• Natasha Regan

Social Media & Small Businesses

Social media is a must for small businesses there are so many benefits for a business when you showcase your brand online! With 3 billion people across the globe using social media and 80% of those users following at least 1 business online, its no longer an option to be on social media it is essential.

There are lots of different platforms to showcase your brand Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Pinterest plus many many more but these are the most popular go to social media platforms to use. Each platform needs its own social media strategy as they are very different from each other.

Instagram is all around photos of peoples daily lives, from a business aspect it is used to showcase your products or services and Instagram stories can be used to humanise your brand so your customers can really get to know you as a business and the faces behind that brand.

Facebook is powerful when it comes to the market place selling your products via this facebook tool, its very powerful for networking by creating a page for your business and connecting with your potential customers on one of the biggest platforms out there

Twitter is a different kind of place for business compared to the 2 above its great for connecting with people, you are able to send out tweets with limited characters out into the world and twitter will filter where it needs to be via your followers and hashtags, but I have found it most useful for adding your website links gaining more traffic for your website where people are able to get more information from you since your tweet was limited in how many words you can place in them.

Pinterest is a very large community of people sharing many things of things they like or want, recipes, things they have made and so on it is a great place as a business offering a product to go through and if you see someones post and it is something they want and you make something similar or with the same aesthetics you can connect with that person or peoples and promote your brand gaining potential customers ( do not spam promoting your brand it’s to a good look)

Linkedin is more about who you know, you can make “connections” with users on the platform promote your brand, write blogs and post them on your profile with a link to your blogging website or your online shop, connect with suppliers, people in a similar industry linked in is a very powerful platform for networking and can take you and your business very far if used correctly.

So what are the main advantages of using social media for your business?

It promotes brand awareness when company’s have joined a platform and sometimes backed with an ad campaign they have noticed an uplift in brand awareness and a boost in sales. 60% of Instagram users have said they discovered brands via Instagram that they are now following, so its not just for large company’s to gain even more brand awareness its a great place for startups and small businesses to showcase their products or services and start connecting with potential customers.

Customer service, as a small business its not usually necessary to have a whole department in customer service just yet, social media is a perfect tool to deal with this side of things in your business, potential customers are able to send you a message or comment on your posts with questions they may have about your brand and you have the means to reply quickly, customers who have already bought from you are able to send direct messages (DM’s) with any complaints that may arise and again you are able to reply quickly and efficiently to resolve any issues, it also adds a personal touch with bigger company’s as a customer you get sent through all these different channels to finally get an answer and sometimes its not the answer you was ever looking for leaving the customer frustrated with the business and sometimes not going back to shop with that brand due to their bad experience, as a small business you have the advantage of being able to add the personal touch which means the world to a customer who at the end of each interaction will feel valued And happy to shop with you again!

Increasing your web traffic, be sure too add your website link into your profile bio‘s on Facebook & linkedin, twitter you can add the link onto posts so when people click it will direct them to your website increasing your traffic to your page, I advise if you are showcasing a product and you are adding your website link make sure the link directs them to the product you showcased in your post. This makes an easy and enjoyable shopping experience for your customer and from that page they are able to browse the rest on your website, but they may be clicking that link just for that one product you were showcasing.

20%-50% this percentage is word of mouth, 20-50% of sales are influenced through word of mouth, being on social media and gaining a presence and a good reputation means you can start partnering with influencers on platforms, how many people buy things just because influencers have bought them or own them or have spoken good things about products, the answer is most of them, we currently live in a world where people want to live these influencer lives so partnering with an influencer brings you a lot of brand awareness, will generate sales and open many doors of opportunity for you.

Ad campaigns, Facebook have a very user friendly ad campaign system its very simple for anyone to use and lets you adjust settings so you can reach the correct audience by making your ad targeted choosing age, location, Hashtags, and so on It also has a simple page to track your ad campaign and see what is and isn’t working, Ridiculously affordable they most difficult part of running an Ad campaign has nothing to do with facebook its down to you and the ad you are going to create to grab users attention to click on the link to your website!

So in summary a small or startup business NEEDS to be on social media it is so essential this day and age there are of course some downsides which is it can be very time consuming planning content ( you must plan ahead with your content!) posting it at the correct times, using insights and analysing what needs to be changed in regards of hashtags or content, hashtag research everything to do with social media is all time consuming manual work but there are tools online to help with some of these issues or there is people like me who live to do all the nitty gritty of social media because we have the time and enjoy it! So hiring a social media manager is also an option most are affordable ( like me) and we do all the hard work for you giving you more time to spend on your business in some packages customer service aspect of your business is included so that is another worry of your shoulders!

The pros out way the cons of social media so what are you waiting for start building your brands online presence... don’t wait till tomorrow!

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