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By now, a majority of small business owners know that social media – FacebookInstagramTwitter, Snapchat, Youtube and LinkedIn are important for reaching prospects, customers and business partners. However, that still doesn’t make it easy to block out the time for creating and executing a social media strategy, especially in businesses that don’t have dedicated employee to manage these channels. So if you need a reminder of why social media needs to be one of your priorities, here are some of its most important benefits:

  • Brand recognition awareness: Social media attracts the attention and helps boost your business’ visibility with both current customers and potential prospects. It provides you a way to share your brandname and content with them. Customers expects business to be highly accessible and brand recognition online when they are searching for products or services. While if they don’t find information from your business, they are going to assume you don’t have it and move on; when they do find you, it can have a ripple effect. According to Business Insider that “90% of consumers will recommend brands after social media interactions.” Therefore, increasing brand recognition helps you generate more prospects and covert them into paying customers.

    **Instagram live updates of Google trends over the past 5 years**
  • Improved customer service: Today’s world, customers expect to surf social media to seek assistance, ask questions or provide feedback to a brand’s customer service team. If you are running short on something that has been in high demand among your customers, let them know that you are in the planning on getting more of the inventory by posting a notice on your social media. If you solved a problem for one customer, share to your followers know about the solution before their problem occurs. Social media isn’t about managing negative news, however. When customers satisfied with your services, asked them to leave a comment or post their positive experience with your company, you can share it as a testimonial to all of your followers and explain how you can achieve a greater service.
  • Lower traditional marketing costs: it doesn’t take long for most new small businesses to see how expensive traditional marketing- print or digital ads, postcards mailers and the like- can be. Those tools can still be important for your business, but you can use lower-cost social media to stretch your marketing budget substantially, while reinforcing connections to your best customer and helping them to spread the word to their social media followers. Having your best customer post to their Facebook account about the great service they received from your business can be more powerful than placing an ad to tout your service. While you may not be able to afford sending out 10 rounds of postcard mailers each week, you can post multiple times each day on social media, which is free.
  • Boost your search engine ranking: SEO is something that often gets forgotten in conversations about the benefits of social media. Many search engines such as Google, consider a company’s page. You want to be able to show growth in real followers and in social media sharing among those followers. When writing your business’ social media posts, consider ways that you can help your followers to spread your message- such as offering a free dessert to the first person who posts a photo of your new lunch special. On social media, a little love can go a long way.