Social Media: Should Small Business Use It?

Social Media: Should Small Business Use It?

This is a question that is hard to answer with clarity. We all know that social media is the “in” thing right now and that millions of consumers use it on a daily basis.

For many small #business owners, having the opportunity to talk to millions of potential clients for “free” is too hard to pass up.

This is where small business owners get bogged down with social media. Once you open an account and get set up on social media the real work begins.

Social media for small business is all about building relationships with future customers, not current ones.

This means that your return on your investment could take months if not years to achieve. If you are a small business owner who is looking at social media as a lead generation tool, it would be wise to invest your time and energy into something that will achieve a better ROI in a shorter amount of time, such as direct mailing or blogging.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that social media is a must for small business owners because personally, I believe that some small business owners can survive without it or use it for very specific goals.

So Is It Worth It?

Social media could be worth your time if you use it if for a specific purpose. If your main goal is to raise brand awareness about your product or service, then it would be wise to use social media for brand outreach.

Growing your audience is a hard number that is verifiable and you can measure to see if your efforts are paying off.  It also provides your business with social proof.

Social proof is the concept that people will conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior. The more followers you have the more you can influence potential customers. Buffer has an informative article on social proof here.  So yes, social media can be worth it when used for a singular purpose.

What Social Media Platform Should I Focus On?

This all depends on where your target audience is located. Each social media channel attracts a particular demographic.

Looking to appeal to women? Pinterest demographic skew heavily towards women. 42% of women reported having an account according to the Pew Research Center.

Looking to appeal to small business owners? 28% of adult online users use LinkedIn. This is a great place to build brand awareness and highlight your expertise.

Looking to appeal to the broadest audience possible? Facebook is the way to go, with a whopping 71% of internet users using this social media platform.

When used tactically social media can be a boon for your small business. Before investing time in social media, make sure you have clearly defined goals and objectives.

 

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