Study after study has identified social media, specifically Facebook, as extremely important to consumers who are considering a purchase. For that reason, many businesses have found social media, particularly Facebook, as a cost-effective and powerful way to engage existing customers and build awareness among potential customers.
A recent study found that second only to company websites, social media, particularly Facebook, is where small businesses plan to grow their spending and attention.
Social media provides businesses with an opportunity to create a personality, in many ways humanizing the business. These tools are also great for building customer loyalty as they allow for a meaningful one-to-one dialogue between customer and business. In addition, they provide an opportunity to share deals, promotions and other messages that will help generate customer demand.
The challenge faced by many small businesses is knowing which channels to use (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) and dedicating an adequate amount of time engaging customers on these channels. Making the determination on which channels to use is largely dictated by the industry of the business, the nature of the social media channel, and the business’s ability to manage these channels.
Two years ago Facebook said that 70% of U.S. users are connected to at least one small business. In many cases starting out with a Facebook business page is a good start given the massive consumer audience and the broad reaching demographics who use the site.
- Assess your ability to manage and stay up-to-date with social media
- Develop an account on the channel(s) that make sense for your business
- Monitor the page(s) daily and publish fresh and unique content that engages the audience
- Imagery and videos are great content for social media
- Don’t be shy, share your business’s personality, but remain professional