The Importance of Social Media and Its Key Benefits to Small Businesses

It’s no secret that social media plays a big part in our lives today. As consumers spend more of their time on a variety of social media platforms, its influence on purchase decisions continues to grow.

So how much does social media impact the success of businesses today?

Fact #1: According to Forbes, 81% of consumers’ purchasing decisions will be influenced in some way by the content shared on their network.

Creating easily shareable content on social media platforms is key. This content must encourage interaction and be engaging to your viewers – encouraging them to explore your business’s offerings and ultimately make a purchase.

For example, by running contests and giveaways, this can all help generate great activity on your social media page and encourage sharing of your social content. If someone sees their friend interacting with your page on social media via likes, comments, or shares. This makes them that much more likely to choose you the next time they’re making a similar purchase decision.

As a small business, share more, share more often, and make sure the content you’re posting is easily shared by others!

Fact #2: According to Hubspot, consumers are 71% more likely to buy something when someone recommends it on social media.

Making sure that people are talking about your business on social media can have a huge impact on your sales. By having customers post positive reviews of their experience with your business is a public endorsement of your brand to their social followers. This in turn can lead to those followers willing to try your business out.

Additionally, having a formalized referral program can also do wonders. By incentivizing your best customers to spread the word about your brand, this can lead to non customers willing to consider you for similar buying decisions in the future.

Your goal should be to leverage your existing audience as brand ambassadors, and use their influence to broaden your customer base.

Fact #3: According to Business Insider, Facebook accounts for 64% of all revenue coming from social media platforms and 50% of all social referrals.

As a business, it’s easy to spread yourself too thin trying to be active on all the social networks that are out there. Rather than dividing up your attention far too much and ending up hardly being active at all, it’s better to pick just 2-3 channels that really deserve your attention.

In 2015, studies found that Facebook had influenced more than 52% of consumers’ purchases, both online and offline. At the same time, it was found that 53% of consumers recommend products and businesses through tweets on Twitter. Out of those, 48% follow through to make a purchase!

Your response as a small business should be to decide which social networks will have the most impact on your posting efforts while allowing you to reach your target audience in the most direct way. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are typically the top choices.

Making Your Posts Stand Out

In addition to the above tips, you should also follow these final few pieces of advice to help get your posts the attention they deserve:

Promote with coupons. Coupons, discounts, contests, and giveaways are among the best ways for you to promote products and services both on and off social media.

  • Use user images. People are 6x more likely to buy something when pictures are shown of the people using the product.
  • Show off reviews. Your web design should definitely incorporate reviews since conversions increase by 133% on mobile devices when shoppers see a positive review.

Ultimately, social media’s influence on how you acquire, engage and retain customers continues to grow. It is without question, a powerful force in driving business results. As a business, this means establishing an effective social media strategy is no longer a nice-to-have but a requirement for success!

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