Social media started out with the idea of bringing people closer. However, as the user base increased, these companies turned to advertisements for revenue. Many small and large businesses have started using these ads to spread awareness, increase revenue, and grow their consumer base.
Facebook has more than 2 billion active monthly users. And with great targeting options, it has become a favourable place for advertising. Most large companies already have profiles on social media. And they use them to improve brand awareness among consumers.
Let’s look at some reasons why social media is also beneficial to local businesses.
1. It’s an Affordable Way to Market Your Business
Local businesses often have a smaller marketing budget. Social media is a saviour for these companies as the cost of social media marketing is significantly lower than other forms of advertising. Even with a small budget, businesses can get access to highly targeted audiences and insights.
With social media, you can post multiple advertisements for the same cost or less than the cost of a single ad on other channels. And consumers can interact with your ads and share them or even tag their friends to help spread the word. With advanced social media marketing strategies, you can get more traffic and leads, and a higher return on your investment.
2. You can Get In-Depth Insights to Help You Connect with Your Audience
The ads that you create on social media platforms must resonate with the interests of consumers. For this, it is critical to understand your target audience. Through your advertising campaigns, you can get access to in-depth insights about customer behaviour and interests. These will help you understand your target customers better, which results in better responses from them.
These insights will help you improve your digital presence, and improve brand recognition. In turn, improved brand recognition will help you gain more leads and conversions for your business.
If the statistics and insights from your social media platforms are not enough, you can use tools like HootSuite. It allows you to create real-time reports, schedule messages, and it gives you a complete overview of your key metrics.
Image via HootSuite
3. Social Media can Increase Traffic To Your Website
One of the best advantages of social media promotions is the increase in inbound traffic to your website. Local businesses that are not ranking high enough in search engines results can get valuable traffic from social media channels. And the traffic generated from these websites is highly targeted and can result in more conversions.
Even if your business has a good presence in search engine results, traffic to your website will only increase from social media marketing.
Image via Johneagle
4. Social Media can Improve Your Search Engine Rankings
Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media have become increasingly interconnected in the past couple of years. An interesting post is more likely to be shared by more people and that can affect the popularity of your webpage. However, a strong presence on social media doesn’t directly impact your search engine rankings; it does so indirectly.
Good content is more likely to be shared often and people may like it or link to it more often as well. Which can indirectly help boost your rankings? And your business profiles on social media platforms have a better chance of being found in search engine results.
It’s equally important that you have tools in place to help keep a track of your efforts and the impact they are having. For instance, you can try using something like ProRankTracker which checks your global and local performances. Additionally, as it is cloud-based, you can track everything, even when you’re on the move.
5. Social Media can Help You Build Real Relationships
Many platforms like Twitter and Instagram allow your business to have direct interactions with your customer base. This helps you to get insights into the daily lives of your customers which can help you improve your marketing strategy. You can get more personalized insights about them which can help you create more accurate customer personas.
You can also use it as a tool to connect with other businesses, both local and international. It can also help you build stronger relationships with prominent personalities and journalists in your industry. The best part is that it’s easy to build these relationships. Even a retweet or a comment on a post is enough to start a conversation.
You can also build deeper relationships with your customers through these channels. Unlike automated replies, you can give them tailored replies to their questions and feedback. This enriches the overall experience of your customers by giving them solutions with a more personalized touch.
6. You can Reach Local And Global Audiences
Unlike traditional means of marketing, promotions on social media can help your business gain visibility both locally and globally. It allows you to connect with both your existing followers as well as new audiences. While it is important to reach your local audience effectively, reaching a wider global audience improves your overall reach.
And in case of local audiences, you will be able to target your promotions to the exact people you want. Many platforms even give you the option of selecting individual areas within a city, hence giving you the advantage of hyperlocal marketing.
7. You can Increase Your Conversion Rate
Social media is also a great tool to generate highly targeted leads. The first step you need to take is to increase your organic reach. If done effectively, these leads will be easier to convert.
Some of the ways you can increase your conversions are:
Social Proof – Social proof shows that your product works for someone who has used it. This reassures prospective customers about your product without you having to market it to them.
User-Generated Content – You can use the positive comments and posts about your products and feature them on your profiles. This increases the confidence of a lead that has been generated and can lead to a conversion.
A study by ViSenze showed that the involvement of social media resulted in higher conversions and sales. According to the report, 75% of consumers were inspired to buy the product by seeing its image or video online. Moreover, nearly 32% users used Facebook as the primary platform for making a purchase decision.
Image via Emarketer
8. Social Media Can Help You Satisfy Your Customers
While it is important to keep gaining new customers, retaining old customers is also very important. That is why customer satisfaction should be a priority for your business. Social media can help your local business stay connected to your customers and help you to learn about and resolve their problems faster.
You can solve the problems that your customers are facing by giving them personalized solutions through social media. You can monitor the conversations regarding your brand or even broadcast important messages and announcements. This allows you to keep track of consumer sentiment and even lets you communicate with a mass audience.
As many as 42% of consumers complaining of social media expect a 60 minute response time. If you can offer prompt customer service, you may be able to retain the customer for a longer period of time. This shows how important it is to serve the customers efficiently and, of course, quickly.
Image via Sprout Social
9. You can Partner with Social Media Influencers
Influencer marketing works as a great tool for local businesses to promote their products and services. There are many influencers on social media who have large numbers of loyal followers. Local businesses can leverage this power of influence to generate leads and drive conversions.
Customers are more likely to believe the benefits of a product when they see a person they idolize using it. In many cases, influencer marketing works better than traditional marketing strategies. There are many popular YouTubers and Instagrammers who regularly review and recommend products to their audiences.
Such is the power of influencer marketing that according to a study, businesses make nearly $6.50 for every $1 spent on it. One of the most popular social influencers, Zach King, has more than 21 million followers on Instagram and 2 million followers on YouTube. He frequently partners with major companies and promotes their products through his videos or photos.
Image via YouTube
10. It Helps Consumers Find You
This is the simplest and most important part of having a social media presence. Social media helps you reach out to consumers, and helps them reach out to you. Many consumers may not even know your brand. But they may find you on your social media, and reach out to you. This can generate a lead that may result in a conversion.
Even if you don’t intend to market your products and services rigorously on social media, your brand’s visibility will definitely improve. Creating a brand profile on these websites is free and promoting it locally with little or no budget can also give you visibility.
With the numerous benefits for both local and global businesses, social media can definitely help you grow your business. If executed effectively, social media marketing can generate high-quality leads and drive sales better than many other forms of marketing. And at even lower costs thanks to the pricing structures of these platforms.
It is still surprising to see that 24% of small businesses still don’t use social media to harvest its marketing potential. But it’s never too late to get started. And the ten tips above can help you use social media marketing effectively to grow your local business.
If you have any questions or tips to add, please feel free to share them in the comments below.