Why Small Businesses Need Social Media

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For the past year and a half, businesses have been closed and then open and closed again. No one has been slingshotting more than small businesses. Social media is a cost-effective way to keep your customers up-to-date and maintain a connection with your customers.

Here are some of the ways that small businesses can benefit from social media:

Capitalize on Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Nextdoor shared, “At its most basic level, word-of-mouth marketing is marketing spread from one person to another based on personal recommendations. It’s a critical piece of the marketing pie. According to Nielsen, “92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.” And this was no small survey sample. The research was pulled from more than 28,000 internet respondents in 56 countries.”

Wondering how small business owners capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing? Instead of buying expensive online ads, you can build buzz with online reviews. According to BrightLocal, “85% of consumers trust online reviews are much as personal recommendations — the single most trustworthy and credible source of “advertising” out there.”

The most important review factors are:
1) Star rating
2) Legitimacy
3) Recency
4) Sentiment
5) Quantity
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews of your business online – remind them on receipts, ask your employees to ask happy customers to leave a review, and add a link to your company communication email asking for positive reviews.

Share Hours and Schedule Updates

Keep your social media account profiles up-to-date with your hours and post weekly to let people know about changes in schedules.

You can create a social post each week with your hours inviting people to stop in. Staying at the top of a social media feed keeps you at the top of their mind when they’re planning their day. This Instagram post from one of my favorite local cafes led me to place an order that day!

Changes for Payments

Have you made any recent changes to your payment policies? Let customers know that you’re taking accepting payments via Stripe or Square or even Venmo. Let them know that you have multiple ways to do business and you’re staying on top of the latest innovations.

Safety is also on people’s minds so let them know that they can tap their card and pay without signing. Keep a jar marked “clean pens” and have your counter staff make sure that pens are used once and then cleaned.

Staying healthy is important for your staff and customers.

Build Brand Awareness

While foot traffic has slowed, shopping on the internet has snowballed. Make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward with your website and social media profiles.

Social media posts build brand awareness as people see you posting specials, hours, pictures of your staff working, or showing behind the scenes on a new project. Reminding people that you’re there and excited to see them again can go a long way!

Here’s an example from a local taco bar sharing their new hours.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Odelay (@taco_odelay)

Get an Advantage Over Competition or Keep Up!

In this new market, it’s important to stay top-of-mind for your local community. People are off their routines, looking to make things easier, and doing much more online. Be the local shop that’s staying connected with other businesses, community activities, local weather, you get the ideas.

“Customers frequently reach out to small businesses through social media. When you are engaged and responsive, you can provide better customer service to your customers.”

Small businesses can help retain customers and stay afloat during the changes using social media. I hope these suggestions have sparked ideas for you to reach your customers and stay connected and vibrant with your business. There are people in your community that are cheering for you to succeed!

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