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How Social Media Affects Small Businesses

Updated on October 30, 2015

People nowadays frequently make use of social media websites. Whether it’s for whiling away the time, staying connected with friends, or simply enjoying the features that different social media websites have, there is a noticeable fondness for social media interaction. Although it started as a way for people to stay in touch and update friends and families about their current status and other happenings in their lives, social media has now evolved into an opportunity for business-minded people as well.

The marketing world has changed because of the features that social media brings. Because a lot of people use social media on a daily basis, business-minded people saw this as an opportunity to reach out to most consumers.

What’s great about social media is that more often than not, it’s free and easy to use and almost anyone can use it. This is what makes it advantageous not only for big businesses who would like to save on marketing and advertising expenses, but it is also beneficial for small businesses who would like to make their presence felt online. Small business owners can benefit from social media use and they can help their business grow through this option.

Increased Awareness

For small businesses in particular, increasing awareness is a very important factor which may contribute to success. Awareness about a small business greatly contributes to how people will recognize a new name. It may begin by having a social media profile which can be easily searched as a business page by people who see the small business’s brick and mortar establishment. A lot of people “check in” on Facebook or tag business names whenever they get services or products from them. By having a social media profile, small businesses are making themselves more accessible to their potential clients.

At the same time, it increases the chances of spreading the word to more people whenever a client talks about the small business through social media. These small things matter because they contribute to the exposure of the small business’s name through the social media behavior and when there are pleased clients, the “recommendation” in form of sharing it through social media helps bolster the positive image of a small business. Social media use for small businesses is great for establishing an online presence which a lot of people today greatly appreciate. Although it seems small, the level of awareness that social media helps achieve for small businesses can really mean a lot.

Promotes Interaction

One of the top benefits of social media for small businesses is that it promotes interaction between the business owner and the customers. It is a great way to interact with potential and returning customers even outside the business establishment itself. Customers like the feeling of being valued and when they get response from the business through social media websites, they do feel like they are given importance and that they are taken seriously by the business. It also helps build the business name in a positive light by showing that the business is active and regularly checks updates on their page especially when it comes from clients.

Through interacting on social media platforms, business owners can also get helpful insight from their clients about the products and services they offer. They can use customer inquiries and other feedback from clients to improve their services and address the needs of their customers better. It gives the business the opportunity to grow from their current stage by taking the interaction to the next level, and using it to improve the business. Apart from promoting customer engagement and awareness, consistent feedback can also be used to fine-tune what the business has to offer.

Contributes to Sales Increase

Awareness can lead to more customers. More customers foster increased interaction. Increased interaction can ultimately lead to higher sales caused by increased curiosity from social media users. Of course, there are a lot of other factors which contribute to the sales that a small business can have, such as the quality of the product and how effective their ads are, but the power of social media when it comes to making people curious about new things cannot be denied. When people on social media see a bunch of other people talking about a new place or a new product, they have the urge to try it out for themselves. From these experimental social media users, a business can have repeat and potentially loyal customers who may turn out to be great assets for the business.

Also, since social media use is more often than not free, there is no need to spend too much. If a business already has a computer and internet connection, all it would take would be to have a few minutes to register and setup the account they can use for interacting with clients online. It’s that simple and the end result will be worth it.

Provides Additional Channels for Advertisements

A lot of businesses have to pay for advertisements through different forms of media—print ads, radio ads, and television ads, to name a few. With social media, it is a whole new platform for advertising and spreading the word out through posts and status updates. Compared to traditional media advertisements, social media advertisements can take less time to prepare and are much simpler to share. Videos, pictures, and text advertisements can help small businesses keep their followers updated when it comes to what they have to offer. Instead of taking time to print paper or shoot videos, the ads can now be done through simpler options like coming up with pictures or graphics and easier video presentations which can be shared online. More accessible advertisements are also shareable on social media which further increases awareness about the small business.

Updates, promos, and other relevant information to the business’s latest endeavors can be shared through social media status updates—by the minute, throughout the day, in several paragraphs or even in just 140 characters. Advertising can be easier and hassle-free, and posts can even be edited should mistakes ever happen—something which poses quite a hassle for those who still make use of traditional advertisement methods.

Small Businesses for Social Media

While there are several advantages of social media websites, business owners still ought to remember that there are also pitfalls when using social media such as having a negative image, not being able to regularly maintain the website, and even getting hacked at times when security has been compromised. Because of such risks, it would definitely be wise to first have a thorough understanding of how social media can best benefit a business and if the small business owners can manage this kind of addition to their business profile. This is so that risks of compromising the business can be avoided.

Taking on this avenue for growth and online recognition can help a small business a lot. Social media has truly changed the game when it comes to marketing – which is why today’s small businesses can have a road to success which they can shape based on how they use the opportunities given to them. Ultimately, their success would depend on how well they manage it, which is why careful use of social media should be considered by small business owners today.

Do you think social media will play a huge impact on the success of a small business?

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    Geri MIleff 2 years ago from Czech Republic

    Thank you, @gmrtranscription :)

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    Beth Worthy 2 years ago from USA

    Points you have discussed in your article is really very informative and helpful especially for small businesses. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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