So, you own a small business. There is always so much to do when running a business but oftentimes, for small business owners, you wear so many hats that every day is like Halloween – having to wear a new costume – Eh, weak pun, I know.
Between balancing the books, developing the product or services, delivering those products or services, inventory, sales, marketing, customer service, employees, management, building upkeep, legal (icky) stuff, taxes (more icky stuff) …. You get it – I could go on for DAYS. You are often tasked with all of this, or most of it, on your own.
It’s no wonder we look at social media and cringe. Who has the time?! Well, it might kind of stink to hear it – but NOT being on social media can be seriously harming your business.
Here are four reasons your small business needs to be on social media:
Reason #1 – Customers want you to be on social media!
It’s really as simple as that. Be where your customers want you to be. According to Sprout Social, approximately 60% of people say they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media (Sprout Social, 2020). Can you afford to miss out on 60% of your potential following? Probably not.
Of course, having a social media presence is not all about selling – as a matter of fact a huge portion of your strategy should NOT be about selling. But! What you are doing is building relationships with your customers and future customers. Which leads me into reason number two.
Reason #2 – Personalizing the customer experience with relationship building.
Relationship building is seriously the NUMBER ONE thing I love the most about social media. It’s fascinating. There’s no way any of my small business owner readers would walk right up to a random person on the street and ask them what their favorite snack is. Things like that just don’t happen, no matter how outgoing you are. Or maybe it does for you, which is cool and I want to know where you get your energy! However, for the rest of us who are less brazen, social media makes that possible. Once you start a conversation, you can build a genuine relationship.
Personalizing the customer and treating them as they are – an individual – makes all the difference in gaining traction with your brand or increasing your online presence. People simply do not like being treated like an income. They are not there to give you money. Your customers are there to be involved with you; relate with you and your brand. They want to know you and they want to feel invested in you. So, you need to do all those things with them. Involve yourself with them, relate to them, get to know them, and become invested in their lives. Social media makes this easier than ever!
For me personally, this circles back into why I started my small business. I want to help people. I want to help the customer. That is my passion. That is my drive. I know that I can do that even better on social media.
Reason #3 – Social Listening
Social media gives you a resource to do so much as a small business owner. You can reach customers that you never dreamed of. Sounds cliché but it’s true! You can find people talking about your brand ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE. Then you can strike up a conversation with that customer and other customers and start building real personal relationships with people.
Let’s put it into perspective. Say a customer comes into your store, enjoys your product, and then makes a post about it on social media. If you aren’t there, how would you see this and interact with them? It’s not like you can actually follow your customers everywhere they go in real life …. creepy! But you can monitor what they are talking about on social media.
Also, how do you know what they are saying about you once they leave your shop, if anything? Aside from delivering what I’m sure is stellar customer service and products, how do you keep the customer coming back? How do you keep your name in their mind? How are you attracting new potential customers?
Listening to how people are talking about your products or products like yours gives you the opportunity to interact with people who never even knew you existed! You could have the answer to their problems! Why miss out on that?
Reason #4 – Free (or mostly) marketing!
We really don’t need the stats to know that there is a HUGE amount of people using social media. It’s a free service. That translates to FREE marketing. I’m sure you’re spending some money on marketing – or at least, I hope so. Why not take advantage of this free service?
Social media allows you to connect with your customers in a way that traditional marketing efforts fall short with. For example, we talked about how to know what your customers are saying about you. You can do this with social media with the added bonus of commenting and engaging with that conversation.
You also can use that conversation to keep the customer coming back and to keep YOU fresh in their mind. You are literally giving the customer service far after they’ve left the shop. Then, you continue to build that relationship with thoughtful content, engaging responses, and just plain personability.
If you want to put a bit of money into this, you absolutely can, and you can reach more people. Most social platforms have great targeting options for sponsored advertisements to help get you in front of more people who need you. However, creating paid ads is not always necessary, so don’t worry if you can’t.
If you’re reading this nodding, GREAT! You understand the value. But, how in the world will you find the time? Well…. I wouldn’t be in business if I didn’t plug my services here. Set up a call with me and see if I can help you with your struggles. That call is 100% free. No charge. No cash needed! Just about 30 minutes of your time. Even if you’re disagreeing with me….let’s talk.