Small Businesses and Social Media

If your small business doesn’t use social media, you’re missing out on a low cost marketing tool that allows direct communication with your customers. Take a look at the stats on social media usage by age group (according to the Pew Internet fact sheets):

  • 18-29: 90%
  • 30-49: 78%
  • 50-64: 65%
  • 65+: 46%

And these:

  • One billion people actively use Facebook every month
  • 500,000 people use Twitter every month
  • Google’s +1 button is used 2+ billion times each day
  • 5 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every hour
  • 3,600 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every hour

Here are a few benefits of using social media:

Better Customer Service – People often take to Twitter to ask questions or make comments about their experiences with businesses. If you’re there to answer or respond quickly and genuinely, fans will appreciate it and be more likely to repeat their behavior which leads to the next point.

Brand Recognition and Trust – When people are pleased with their interactions with your company, they’re more likely to recommend you to their friends. Plus, seeing you active on social media can reinforce the fact that they can trust that you’ll respond to any contact they try to make in a timely manner.

Reputation Management – You know the old adage: if someone is happy, they’ll tell one person. If a person isn’t happy, they’ll tell 10. If something does go wrong and those 10 people get told, social media is an easy way to quickly deal with the situation and help resolve the issue in a public way.

Virtual Sales Team – When it comes to recommendations for products and services, people trust people they know far more than any sophisticated marketing campaign.If you can get a few people to promote your products, then their friends may promote those products – and boom, you’ve got a chain reaction of promotion.

Social media isn’t for everyone. As with any new endeavor, there’s always the possibility that it can do more harm than good. In order for social media to be effective, it can’t be ignored. You have to be able to respond swiftly and in positive ways. If you don’t have the time to devote to monitoring your pages and posting new information, you might be better off avoiding getting social.

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