Why Social Media is Important to Small Businesses in 2014

A social media presence is a must for small businesses. New age media creates opportunities for small businesses to reach consumers in a variety of different ways. This helps to buildbuzz in the community. Word of mouth referrals are essential to a small business’s success.

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Regular communication

Social media technology provides the ability to communicateregularly with the residents that surround small businesses. Business owners have desired this type of direct contact with potential consumers for centuries. It has never been easier to make your business’s services or products known to the public. All you have to do is deliver a quality product,and the consumers will provide positive reviews on various consumer review websites as well as social media. The word will get out,and the small business’s profits will grow. If a small business does not have a presence on social media then,it will be viewed as outdated and primitive by those under the age of 40.

Why should a small business pay to advertise on the radio, television or even a website when it can utilize social media to contact potential customers directly? Social media advertising costs nothing. It only takes some time and effort. Facebook and Twitter are two excellent social mediums to take advantage of. They provide avenues to broadcast the small business’s sales pitch, product updates and special deals. Most young people in the United States use either Facebook or Twitter, if not both. This is a critical demographic to market towards as they will have strong purchasing power in the future.

Manage communications

Be careful as any negative sentiment can spread virally and impact the reputation of small business, even if what the consumer is posting or tweeting is untrue. Just ask anyone with a masters in communication online and they will tell you the same thing. Also, consider of the time commitment involved with social media. Users of Twitter and Facebook can ask questions of small businesses which are often time consuming to respond to. It might be prudent to assign an employee to handle social media feedback including questions and complaints in order to ensure that potential consumers do not feel neglected. A small business’s reputation is its lifeline. Social media has transformed advertising from a monologue into a very complex dialogue with multiple voices in the conversations.

Facebook is the most popular social media with over 500 million users. The majority of these users are willing to “friend” a small business’s Facebook account just like they would “friend” a social acquaintance or family member. They are willing to read the posts and status updates ofsmall business because they want information on products as well as potential money saving deals and promotions. It’s the nature ofconsumers operating in the spirit of self-interest. This presents the perfect opportunity forsmall business to educate the site’s users on the products for sale.

It is essential forsmall business to have a Twitter account. Most Twitter users are willing to re-tweet a business’s tweets so that their social circle can get the low down on new products, sales and limited time promotions. One tweet can potentially reach thousands of local customers and the customers might be the ones doing the grunt work through the re-tweets. This is a potential gold mine for a marketing savvy entrepreneur.

Mobile apps

Small business owners should also consider advertising on mobile phone applications for users in their region’s specific area codes. Smartphones have a wide variety of mobile applications available for purchase or even for free. Smartphone owners tend to be middle or upper middle class. This is the ideal target demographic as they have plenty of discretionary income at their disposal. Just think about how many people have their faces buried in their phones during their free time. It has become quite an addiction, especially the mobile application technology. Advertising space can be purchased on the mobile application itself or the small business can create its own mobile application.