There’s simply no denying the benefits of social media for businesses big and small. When used right, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn are powerful vehicles for small business growth. There are opportunities for sales, marketing, branding, and beyond! That said, far and away the best reason for increasing social media presence is to drive awareness with your target audience.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of social media for business and how to build customer relationships that grow your following.
The importance of social media marketing
How does social media help small businesses attract new customers? For starters, it levels the playing field. You don’t need a billion-dollar marketing budget to stand out on social media. Moreover, you can communicate authentically with your followers. It’s a direct, powerful way to leverage your brand’s messaging, and it’s a two-way medium that can even foster conversation with potential customers.
Social media marketing puts you in control of what you say, how you say it, when you say it, and who you say it to. This is extremely important when you consider that most people spend at least 2.5 hours on social media daily. It’s your best chance to get your small business’ message in front of people who need to see it.
The benefits of social media for customer growth
Social media offers some clear customer acquisition benefits for small businesses—especially over other types of marketing or advertising. Some of the biggest benefits of increasing social media presence include:
- Highly specific targeting tools to help narrow your scope of advertising
- Frequent usership that makes it easy to get your message in front of people
- Algorithmic news feeds that ensure your message gets seen by users
- Very low cost of advertising; it’s free to post your own content
- Multimedia post opportunities, including text, picture, video, links, etc.
Simply put: social media lets you control your marketing and advertising approach. This is useful if you’re targeting specific customers or establishing a specific brand tone. Social media gives you the power to tailor your message.
Different ways to drive customer growth
Wondering how to build customer relationships through social media? Here’s a look at 5 effective tactics for driving customer growth on social platforms:
- Use multimedia. Post pictures and use videos that get people to stop scrolling and start engaging. Did you know that tweets with video see 10x more engagement? Make it visual and you’ll make an impression.
- Prompt your audience. Ask questions, put up polls, and generally give people a reason to interact with your business on social media. And, don’t forget to follow up with responses that show how attentive you are!
- Take advantage of targeting. If you pay for social media ads, think hard about who you’re targeting—and how. Send specific messaging to specific groups to maximize the effectiveness of the value proposition you’re trying to relay.
- Post at the right time. Pay attention to the latest engagement statistics (available through social media) and post when your target audience is most active. Posting at the right time can help you pique the interest of new customers.
- Give people a reason to click. Sharing funny memes or a daily joke is fun, but it doesn’t drive customer growth. Make sure you’re also sprinkling in benefits-driven prompts that encourage viewers to become customers.
The real tip for increasing social media presence? Be present. If you’re active and engaged on social media, your followers will care more about your brand and your business.
Examples of companies that win on social media
If you want to see the true benefits of social media for business, there are plenty of strong examples out there. Check out a few of these enterprise-level players that know exactly how to use their social media to engage customers:
- Cisco uses Twitter to engage followers with news, testimonials, and insights.
- IBM uses LinkedIn to recognize and celebrate the achievements of its workforce.
- Microsoft posts stunning visuals on Facebook to keep people inspired and engaged.
- Starbucks’ Instagram is influencer-esque, with vibrant, aspirational images.
Use these platform leaders as inspiration for your small business’ social media efforts. Each example showcases the power of a customer-centric strategy, and is effective at keeping followers engaged.
Social media is a powerful tool for small businesses
The benefits of social media for business are extensive, and there’s a huge opportunity for budding companies to grow their customer base simply by being active on these platforms. Social media and business growth are intertwined. What is your small business doing to capitalize on the power of social platforms?