers to ascertain their satisfaction with the company’s goods and services; while introducing a brand new product into the market; and while seeking to expand its market among many others. Social media, unlike their traditional media counterparts enable a very timely, flawless, and inexpensive mode of obtaining these critical pieces of information.
Social Media, though largely in its infancy, is here to stay. Therefore, the earlier, the better since the longer the business waits, the more it is likely to lose out in the long run. It is therefore incumbent upon all proprietors of small businesses to immediately take advantage of these social media for business services that the platform has to offer in order to begin reaping its benefits soonest possible.