Social-networking_GFI_survey-579x1024Small Businesses are still Neglecting Social Media!

In a recent survey conducted by research firm Clutch, it was discovered that about 50% of small businesses either do not use social media at all, or have accounts that are not being actively used.

One quarter of those surveyed who don’t use social media also claim that they have no plants to use it in the future. However, many small businesses who are using it are finding value from it, and around a third of those interviewed plan to increase their activity this year.

Increasing social media activity

The survey conducted by Clutch also looked into what further investments into social media small businesses were planning. It was found that 38 % of active users were planning to increase the amount of time spent on social media, and where possible dedicate more staff to the job. 12% were even planning to hire outside help through specialist consultants or agencies.

It is difficult for small businesses to compete with large companies and corporations anyway, but social media provides more of a level playing ground where customers may not be aware of, or even concerned about, how large your business is.

More customers are turning to the internet and social media to find out about products and services, and they have become far more distant or wary of traditional advertising. They are more likely to go online to read customer referrals and reviews before buying, so it makes sense to be active on those social media sites where your customers will be hanging out.

Building authority through social media

Those small businesses who make the effort to invest some time into growing their social media presence will have a lot to gain. When you use your social media tools effectively, you will start to build up trust with your customers, and this will encourage repeat business. You will become their go-to page for information, and you will start to build your reputation and be seen as an expert.

With social media, you are not out to get direct sales, but rather build up a following of loyal customers who will keep buying from you regularly over the long term rather than as a result of one single traditional advert placed in a newspaper or magazine. Anyone can become an expert in their own field or niche, and it doesn’t matter how big your business actually is – people will come back to you because they trust you and not because you boast 15 warehouses, or have a network of international offices.

Now is the time to get your business onto social media

If you are a small business owner, now is the time to get familiar with how social media works, and how it can benefit your business. Social media is an ever evolving creature, so you need to reach out to your potential customers in a way that shows you are genuine,approachable and knowledgable about your business niche or sector.

You need to be able to demonstrate to potential new clients and customers that you have expertise and useful insights into what they want, how it works, and how they can benefit from it. This is the way to build your network and get your brand recognised. Happy customers are willing to share their positive experiences through social media, so by providing good customer service and helpful information, you will be able to use your existing customer or client base to bring in new business through positive referrals.

Keep up to date with social media advances

Every small business needs to keep up to date with the latest advances in social media. Many business owners may have considered using social media platforms a few years ago, but never actually got around to it. Social media entrepreneurs are coming up with new ideas every day, so what was current three or five years ago when you first took a look will have moved on drastically by today.

Whatever was putting you off using social media before may no longer be an issue when you take another look. Practically all the different sites have made it so much easier to sign up to and maintain. Many have analytical tools to help you structure your social media campaigns that were never available before. So if lack of available time was an issue before, this may not be a valid excuse today.

Today there are quite a few social media management tools you can use for free, or for a small fee, that take a lot of pressure off your shoulders, so you don’t have to feel like you should be connected every minute of the working day. You can schedule your posts so that they appear on people’s timelines outside of regular working hours, so you don’t have to work into the evening performing live tweets or Facebook updates.

Is it time to revisit social media for your business? Take that step today – you will not regret it!