Does social media matter to your small business? Is it worth your time and effort?
In 2016 Clutch surveyed 352 small businesses to find out if and how small business owners are using social media. The majority of the businesses in the survey have 1 to 10 employees and less than $1 million/year in revenue.
They found that 73 percent of small businesses currently use or plan to use social media in 2016. In fact having a social media presence came ahead of company website – which, surprisingly, only 65% of small businesses in the Clutch survey have.
Here are their findings on how small business owners are using social media:
Facebook is the most popular social media platform; 89 percent of the small businesses surveyed use it. While Twitter is used by 49 percent, LinkedIn 42 percent, Pinterest by 31 percent and Instagram by 28 percent.
35 percent of small businesses post content and engage with followers on a weekly basis, 26 percent engage multiple times a day, 18 percent post once a day.
Small businesses measure their social media marketing success as follow; 51 percent focus on number of views, 34 percent on number of posts, 34 percent on number interactions, and 32 percent on number audience growth.
Does social media matter for small business owners?
Yes, social media is the online marketing channel of choice for small businesses and according to the Clutch survey, nearly 75 percent of small businesses are looking to implement a social media marketing plan by 2017 or later.
If you do not have a social media presence yet, do it now … your competitors surely do.
Why social media matters for small businesses?
Customers expect companies to be on social media, it’s just good marketing to go and engage where your customers are.
Social media allows for instant interaction between large numbers of people at any given time. You now have the ability to:
- Attract new customers.
- Hear from individual customers.
- Build trust by engage with your target audience.
- Strengthen relationships with your customers.
- Give potential customers the opportunity to experience and become familiar with your company before they purchase your products or services.
- Maximize the exposure of your business. People are no longer using the yellow or white pages; they now find you on social media.
Here are some recommendations to improve your social media presence:
Don’t use social media as a stand-alone marketing tool
The purpose of social media is to direct your audience members to the online location that you own and can control – your website/blog. In order to convert social media followers to email subscribers and eventually loyal customers.
Know your audience
Choose the right platform for your business.
Social media platforms are all different
Each has their unique community and their own set of expectations. While it’s ok to post three to six times/day on Twitter, it’s recommended to post no more than twice/day on Facebook.
Measure the right metrics
Know what your social media goals are and measure the metrics that are relevant to those goals.
A business looking to engage customers should look at the number of impressions, shares, and comments their posts receive. On the other hand, if you are looking to generate new leads, you can track the number of people who sign up for your mailing list.
Social media matters for your small business
It gives you a great platform to engage and connect directly with customers and in the process achieve a competitive advantage.
But it all starts with a PLAN. Diving in without a goal, strategy and tactics just because everybody is doing it can be a waste of your resources.
DOWNLOAD THE SMALL BUSINESS GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING for tips and best practices for marketing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.