Five reasons why you should invest in social media if you’re a small business owner

Are you making the most of social media for your business? Digital marketing consultant for luxury brands, Kerry Coleman shares five reasons why she believes it’s essential for small businesses.

When I first sat down to write this article, I started by making a list of all the benefits social media has to offer businesses, from entrepreneurs to global brands. Once I added in the value my clients have seen in their own businesses, the list quickly grew, and I was soon into double figures.

I could have written a huge list of benefits, and let you decipher whether any of the points on it were relevant or valuable to your business.

However, I thought it may be more helpful to focus on just five convincing reasons why I believe business owners should not just ‘do’ social media, but genuinely invest proper time and money in it. So here they are.

1) For brand awareness

The opportunity and capacity social media can offer you in terms of raising awareness of your brand, whether that brand is you or a much larger business, is huge.

That said you need to do some leg work to capitalise on the potential of getting yourself in front of your ideal audience, you simply can’t expect people to come to you.

Being social should be on the top of your to-do list and by this, I mean engaging in groups, on posts, and commenting on other pages on the platforms you have chosen to focus your efforts. Developing relationships online is a great way for people to get to know who you are and where you are.

Thinking about what content you are going to post is also going to be vitally important. This is your opportunity to be interesting, inspiring and show the personality of your brand.

You want to be posting content that encourages people to comment, that people will want to read, share, repost, and leave them wanting to come back for more.

It does take time to foster and nurture loyal customers through social media, however it is worth it when they start sharing and raising your brand profile for you on their channels.

2) To generate sales

It feels as though we are turning the clock back on how we as the consumer like to be treated when it comes to buying. I don’t know about you, but I love that personal touch, whether it’s online or in real life, when the business owner takes time to help you find that perfect gift, product or service that’s just right for you.

By using social media, you can really get to know your customers, and they can get to know you. You can make yourself available to answer their questions, have a conversation with them in real time and, give them access to your knowledge and expertise at the touch of a button.

Social media also allows you to sell from posts, tag products and direct traffic to your ecommerce site, offering your customers an easy way to shop with you whenever and wherever they are.

3) To look after your customers

Sadly, twice as many people will tell others about bad customer service than good. Which brings me on to the third reason why businesses should use social media.

By creating an inclusive space where your customers can engage social media for their customer service needs, you can acknowledge and respond to inquiries, reviews and complaints quickly and effectively.

Demonstrating exceptional customer service will not only enhance your reputation and build trust, it will show your customers that you listen to them and value their contribution.

I read somewhere recently that you wouldn’t leave a visitor to your office or customer in your store looking lost or unattended, so why should this be any different online. Be helpful and attentive and always meet negativity with a positive approach.

4) To promote your business

Social media platforms offer businesses of all sizes a free or affordable method of promoting their business, whether that’s marketing a product, service, or event.

Making use of blogs, vlogs, videos, engaging images, the possibilities are endless when it comes to getting your message out there. However constant self-promotion is unlikely to win you lots of business.

People don’t like to be sold to, although they do like you to solve their problems. Therefore, it’s important to strike a balance and mix it up with great engaging content and promotional posts.

5) To tell your business story

Finally, the last reason I believe businesses should be harnessing the power of social media is because it is the ideal space in which to develop and tell your business story and take your customers on the journey with you.

Your business story is more than just the product you sell, and it’s more than just you, it’s about your customers too. Share with your audience the core values and vision behind your brand, your strengths, your weaknesses, and how your product or service came to be.

By being transparent, consistent and brave enough to share the human face and personality of your business, social media can be your relationship building tool, affording you the opportunity to connect with your ideal audience.

Are you making the most of social media?

So that’s it, my five reasons why I believe every business should properly invest in social media. Are you convinced or simply overwhelmed? If you do need some help, please drop me an email and I’ll be happy to help you get clear on your social media goals.

In the meantime, here are some more social media tips that will help you:

Kerry Coleman is an experienced digital marketing consultant and social media expert for luxury, premium brands.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema