There is no doubt that today social media plays a huge part in many people’s lives. People now spend extraordinary amounts of time online, chatting to friends, catching up on the day’s events, meeting new people, changing careers, watching viral content. And there’s countless other reasons why people use social media daily. Many individuals now spend more time on social media communicating with folk than they do in real life, like it or not.

Perceptive businesses use social media to their advantage, and it is not just the big corporations. Many small businesses are finding that social media can be hugely beneficial in terms of expanding customer base and helping build relationships with existing customers.

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As social media can play a significant role in the success or failure of a business, it is important for new companies to think carefully about how they utilise it. With limited resources and tight budgets, small companies must plan carefully to ensure they are using a social media platform that will provide the most effective results.

Benefits of Social Media for Business

Almost three-quarters of adults with internet access use some form of social media every day while around a third of these will use it to research products, brands, or services before making a purchase. It is, therefore, vital that every small business concentrates on social media to build its brand, increase sales, and expand its network. Below we have listed a number of benefits to using social media for business.

  • Learn about your target audience
    Businesses can learn about what their target audience likes and dislikes through social media. There are some tools, including Hootsuite and Facebook Insights, that allow a businesses to learn specifics about their audience, which will then enable them to target their advertising campaigns accordingly. It is possible to target specific people by age, location, or gender, for example.
  • Reduce marketing costs
    Social marketing can be a fantastic way to market to certain people without spending a small fortune. Businesses can get their message to a target audience by establishing an effective social media campaign. In certain circumstances, the only cost is the time required to tweet, pin product photos, or post about discounted products.
  • Find new customers
    Businesses can expand their customer base by using social media. It is possible to locate people based on their tweets or posts and then reach out to them with promotions.
  • Improve search results
    Social media can have a positive impact on a website’s search engine position. The higher a website appears, the more likely a business is to see increased visitors and, hence, sales. While optimised content and a great SEO campaign are the best ways to achieve higher search engine rankings, those who engage in social media will also see the benefits. Sharing content on social media will pay dividends if others decide to share your posts or link to it. Google and Bing are increasingly taking notice of social media efforts and engagements.
  • Get feedback from customers
    Instant feedback from customers, either positive or negative, is another advantage of using social media for business. Using social media to launch new products or promotions will immediately give businesses the chance to find out what customers think. Social media can also help businesses with ideas for new products if they engage with customers about what they want or are looking for.
  • Improve customer service
    Businesses that interact with customers via social media often find that business improves. Customers like to comment or ask questions about brands and specific products and appreciate quick, honest responses. They are more likely to stay loyal to a company if they are receiving excellent customer service in a timely manner. They are also more liable to recommend your business to others.
  • Monitor the competition
    Social media monitoring allows businesses to stay ahead of the competition. By monitoring mentions of a competitor and their products or services, companies can target campaigns that enable them to capitalise on what the competition is missing.
  • Expand your professional network
    Expanding your professional network is possible through social media. Social media is not just for connecting with customers. You may be able to connect with other companies that you can work alongside. This could mean developing new partnerships that will be beneficial to both businesses.

How to Use Social Media Effectively

With all the benefits that social media can bring to a business, it is no surprise that small business owners want a piece of the action. However, it is important that social media is used correctly; otherwise, it could become a fruitless endeavour. Below are a few tips for getting the most from social media for your small business.

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  • Sell products and services
    Social media makes it possible to connect directly with customers, so this allows for products and services to be advertised more effectively. Many businesses use social media for market research, and they will develop products and services based on their findings. They can connect directly with their target audience to find out what they want beforehand, meaning that they can create products for which there is a market.
  • Improve customer relations
    Customers are more likely to buy from companies that they are already interacting with. Social media platforms such as Twitter are the ideal place for businesses to get in touch with customers and build relationships. Businesses need to find out which social media platforms their target audience use and then create a social profile of their own through which they can connect with potential customers.
  • Use social media management apps
    Managing social media is very important to a business; to that end, there are numerous apps that make the job easier. Apps such as Buffer and Hootsuite are easy to use and tend to service most of the well-known social media sites. If you want to get the most from these apps, however, it is a good idea to take the time to learn as much as possible about them. To get the most from social media for your business, you need to invest the time and put in the effort, as this will help you to reap the rewards.
  • Use automation
    Social media automation can save valuable time, so scheduling repetitive tasks with social media apps is a very good idea. If you have found that you are doing the same task repeatedly, you should consider automation. You can use automation for a variety of tasks including retweeting messages on Twitter, following people once they have followed you, and mentioning others in messages. It is important, however, not to automate everything, as the ‘personal touch’ is still required.
  • Ensure your business is worthy of being followed
    The idea of social media for business is to get as many followers as possible. No matter what social media site you are using, the more interaction you get, the better. The best way to ensure you garner more followers is to appeal to them. This could be through weekly competitions or lively, fun debates.

Using social media correctly could prove to be immensely beneficial for your business so it is not something you should ignore. If you are worried that you do not have the skills to make it work for you, speak to a professional SEO company about getting them to take care of this for you.