Why and How Your Small Business Should Use Social Media

Small business owners have all the time in the world to find new and exciting ways to expand their company, right? If you own a small business, you can understand the heavy sarcasm in that previous sentence. When you’re constantly juggling the many tasks of keeping a local business running, it’s difficult to make time for something like social media (What platforms? How often do I post? About what?). However, you may be hurting your small business more than you know by ignoring your brand’s social media presence. Find out why and how social media for small businesses can help you succeed and reach new customers:

Why Your Small Business Should Use Social Media:

No social media presence makes your customers question your credibility as a business. Your business’s social media pages serve as an extra source of information, accountability and legitimacy to customers. A total lack of social media activity is a red flag to many consumers, especially if your small business is just getting started.

Social media helps you boost your brand awareness. There are few other platforms that allow for the easy connection social media allows you to have with your target audience. Not only does having a presence on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter help you find potential customers, it helps them find you. The more active and engaged your small business is on social media, the better your search engine optimization potential.

You can use social media to build and maintain relationships with your customer base. The main purpose of social media is to let people be, well, social. Your social media content conveys the personality of your brand to your customers and gives them the ability to voice their likes, dislikes and suggestions easily. In other words, your small business’s social media pages are a tool to show your customers you care about what they have to say and communicate back.

How Your Small Business Should Use Social Media:

Use the social media platforms on which your customers are most active. As we’ve discussed before on our blog, every social platform caters to a unique demographic. Remember, too, that different platforms are optimized for different types of content. Instagram is an excellent tool for visual, product-driven businesses such as retail stores or beauty brands. Facebook lets a small business share promotions and events and is therefore especially helpful for restaurants. Research the ways your target audience and other brands that market to them are using social media and begin building your own presence.

Connect each social media channel to your small business’s website. It may sound harsh, but if you don’t have a website, you’re wasting your time using social media. Social media is a powerful tool to market your small business, but it cannot stand alone. You can put your business hours and location on a Facebook page and even conduct eCommerce on Facebook and Instagram with Shopify. However, social media is a tool that leads people to your website to convert, not a replacement for it. 

Don’t make your social media pages all about how great your business is. Some brands make the mistake of assuming their social media content should be all about them and selling their products. As we discussed above, social media’s purpose is communication. There's a reason Facebook has many ad objectives ranging from awareness to website traffic to engagemnet. That means the purpose of the pictures, links and copy you share on your small business’s social pages is generating value for your customers. That value can be driven from two-way communication, providing great resources and education, entertainment and more. Your goal is to entice consumers to engage with your business on social media, and you won’t win anyone over by only talking about yourself. 

As with any form of marketing, your small business’s social media must have a strategy. If you go around posting at haphazard times with inconsistent content and no targeting in mind, you simply will not see the results you want from social media. Instead, it’s crucial that you set up the goals you wish to achieve from your social media presence and create a strategy that will get you there. Decide how you will measure success on each platform and be prepared to tweak your content to better accomplish your goals. 

There is much to be gained for small businesses that utilize social media wisely. However, for many small business owners, it’s difficult to know where to get started or how to make better use of the social media they already have. Whether you’re in need of strategic advice or looking for someone to fully manage your company’s social media, Matchstick Social is here to help. Get in touch with us today!

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Matchstick Social is a social marketing + advertising firm headquartered in Charleston, SC with a satellite office in Oklahoma City, OK. Matchstick specializes in social media marketing, optimized social advertising, effective measurement of social initiatives and helping start-ups gain social currency by establishing their digital brands.