Many small business owners may think that they don’t need social media to operate. They’ve been in business for a number of years and have gotten along just fine without it thank you very much! They’ll tell you that they don’t have customers who will use the internet, they won’t be successful marketing their services or products online and that they just don’t have the time to devote to manage such a huge undertaking.
While it’s true that you don’t have to use social media to run a small business, you have to ask yourself the question, Is my business operating at its fullest potential without it? There are benefits to social media that just can’t be achieved through traditional marketing methods. With 80 percent of the United States population using the internet now, every demographic of customer can be reached. Everyone from rich or poor, young or old is on the internet, giving you the opportunity to make your business a captive audience. And while it’s true that the internet does not give you the opportunity to be face to face with potential customers, there are benefits to relationship building through social media that just can’t be achieved face to face. For example, social media gives you the opportunity to build relationships over time and get to know them on a level that might not happen in a brief face to face encounter. “No thank you, I’m just looking” simply does not happen. Because they are watching and interacting with you sometimes daily, they’ve gotten the opportunity to know and trust you before that first visit to your office or shop is even made. They’ve had the opportunity to get to know you and your business because of the exposure they’ve received from you online. Certainly, time constraints or those who are not tech savvy can also take advantages of the benefits of social media marketing through a host of reputable social media marketing agencies. For those do-it-yourself folks, there are numerous materials available on the internet now that break down the steps necessary to creating a social media marketing strategies for even the tightest of budgets.
Spending minimal time and money keeping with current marketing trends can yield high rewards for you business. For example, social media definitely gives your brand a voice on the internet. While you may have a catchy logo or tag line, an online presence gives your customers the opportunity to really get to know what your business is all about; what you stand for and what you have to offer that the competition doesn’t. It also gives you the opportunity to see how you measure up to the competition so you can decide what you need to do to maintain that competitive edge. You have the unique advantage of marketing yourself as an expert in your field by marketing valuable nuggets of information about your industry so that your customers can see how your products or services will make life better for them. This can be done in How To blogs or videos. I heard a quote once that said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. By focusing in on your target client and fulfilling their product or service needs through your industry knowledge, you’ve built a relationship with your customers through credibility that will stand the test of time.
Given that 80 percent of the population will research a product or service on the internet before making a decision, sharing relevant and useful content on social media will help boost your search engine rankings yielding even more business and more importantly, credibility. Have you ever done a search on a business, only to find out that they don’t have a web presence? What is your first reaction? Do you begin to wonder if they are still in business? Do you wonder how credible they are? Can they handle your needs?
Yes, you can certainly run a small business without using any social media, but in a changing world where building relationships with your customers will be key to your business’s success, how much time and energy will you spend creating relationships without it?
What will you say to those small business owners who reject social media by stating……. Yes, but I have a small business.