As of 2020, there are around 3.8 billion active social media users. This is a 9% increase since 2019, meaning over 321 million people worldwide have now jumped onto at least one social media platform. So, given that almost half the world’s population is active on social media, for business owners, that means there is a high chance that your target market is somewhere in that sea of social media users.
For many small businesses, you don’t have to catch the attention of majority of those social media users. But with the large number of people on social media, there’s a good chance that the people you want buying your products or services are active in that part of the internet. But aside from this, here are three other reasons why social media platforms need to be a part of a digital marketing strategy for small businesses.
Connect with Your Customers
Social media allows everyone to connect, including your business to both potential customers and loyal customers. Unlike big businesses and corporations that seem so out of touch with the everyday person, small businesses have the advantage of appearing much more reachable to people, which is why they’re more likely to respond on social media to their customers. When customers message you inquiries or comments, it’s important to reply quickly and professionally even if they have negative feedback.
Cheaper & Targeted Advertising
Billboard ads can start at $1,500 in small cities and upwards of $14,000 for large billboards in choice locations. But this cost does not ensure that your ad is being seen by relevant audiences, which means there’s no guarantee that an expensive billboard will pay off.
In contrast, social media advertising can be targeted to users based on your target market’s age, sex, location, and browsing habits. Your advertising budget is also flexible, meaning how much you can afford to pay social media platforms is how many people Facebook will target. This is great because you know your advertising budget is actually going to potential customers who are likely to buy from your business.
And even if you don’t want to pay for certain features, creating a social media page is free. You can reach out to your network of friends and family to follow your page and, in turn, someone from their circle can notice your business.
Get on Moment Marketing
Another good reason to get on social media is the power of moment marketing. This is when business pages create potentially viral content by making ads or publicity content related to an event that’s currently trending or popular. For example, when Sarah’s Discovery went viral on Twitter, many people were talking about body positivity and speaking out against businesses that profited off of people’s insecurities. Businesses that joined the conversation online also got viral attention.
The end game of social media marketing is not to gain more followers or to create the most viral posts. While you may not necessarily be advertising your products or services in this case, this kind of marketing can establish brand recognition. Plus, your viral content can lead to people outside your network to learn who you are.
Social media marketing isn’t totally free, but it gives you plenty of opportunities to reach out to customers who might want to do business again and potential customers outside your network. But remember: it’s not enough to just create a social media platform. You also have to interact with your audience through content and engaging marketing plans.