Does Social Media Matter for Businesses?
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Last month, we discussed a few social media tips for small businesses to improve their content and reach their social media goals. However, we noticed that another question arose altogether...does social media even matter for small businesses?
The short answer is absolutely. Understandably, small businesses may be hesitant to start, invest, and maintain websites and social media (especially if they don’t have the knowledge or experience to do so). However, a business that isn’t on social media or online is quickly falling behind its competitors. According to Clutch’s 2017 Social Media Survey, over 75% of all small businesses use social media such as blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Of the 25% that do not, 16% are planning to start using it in the future. Forbes reported that as of 2014, social media was no longer just a luxury, but instead a necessity. Just pick any Fortune 1000 company and you will find that they have an active social media presence and have invested into social media through the use of social media strategists, search engine optimization specialists, and online community managers.
But other than being a booming trend, why is social media beneficial? According to The Social Media Examiner’s 2013 industry report, 75% of marketers indicated that social media has helped increase their traffic and 89% saw a significant increase in exposure. They use social media as a way to gain marketplace intelligence and develop loyal clients, customers, or fans. Moreover, the study showed that those who are consistent in their social media efforts are rewarded. After a period of just three years, those with who put constant efforts into their social media indicated that they saw an increase in sales. Additionally, small businesses with ten or less employees found that their social media efforts reduced their marketing costs. In the end, it's hard to deny what a favorable investment social media can be.
Looking past the numbers, examples of social media success stories are all around us: Shane Miller, the 26 year old artist who makes 40% of his sales on Instagram, or the dozens of social media stars that have developed into retail moguls. Furthermore, take a look at how much the White House (yes, even the White House!) has invested into social media over the last decade. In 2008, they joined Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, iTunes and MySpace. Later on they expanded onto Instagram and most recently, Snapchat. Simply put, social media is now one of the most important ways of communicating. If your customers or clients are on online, you should be too.