Social Media has given a wonderful tool to small businesses, enabling them to interact directly with their customers. They can now get their message out there, at very low cost and compete more equally with big brands on that level.
1. Increase your business exposure
Social Media gives access to a very large number of users, which can help promote your business or brand to a much wider audience. You can now be playing with the big brands out there. Before Social Media, it was almost impossible for small businesses to compete with big brands, when you only had a tiny fraction of their marketing budget. You can now engage in the same playing field & reach out to the same potential customers.
2. Insight about your customers
Having that direct contact with customers can give you a real insight about your customers and what they are looking for. This is the best market research you will find. It is real time and can help you tweak your products and services.
3. Create a deep relationship with your customers
Listening and responding to your customers will also forge and increase their loyalty. And what better than happy loyal customers and fans who are happy to be recommending you?
4. Increase traffic
Interesting posts that link back to your site can generate a reasonable amount of traffic. More traffic means more leads and in turn more sales. You could therefore notice your sales volume increase through good social media management.
5. A low cost Marketing tool
Social Media is one of the most cost effective way to promote your brand to your customers or prospects, which can reduce your overall marketing costs. The main cost of using social media sites is a timely one, unless of course, you decide to use their paid advertising features.
However, if you do have a marketing budget, then advertising on social media sites can be highly rewarding. You can target users directly, using specific parameters such as interests, demographics or keywords.
This great marketing tool does however come at a cost and can carry a risk. The cost is the time you will need to manage your online reputation. You will not only need to plan your social media activity carefully, you will also need to monitor any mention of your brand and respond wisely.
The risk is for your accounts to look poor. Your social media account activity will need to be consistent and regular. Using a social media management tool such as Hootsuite will prove vital if you want to be efficient. It enables you to monitor everything from keywords to mentions and allows you to schedule posts. Without it, you would probably end up having to check Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and others all day long.