The term “social media” has been around for more than a decade, and yet it still an untapped channel for many small to medium sized businesses.
Social media marketing is an essential part of small to medium sized businesses’ online marketing strategy. Its low barrier to entry and effective returns are partially a result of social media’s ability to reach highly targeted audiences very quickly. Here are a few key factors:
- Social media is effective and inexpensive. Social media marketing is very important for small businesses because of its low-cost and ability to reach large number of targeted audiences within less time and very little effort. According to Forbes, 94% of corporates are using social media and 85% said that it has given their business more exposure.
- Branding can be done effectively on social media. Social media marketing is the best tool for small businesses for branding. According to Socialmediatoday, 83% of customers prefer to connect to the brand on Facebook and 53% on Twitter. A study by Nielsen also reported that 46% of online users count on social media while making purchase decision and 50% of shoppers made purchases based on the recommendations on social media websites.
- Customer acquisition is easy on social media. With more than half of the world’s population registered with different social media platforms, the chances of acquiring customers are fairly high on social media websites. There are approximately 1.74 billion social media users according to eMarketer and social media websites play a crucial role in acquiring customers to the businesses. In 2013, 36% of marketers acquired customers via Twitter, 52% via Facebook and 43% via LinkedIn.
- Social media enables direct customer interaction. Through social media, businesses can interact with customers directly. Small businesses can attract customers by engaging them with some interactive methods like Question and Answers, Polls, etc. According to Socialmediatoday, 53% of marketers are using social media as a two-way conversation and engagement tool.
- Social media marketing can generate more leads/sales. Social media marketing plays an important role in generating leads and thus increasing sales to the businesses. A survey by Socialmediatoday revealed that 71% of social media users are more likely to purchase products from brands that they are connected on social media websites. A study by HubSpot revealed that social media produces almost double the marketing leads than any other marketing method and lead-to-close rate is 100% higher on social media.