Why Small Businesses Should Start Taking Social Media Seriously

I learned my most important business lesson before turning 10, and that too from the most unexpected source: the local grocery store I frequented for home supplies. The owner was a jolly man who gave me a grand welcome and always had candies to spare.

I loved the guy for his kind nature until one day — after discovering the candy in my pocket– mother told me I was being bribed with candies. I neither understood nor cared. After some years however, the statement made sense. Some more years later, I realized that she was not exactly right.

The humble shopkeeper wasn’t bribing me. He was building a relationship with his customer.

Small business owners all over the world realize the importance of building relationships. They know it’s the repeat customer that matters and doesn’t mind giving a small discount or extra to him. What they don’t realize is how social media can help them in the task. While young entrepreneurs are surely more at ease with the usage of social sites for marketing and promotion, the ones that didn’t grow up with Smartphones are missing out.

And it’s not like the need is not there. Here are few reasons why small businesses should seriously take social media into consideration:

Competition will only grow fiercer — Whether you are running a local food joint or planning to start a clothing store, there will be competition in the market. Brick and mortar businesses nowadays also have to compete with virtual stores. Even online businesses have to battle for sales with clone ventures. In such a scenario, you must make your presence felt through social media.

Web is the future — In case you think your business is too small for web, then, think again. According to eMarketer, global Smartphone users will grow to 1.76 billion by the end of 2014. Still not convinced? By 2017, almost one-third of the world population will use Smartphones. Considering search and social media are top priorities of mobile users, small businesses cannot afford to ignore both.

Opening of global markets — Whether you like it or not, they are coming for your customers. In the next 10 years, you will not only be competing with locals but also with established global names. Governments are counting big on foreign investment, and are taking every possible step to make the market more competitive. So, it’s important for businesses to strengthen their bond with stakeholders.

No matter how convincing and scary, above points need not be your primary motivation to start social media activity. Go for social media because of the advantages it will bring to your business.

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