The Importance of Social Media For Small Businesses

Kymber Heinze
Kymber Heinze

Director of Social Media

Many paper social icons with logo of most popular social networks and smartphone apps for chat and conversations online

As a business owner, it’s always important to revisit and revamp your marketing strategy regularly. With so many options available for marketing initiatives, it’s hard to know which is the most important and effective. Implementing initiatives that are cost-effective, flexible, and effective can be challenging. In our digitally driven world, social media marketing can be one of the most beneficial initiatives for businesses across all industries and sizes. Here are 10 reasons to consistently use social media for small businesses. 

Cost- Effective Marketing Option

All major social media are free to use. This fact makes social media platforms – whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or TikTok – one of the most cost-effective marketing tactics to utilize. All platforms have their benefits and features that appeal to different audiences. Choosing the appropriate platform and strategy is vital for success on social media. 

Target Audiences on a Granular Level 

Targeted marketing on social media platforms is a powerful tool for small businesses. All platforms allow businesses to target specific demographics including age, gender, geographical location and in some instances interests. When utilizing ads or boosts, this will help you reach your ideal client on a more targeted level. Additionally, businesses can also target their ads to specific interests and behaviors which can help increase the chances of reaching potential customers who are more likely to be interested in their products or services. Overall, targeting the right demographics on all social media platforms can help businesses reach their customers more efficiently and effectively.

Increased Visibility

Having a presence on social media can significantly increase a small business’s visibility and organic reach. When a business creates and uses social media accounts, it allows them to reach a larger audience in a shorter amount of time than they would be able to through traditional marketing methods. Because social media is strictly digital, these platforms provide businesses with the ability to share their products and services with a global audience if they desire. Social media platforms also offer features such as hashtags, which make it easy for people to discover new businesses and products. Utilizing all features including stories and reels gives businesses multiple options to share their brand stories and products in a way that feels authentic and engaging to them. 

Improve Customer Service

Whether you are using Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok or anything in between, social media provides small businesses with an easy way to interact with their customers. This can potentially help increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. By creating a presence on social media, businesses can chat or respond to their customers in real time. Doing this will help build trust and establish a personal connection. Businesses can also use social media to gather feedback from customers and make improvements to their products and services. Overall, social media can be a powerful tool for small businesses looking to improve customer engagement, build trust and increase customer satisfaction.

Maintain + Monitor Brand Reputation 

Using social media for monitoring brand reputation is an effective and efficient way for businesses to maintain a positive online presence. Many tools allow businesses to track mentions of their brand which will allow them to respond quickly to any positive comments, negative comments or reviews. This can be a powerful way to address customer complaints and resolve issues before they escalate and damage a business’s reputation. Monitoring brand reputation consistently online can also help businesses identify and capitalize on positive feedback by sharing it with a wider audience. This can be used to improve overall marketing efforts. Moreover, monitoring brand reputation can also provide businesses with valuable insights into customer perception and areas that may need improvement. 

Measure Performance 

There are many ways to measure and understand the performance of social media campaigns for a business. Here are some of the most common methods to measure social media performance:

Insights: Most social media platforms have built-in insights that allow businesses to track key metrics such as engagement, organic and paid reach, click-through rates and audience growth.

Goals and Conversions: Using Google Analytics, you can track the path of your visitors from social media to your website and identify what actions they take, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter. This data can then be used to optimize your social media strategy and increase conversion rates.

Customer Feedback + Reviews: Businesses can easily gather feedback from customers through post-purchase surveys. This approach will provide a business with a better understanding of how their social media campaigns are influencing customer perceptions of their brand. Paying attention to reviews will also help a business gauge its brand perception and the effectiveness of its operations. 

Create Brand Awareness + Loyalty: There are many ways to create brand awareness and loyalty on social media for businesses including:

  • Consistency: Consistency is king! By maintaining a consistent brand image and posting consistently across all social media platforms, a brand can expect to increase brand recognition and awareness. This includes but is not limited to using consistent colors, logos, fonts, sizing and messaging across all platforms.
  • Authenticity: Gone are the days of having a perfect appearance as a company. Customers are more likely to follow, engage with and purchase from a brand that appears real versus fake.  Being authentic and transparent in your social media interactions can help build trust with your audience and create a sense of loyalty.
  • Engagement: Engaging with your audience by responding to or liking comments, messages and reviews can help create a sense of community around your brand. This will also make your audience feel heard. For potential new customers, this will also come off as authentic and like a business cares. 
  • Share Valuable Content: You can do all the right things, however, if you are not sharing valuable, informative, and interesting content that aligns with your brand’s values and mission, the engagement and following will not fall in line. This can help establish your brand as an industry leader and instill confidence in your brand.

Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience on any social media platform is crucial for businesses looking to create effective social media campaigns. These insights don’t stop here. Having a true understanding of who your audience is and any information about them can help with all of your marketing initiatives and targeting across the board. So in a sense, social media can be used as a support tool for other marketing initiatives as well.  Social media offers unique insights into your audience including age, gender, geographical location, interests and more. By understanding the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your target audience, businesses will have a better starting point for their marketing strategy and campaigns. 

Grow Your Following

This should go without saying, but as mentioned earlier in this article, social media can easily and effectively reach a large number of people in a short amount of time cost-effectively. This is essential for all businesses alike, but particularly for smaller businesses. The higher reach a business has, the more potential customers you get in front of. There are many ways to grow your following including boosting, investing in ads, or running promotions and contests. 

Ultimately, businesses should always keep two things in mind for an effective approach to social media: be authentic and be consistent. Expect growth to take time. Always be evaluating and make changes when needed. When utilized properly, social media can be one of the strongest initiatives for a business no matter what goal is set in place.