Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing, although a relatively recent phenomenon has become an increasingly important part of any businesses' marketing and client base development platform in almost any industry.
This is especially so for small businesses. As a matter of fact, the perception of social media marketing has evolved significantly and is no longer considered as passing or trendy fad..
Many small businesses have come to the realization that what would once be accomplished by a traditional website now has to be supplemented by a responsive and robust utilization of the numerous tools offered by social media marketing.
There are several platforms which a small business may use, these include the big three namely; Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. These are further complimented by other sites such as LinkedIn.
Even though the reasons for this shift are numerous and varied, here are some of the main reasons why this is the case. They include but are not limited to the following;
Social media is inexpensive and effective
Social media marketing has become paramount for small businesses because of its relative affordability and ability to reach a large number of targeted audiences within a very short period of time and using very little effort.
According to research findings, almost 94% of small businesses that use social media marketing have reported substantial gains in both their traffic pull and profit margins.
It is easy to build a brand on social media
Building a brand is not easy, this is especially so if you are a small business. The beauty of Social Media though is that it levels the playing field for all businesses in the social media marketing space.
A business which manages to attract enough followers or gain enough traction can build for itself a strong brand following which it would otherwise be incapable of developing in the normal business arena.
Research studies show that around 83% of customers do prefer to connect with a brand on Facebook while 53% prefer connecting on Twitter.
A study conducted by Nielsen also did report that a whopping 50% of shoppers tend to make purchases which are based on recommendations made on social media websites.
With such encouraging numbers, many small businesses are going the extra mile when it comes to social internet marketing and are reporting some stellar numbers to back their marketing expenditure on the social media marketing platform.
Customer acquisition is relatively easy on social media
With over half of the world's population registered with a variety of social media advertising platforms, the chances of getting or acquiring clients are fairly high on the big three sites such as Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
In 2013, reports suggested that around 47% of marketers acquired customers from LinkedIn, 52% of marketers acquired customers through Facebook while 36% of marketers acquired customers through Twitter.
Social media marketing enables direct client interaction
By using social media platforms, businesses are allowed to interact with customers directly. For small businesses, this offers them an opportunity to engage with their clients in a one on one situation or through other interactive methods such as polls and Question and Answers.
This type of interaction also has the advantage of providing small businesses with immediate or real time feedback on their products or services.
Small businesses can, therefore, react very fast and rectify a particular situation very fast. On the other hand, they are also able to get hold of what is working with their clients very quickly and react accordingly.
This set up does favor the small business more because naturally, the smaller the business, the faster the decision-making process. They are therefore able to easily and quickly react to market sentiments and trends.
It is easier to generate leads and sales through Social media platforms
When it comes to generating leads and increasing sales figures, Social media does play a significant role.
Research has shown that a big percentage of social media users prefer buying or engaging a brand or business that they met on a social media platform.
A client which interacts with a brand on Facebook is more likely to purchase a product from that brand than from a brand which has zero of minimal social media marketing presence.
Without any shred of doubt, social media advertising is an excellent way of building the brand and increasing the sales numbers of any small business.
It is also worth noting that contrary to popular belief social media marketing is not only for the big businesses.