How active is your small business on social media? Social media networks aren’t limited to large companies; they support enterprises of all sizes. According to the financial services provider, 73 percent of small businesses in the United States allocate funds and resources to social media marketing. By using social media as a marketing channel, your small business will benefit in many different ways.

Brand Humanization

You can humanize your small business brand using social media. If prospective customers don’t feel a personal connection to your small business, they probably won’t buy its products or otherwise interact with it. Humanization encourages prospective customers to take action by projecting a more personal and relatable brand image.

Brand humanization is the practice of showing your small business’s employees, as well as its culture and values, so that prospective customers can relate to it on a more personal level. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter or any other social media network, you can humanize your brand.

Increased Website Traffic

Since all social media networks allow users to post links, you can use them to drive traffic to your website. For example, you can publish links to content-rich pages on your website. When viewing your social media content, users may click these links if they are relevant to their interests.

In addition to standard posts, most social media networks support the use of links in profiles. Users who want to learn more about your small business may view its social media profiles. If they come across a link to your official website, users may follow it.

Increased Brand Awareness

Social media marketing can increase awareness for your small business’s brand. No matter what your business sells, chances are its audience uses social media. By performing social media marketing, you can connect with prospective customers while exposing them to your brand.

Raising brand awareness on social media requires the promotion of your brand elements. When customizing your social media profiles, use imagery and words that are aligned with your brand. If your small business has a logo, you should integrate it into its social media profiles. Along with a logo, other brand elements to consider using include a tagline, color scheme and typography.

Support for Customer Reviews

You can use social media to cultivate customer reviews for your small business. Facebook is particularly effective because it offers a native customer review feature. Known as Recommendations, it allows customers to leave reviews with a one- to five-star rating. As long as your small business’s Facebook Page has Recommendations enabled, it will support customer reviews.

While other social media networks may lack a native customer review feature, they still attract comments from customers praising your small business for its products or services. If a customer had a positive experience, for instance, he or she may tweet about the experience.

Greater Search Engine Exposure

Investing in social media marketing will expand your small business’s visibility in the organic search results. Even if Google is reluctant to award your website with first-page rankings, it may give your business’s Facebook Page or Twitter profile high rankings.

Google regularly indexes business-operated social media profiles for relevant keywords. If a prospective customer performs a Google search for your business name or other identifiable information, the Mountain View-based search engine may show him or her your social media profiles. Therefore, social media marketing can lead to greater search engine exposure for your small business.

Increased Customer Retention

Social media marketing can increase your customer retention rate. In a survey conducted by Small Business Trends, nearly half of small business owners said social media marketing had a positive impact on their respective organization’s customer retention rate.

To retain more of your customers with social media, be sure to check and respond to messages. If a customer has a problem, he or she may send your business a message on social media. Responding to the customer’s message with an answer or solution will reduce the risk of him or her leaving your business.

Demographic Insights

The more information you know about your business audience, the better. If you don’t know who, exactly, purchases a product, you won’t be able to craft a compelling sales pitch for it. Thankfully, social media marketing can provide a wealth of demographic data about your business audience.

Facebook offers Page Insights and Audience Insights, both of which can reveal the demographics of your audience. Other social media networks offer similar analytical solutions that you can use to further identify your audience.

More Sales

Perhaps the greatest benefit of social media marketing is the additional sales it can drive for your small business. You can promote your business’s products or services directly on its social media profiles. If a user believes a promoted product or service is valuable, he or she may buy it.

Of course, social media marketing can generate new leads for your business that, when nurtured, turn into sales. A user may call or email your business after discovering it on social media. With a little nurturing, you can compel the user to buy the product or service.

Evaluate the Competition

Another way social media marketing can benefit your business is by allowing you to evaluate the competition. Business-operated social media profiles are public, so anyone can view them. If you want to see what your business competitors are up to, simply visit their social media profiles.

By evaluating your competitors’ social media profiles, you’ll have a better idea of what steps to take with your social media marketing strategy. If you notice a competitor is generating a lot of engagement with video content, you may want to experiment with video content on your social media profiles.

Low or No Monetary Investment

You don’t have to tap into your small business’s rainy day fund to develop an effective social media marketing strategy. Rather, you can promote your business on social media at little or no cost.

Social media marketing has low startup costs compared to other forms of marketing. Creating profiles is typically free, and once created, you can share content on them to attract followers. Additionally, you can purchase cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) ads on social media, both of which generally cost less than flat-fee ads that run for a fixed period.

With so many benefits, social media marketing is well worth your small business’s resources. Even if you take the route of exclusively using free tactics, it will help your business flourish in many ways. Social media marketing can humanize your business’s brand, increase its website traffic, raise awareness for its brand and much more.

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