Social media is arguably one of the greatest things to have ever happen to small businesses. In less than a decade of usage, it has managed to completely transform the way in which businesses are able to conduct their marketing activities.
In terms of what can be achieved with a great social media campaign, it puts even the smallest business on a level playing field with its larger competitors. A huge advertising budget of a multinational can be overshadowed quite easily by the simple power of a small business with a great idea.
Despite the compelling power of social media, many small businesses are simply unable to see all of the potential benefits that they could derive from it. This is a shame, because they are being left behind by big business once again.
The important thing to remember for any small business considering social media is that it cannot simply be used as a substitute for a business website. For the best results with social media you must integrate it with your own website, which should already be filled with interesting content that you can easily link back to.
Social media is important for branding purposes. Even if you are not concerned with immediately starting to use social media, you should at least secure your own business identity on the social networks as a placeholder to prevent anyone else from impersonating you.
Being a member of multiple social networks will also help your search engine rankings. Once a social media profile is indexed, it will count as a natural inbound link to your main website. Sharing links via social media will often help to improve the popularity of that link.
A social media profile can generate a large amount of high quality traffic to your website, because the people who click-through are likely to already be interested in your business or industry. Your best tactic is to select a social network that is relevant to your industry and then try to get creative. If your campaign goes viral it could be a massive success.
Interacting with customers is a key part of social media. This is a great way of drawing customer attention to new products or services that you offer. You can also use the social networks as a learning tool by finding out what other people in your industry are doing.
Small businesses that choose to ignore all of these great social media benefits are only going to be left further behind than they ever were before.