Is Social Media Good For Small Businesses? Here Are 4 Reasons Why Using it is Paramount!

BY: ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2012

It still baffles me that there are many people today that are not using the power of social media as a part of their marketing strategy. Social media is good for business and no small business can afford to ignore it. Amazing new opportunities that were just an impossible pipe dream years ago are now a real possibility for many.

So, why is social media good for your business?  Here are 4 top reasons:

Global Connection to Potential Customers
Remember when connecting globally to potential customers was reserved for Fortune 500 companies? Well today, social media enables small business owners to creatively advertise and communicate affordably with a huge audience of prospects and potential clients all over the world.

We have gained several clients because of the exposure we received through Facebook," says N. Justin Cazana, CCIM, principal at Cornerstone/Cushman & Wakefield

Deepen Customer Engagement
A consistent positive connection with current and potential clients is very important to business success. It gives your business an edge in a fiercely competitive marketplace. That’s the beauty and ease of using social media!  Whether you are responding to comments, sharing informative articles or tips on your blog with links to Facebook and Twitter, providing a link to a great resource or a status update… all of these efforts touch and engage your prospects and customers appropriately.

Stake Out the Competition

Before social media came along; keeping tabs on the competition was an extremely costly affair. Now it is as simple as scoping their website, Facebook Fanpage, Twitter or using ‘Google Alert’ to receive email updates as they are mentioned. All of this valuable intelligence can be used to improve your business.  Surely social media was created for small businesses with big ideas but limited resources.
 
Here are 3 extremely effective and FREE SPY resources:  
  • Google Alerts: a free resource in which you enter your competitors name and select ’everything’ to receive all information pertaining to them. http://www.google.com/alerts

  • SeoDigger.com:  a free tool to monitor competitor’s keywords by entering their URL and click ‘search.’ http://analyticsdigger.org/

  • Mailing List: Very simple… go to your competitor’s website and become a subscriber. To be real conspicuous, setup a non-identifying email address such as establishing a Gmail account.  
Test New Products and Services
Customers are unpredictable and so it is really important to test new ideas, products or services before rolling them out. Social media is a perfect tool to create amazing BUZZ!  In addition, consider the huge savings to what would have otherwise been spent on expensive research that might take longer and not yield as accurate information as social media is capable of delivering so quickly.

4 Top Game Changing Social Networks for Small Businesses

Facebook
A giant leader with 1 billion users and counting; many small businesses can receive amazing results.
 
Twitter
With over 200 million users and approximately 65 million tweets per day, Twitter is a very unique social media site that limits users to 140 characters for each status update.  Twitter has a progressive search mechanism that makes it easy to locate people who may help your company flourish.

LinkedIn
A powerful social network, LinkedIn is specifically targeted towards businesses and professionals to connect.  A few great benefits to joining LinkedIn: it allows you to ascertain credibility within your industry, increase awareness and network with other industry professionals.

Google+

Although Google+ is fairly new; it has grown (over 100 million users) at a phenomenal rate. One of the reasons for this is that it was created by Google, one of the most popular search engines in the world.  

Business owners can use it to improve search engine ranking; to video chat with potential and current clients and receive answers to questions
 
In closing, social media allows small businesses to communicate effectively and globally.   “So, are you ready to incorporate a social media strategy in your overall marketing plan?  I think so!”

About the Author

Sylvia Browder

Sylvia Browder is a small business consultant, trainer and author. She is the founder of National Association Women on the Rise, a virtual community for aspiring and established women entrepreneurs. She has served as an online volunteer SCORE counselor since 2004.

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