SMBs are made for social. Social is made for SMBs.

By Meredith Sain

Ten years ago, social media was reserved for college students tucked away in their dorm rooms. Today though, nearly 80% of internet users are consistently active on social media networks. Not only is social media a powerful tool to connect with friends and family, it can also transform your small business into a medium one because it allows you to effectively:

1. Engage with consumers where they are

If 80% of internet users are on social media platforms, you can reach a large, geographically diverse audience by going social. You must allow them to find products and services quickly and easily in order to continue to grow your business.

As we shift towards e-commerce, customers can easily lose their loyalty to businesses they once visited in person. Social media will enable you to provide a personal touch to the customer’s experience from miles away by engaging with them and providing content that you think can help them out.

2. Gather valuable consumer insights

Accurate consumer insights can help you improve product offerings and increase customer satisfaction. Imagine how much you could enhance the quality of your offering if you listen to what your customers are telling you. Ask for feedback online by using tools like GetFeedback and put those insights into action.

3. Increase sales by tailoring products and messages to consumers

If you’ve really listened to your customers and created products and services that meet their needs, you’ll see the pay-out in sales numbers. Give customers what they want! And make sure that you use social media to let people know about these changes.

4. Market and advertise

Customers see advertisements all day, every day. As consumers ourselves, we hardly believe what we see anymore after receiving so many false promises from companies. Differentiate your advertising and marketing efforts by encouraging your customers to do the job for you. Invite customers to post and write reviews on your page, share information about your company, and engage with them through social media. Positive opinions from your customers will go a long way in promoting your company (with little associated costs!).

5. Serve your customers online

If your customers are online and your business is online, your customer service needs to join the party. A recent study indicates that consumers are shifting toward the internet for answers versus picking up the phone or sending an email. 87% of contact centers believe that traffic over digital channels will increase over the next 2 years — make sure that you’re ready.

If you’re still undecided about including social media in your business, think about the explosion we saw when individuals began to use the internet socially. well, that movement is happening again. Beat out the competition by developing a social media strategy for your business and watch your consumer base and customer satisfaction grow exponentially.


Originally published on the award-winning Desk.com Blog.

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