Social media helps small businesses grow in many ways! It is a great way for small businesses to reach new customers. It provides a platform for business owners to get feedback on their products and services from the people who use them. Social media gives the ability for small business owners to watch and study their competition and learn what they are doing to see if it would be beneficial to do the same. It is a great place for opinions and reviews. This allows customers to let others know about their experience and helps them decide if they want to patronize the business. Marketing can be done easily by using social media. Let's look at six ways that social media helps small businesses grow.
Keep Your Customers Informed
The real magic lies within the ability to keep customers informed. This is key to ensuring customer satisfaction, while also increasing trust and customer loyalty.
Create a schedule for your social media that includes reminding them of your hours and any changes in your usual routines.
Do you have a weekly special? Why not create something that will keep your business top of mind for your customers?
Connect With New Customers
Answering questions and being helpful online can lead people to discover your website and what you do. This is where social listening is a great tactic.
Many social media scheduling tools have social listening built-in. Social listening is the act of monitoring certain topics and keywords online to ensure you find important mentions of your brand or related topics. Sprout Social and Agorapulse are two robust tools with this feature.
Social listening can help you find frustrated people in need of solutions in your industry. Create hashtag or keyword searches to connect with people who may turn into grateful clients down the road. Google Alerts are free and easy to use.
Offer Customer Service
Monitoring your own social media accounts and Google alerts might surface some customer service questions or problems. Make sure to answer messages publicly and then take them to a direct message and/or a phone conversation to make sure that you cover everything.
From Sprout Social, “Businesses don’t consider customer service a high priority on social media. Instead, they favor social media as a marketing function and a way to reach new customers. When asked “what matters the most” on social media, most businesses ranked delivering innovative social content as the most important.
So, while you’re focused on creating award-winning campaigns and making content go viral, your customers are looking for a great customer experience. But adding a customer service dimension to your social strategy can be taxing when resources are already limited. Enter: chatbots.”
Chatbots might be the solution you’re looking for to give quick responses on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. It can provide service off-hours for a seamless customer service experience.
Build Trust and Credibility in your Business
Brand24 says, “Trust is the currency of the 21st century. Consumers rely on family and friend's recommendations. They research the opinions about a brand, product, or service and base their decisions on the research.
Brand awareness campaigns help you build consumers’ trust.”
Trust and credibility build your positive brand awareness and breed loyalty. Sharing customer reviews or testimonials shows your audience what people feel about your products and services.
Track Your Competitors
When is the last time you checked out your competitor's social media? Or tracked mentions for your competition?
While you’re doing your social listening for your own customers, look for questions that you might answer. From Hootsuite, “It’s also important to know what people are saying about your competitors.
For example, tracking mentions of your competitors might reveal pain points with their products or services that you could reach out to address, winning new customers in the process.
Monitoring the competition on social media also means you’ll be aware when your competitors launch new products, run promotions, and release new reports or data.”
Don’t focus too much of your social media time on the competition but it’s good to keep track. You can use tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Agorapulse. Brand24 is a powerful tool for monitoring brand reputation with great alerts and reports.
Create A Sense of Community
As humans, we need connection and a sense of belonging: a community. The word community is derived from the Latin communitas (meaning the same), which is in turn derived from communis, which means “common, public, shared by all or many.” We look for people who have the same beliefs, interests, and sense of humor in person and online. Building your community online is important to grow your social media.
A few ways to grow your community:
- Ask questions on Twitter or Instagram Stories
- Use a live chat feature on your website
- Answer questions on social media and in your comments
- Provide helpful resources
- Listen to what your community is saying
- Share what you’re passionate about in your business
- Engage in community conversations
I hope these six ways social media can help grow your small business gave you ideas and inspiration for your content creating and community building.
I’d love to know what you love about social media for your business and how it’s helped you. Please share in the comments.