Top 5 Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Small Business

We were asked by a customer recently:
  • How do we get more people to see our social media?
  • What are the benefits of social media marketing, and
  • Do you blog?
Small business is often targeted by marketers singing the praises of social media marketing.
“Promote your brand and grow your business by 500% in just 12 months”
 
Wow, yes please!!!!!!
When social media first came on the scene it was seen as the next ‘big thing’.  Here was a new platform where you could directly interact with your customers.  This is still very much the case.  Your customers can recommend you, ask you questions and you can inform them of new products and/or services plus run promotions that can generate new business.
“To some entrepreneurs, social media marketing is the “next big thing,” a temporary yet powerful fad that must be taken advantage of while it’s still in the spotlight. To others, it’s a buzzword with no practical advantages and a steep, complicated learning curve.” – Jayson DeMers, Forbes.com
But all the buzz, hype and marketers selling the dream aside what the are the benefits of social media marketing for small business?  In the real world of small business what difference does social media make?  

Here are the top 5 benefits of social media marketing for small business:

1) Reinforce your branding
You will be increasing your businesses visibility, placing your brand in a place where your customers can draw the attention of their friends to your business by sharing your content or commenting on your posts.  This makes you easier and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers.
2) Increase your website traffic
Every social media network is another sign post to your business website. Just like any sign post though, you want them to be well-maintained and represent your business well. Make sure your content represents your brand and your business professionally and links back to your website.
3) Improve your search engine rankings
Yep.  Social media counts for search engine rankings.  So if being found on Google is important to you, then social media is an important part of your online marketing mix.
4) Communicate with your customers and get to know them better.
Social media is a communication channel with your customers.  They can leave reviews, post on your wall, respond to content and ask you questions.  It is also an opportunity to learn what your customers respond to most and learn how to better interact with them.
5) Richer customer experience.
You can take the customer relationship into the digital realm by offering them the chance to win through a competition, interact with a review or testimonial for instance.  This can work in many ways and will change for different businesses.  For instance a tourism business may post photos of customers enjoying their time and that can act as an additional service for customers that they can share that memory with a friend.  For a business to business relationship you can help promote other local businesses or business events and interact with your business customers by sharing news of their products.
Social media marketing takes time to master and time to actually do but, when done right, it can lead to more customers, more traffic, and more conversions.  
For further information, check out these detailed articles:
“When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. “ – Jayson DMers, Forbes.com
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