Why Is Social Media Important for Small Businesses?
If you’re one of the few small businesses that are not yet plugged into social media, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Do you really need to use it, or can you just get by with an optimized website and an e-newsletter? The short answer is yes, you need social media – at least you do if you want to reach customers and stay competitive. Here are just a few reasons why social media is so important for small businesses.
Your customers are already using it.
According to a 2011 report published by Nielson, Americans spend nearly a quarter of their online time on social networks and blogs. This means that chances are much of your target market is already using social media. If you want to reach clients and prospects, you need to be where they are – by using social media you’ll increase the odds that your marketing message will get through to a significant number of them.
It will give you a competitive advantage.
Even though you may not be using social media, your competitors probably are. If that’s the case, you’ll want to add it to your marketing strategy ASAP, or risk falling behind. And if your competitors haven’t yet ventured into social media, rejoice – you can get a leg up on them by taking advantage of this marketing channel before they do.
It will help you connect with your clients and prospects.
Most marketing channels are one-way in nature – a business sends out its marketing message, and the consumer receives it. With social media, you can actually have a conversation. Social media helps to create a community of fans and followers that see you as more than just a business entity. They’ll view you as someone they trust, and people buy from those they trust.
Social media isn’t just for the big boys – it’s a valuable marketing tool for small businesses, as well. It’s here to stay – at least for the foreseeable future – so take the leap and reap the many rewards it offers.