A recent report from social media management platform Hootsuite found that there are now more than 3 billion people using social networks across the internet. And according to Hootsuite, more people follow brands on social media than follow celebrities. On Instagram alone 80 percent of people follow at least one business.

But for some reason, when small business owners think about managing social media accounts for their business, they cringe, they make excuses for why they can’t and sometimes they just don’t do it at all. Social media marketing for your business isn’t scary at all. And, it’s really important for your business.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of using social media for your small business:

It’s an easy way to put your brand in front of the world

We live in a world where people want to know what they’re getting into before they ever step foot in a business. By having updated social media accounts, these people will understand your business and this aids their ability to determine if it’s a place they want to work with.

It’s inexpensive

Marketing costs money in almost all forms. But, social media marketing can cost little to nothing, and still make a huge impact for your business. By having a plan, using relevant hashtags and more — you can use social media to reach new potential customers every single day.

It keeps your business top-of-mind

How many times have you seen a social media post and then later purchased a product or visited a store as a result of it? Probably more times than you realize.

For example, we have certain local restaurants and bars that we like to frequent, and when they post a special or a limited-time offer, chances are that will trigger an outing of the studio crew to take advantage of the offer.

When you are posting regularly on social media, you’re creating this top-of-mind awareness for your brand.

It can help you generate leads

Service-based businesses: this one is for you. Right now, Instagram and Linkedin are the two networks that service-based businesses generate the most new leads on. If you’re sharing your brand and expertise in a way that makes people think “I could totally use this service,” then you’ll find that social media does half of the work for you.

It can help you generate more web traffic

In the case of many small businesses, traffic to your website is a necessity — especially if you’re selling your products or services from your website. If that’s the case for your business, make sure that your social media doesn’t replace your website, but supplements it. Create offers and other content that lives on your website, then use your social media networks to promote that content and drive interaction. Make sure your social media posts drive the users that read them back to your website so they have the opportunity to learn more about you and your business.

It’s a way to find new content

We hear it from our clients all the time: It’s hard to come up with enough content to post on social media every day. But the great thing about social media is that your customers can create content for you.

Put signs around your business letting people know that you want to see their photos that they take during their experience. Ask them to use a particular hashtag or tag your business in the photos. Then, you can reuse the content that you didn’t need to take the time to produce.

You can communicate quickly

Things come up… stuff happens. And in those instances, social media is an excellent way to quickly and efficiently communicate a message to your audience about what’s going on. Say a major storm came through and you lost power to your restaurant; social media gives you the instant forum to communicate that to your loyal customer base.

You can keep an eye on the competition

Knowing what your competitors are up to is just a part of running a business. Use social media to know what other businesses in your area or industry are up to so that if necessary, you can react and potentially combat the competition with an offer or special of your own.

In conclusion

Even though our team has spent decades in the photography business, we’ve also made a concerted effort in the last 5 years to build a social media presence for our studio and our creative consulting business, and it’s given us an entirely new channel from which to market our services and also to promote our clients. If you’re unsure how to get started, our strategic marketing team can help… contact us today for a free evaluation of your company’s current social media situation.