Social media is life. Ask any millennial or teen these days and they definitely live and breathe social media. The emergence of smartphone and other smart gadgets made social networks a household name and a habit many people can’t resist. And who could, right? There is an entirely different world inside these social networks and hours will pass by without you ever feeling lonely or bored ever again.
While social media started as a social networking site, it has now evolved and became an excellent tool for business owners to grow and promote their business without spending a fortune. Most importantly, you are in touch with your customer base and you’d know for yourself what they really want or not directly from them. There are various social networks and they work differently from the other. So keep that in mind because certain businesses thrive in certain networks and not on some. For a small business that lacks money and manpower, social media can be your friend and take your small business to the next level.
When Snapchat went public this year, it was a reminder to many small business owners that they need to be part of the social media evolution. But which network? Snapchat? Facebook? Instagram? All of the above?
Many owners opt for a mix, picking services that will be the best marketing tools for their companies.
“Each channel is used in different ways, and should be used in different ways. There’s no ‘one size fits all,’” says Michelle Vroom, whose eponymous public relations company in the Philadelphia suburb of Horsham advises small businesses on how to use social media.
Instagram and Snapchat, for example, have more young users. LinkedIn, for many people, is a tool for professional networking and job searches. The majority of users on Pinterest are women, while Tumblr appeals to social bloggers. There are also channels focused on specific industries, such as Architizer for architects and Glozal for real estate.
Most entrepreneurs right now are also young adults who know very well how social media works. From Youtube vloggers who earn a fortune from the clicks, likes, and shares of their viewers to entrepreneurs who started online shops, the potential is limitless if you know how to use social media right. Even social media influencers themselves receive free products from companies and get invited to events for free just so they can promote these products on their social media accounts.
Since its early development, social media has become an increasingly important and constantly evolving component of online behavior. What used to be platforms for connecting with friends have expanded to include features that integrate everything users need and do online. That overlap includes everything from reporting features and live video sharing to news publications and e-commerce transactions, all streamlined in a way that makes social media platforms the watering hole for modern users. Users now turn to social media platforms to stay informed, post reviews, buy things, and more, and the data that shows just how many users do that is staggering:
81 percent of millennials check Twitter at least once per day
More than 56 percent of online adults use more than one social media platform
79 percent of American internet users are on Facebook
93 percent of Pinterest users use the platform to plan or make purchases
The statistics have spoken. Your business misses out on a lot of things by not having an online presence in any of these social media channels. Imagine all these people who can possibly be converted into paying customers just by showing off what you sell or what you can do online. Advertising here is really cheap and when people are satisfied with your product or service, they’d spread the word for you. It is why social media is dubbed as the e-word of mouth because, in essence, that’s how it works.
In social media, you are equals with big brands out there as long as you know how to capture the people’s attention and make sure they stay hooked. After all, being relevant is what business is all about, big or small. If people remember your business, they’d likely choose your brand over the competitor. In no time, your business won’t be just a small nameless enterprise but a well-known brand with a strong social media following and cash registers filled to the brim.
Social Media Can Transform Any Small Business is available on TNI