Love it or hate it, social media has proven itself to be lucrative. It’s not just those spying on old school friends that are at it, everyone has jumped on board the social media revolution, even international multi million pound businesses.
Small businesses in particular can really benefit from what it has to offer. There are of course the negatives associated with social media such as the time and effort it requires to maintain it, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives, and whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, it can be a great platform for you to shout out about your business and gather clients, friends, colleagues, new suppliers, and job opportunities.
The Positives to Social Media:
#1 Great for networking
Social media can provide a great support network. You can see opportunities from others instantly and share news through live feeds. By joining other associations, or blogs in these social media sites, you can share experiences with other business owners and get to know your competitors; this is a great support when you are setting up.
Twitter and Facebook in particular is a great place to find suppliers, job opportunities and industry news, and by following the right pages, you can see all opportunities in one place from a wide range of fellow professionals. It has known to bring people together, the more you put in, the more you will get out of it.
#2 Brilliant for marketing
When you set up a business page on a social media site, you can list photographs of what you have to offer, post videos, links, and run competitions. This shows others what you do, how you do it, and you can draw people to your page and website, and in time convert them from ‘followers’ or ‘fans’ into clients or customers. The more you interact and make your page interesting, the more interaction, page shares or tweets you will gain in return. Gradually your business name begins to spread further and further.
You can target the right potential customers by sharing your page or commenting on blogs where those with the same interests might be based. For example if you make home accessories, you can interact with other home interior fan pages and blogs, and your updates will be followed by those who have an interest in what you do, so you will be gathering a set of people who want to see you new products or services.
#3 Reach wider audiences
Initially it is likely your friends and family will like your page. As you add content and make your page interesting, soon you will find friends of friends following your progress, and gradually this continues to spread. It opens your business up to a great potential for followers all over the world. To be found it is good to network with other pages and to keep your page interesting so people comment on your images, tweets, or updates so there is plenty of interaction to be seen.
There are over 700 million Facebook users, by being on these social media sites; you have the opportunity to show them what you have to offer.
#4 Customer interaction
Customer interaction is great for any business. It is a great way to get feedback instantly and find out exactly what your customers think of your business. It also allows you to build relationships with them and get to know them. It can humanize your business and make it more personal to them.
You can understand what sort of people like your business, what age groups they are, whether they are male or female, and generally establish exactly who you should aim your business at. It is a great way to gather information and opinions from others especially when launching new products.
#5 Stay ahead of competitors
It is likely you will have competitors; it is also likely they are on social media sites advertising their business. You don’t want to be left behind, and it is a good way to stay ahead and keep your business current. You can also keep an eye on what they are doing to attract customers and develop upon this.
Written by Kristen. Edited by Aritra Roy.
Kirsten works for hosting review site whoishostingthis. They gather a wide range of hosting customer reviews so that users can determine which hosting company to use for thier own website. Please see more here.