If you run a small business, you’re probably busy enough without having to think about setting yourself up on social media. But understanding the benefits you can gain should make you realise how important social media is.

Getting your business and your message into the public domain is essential, and social media is the perfect platform to do this. Having active social media accounts provides a unique opportunity to connect with your customers on a familiar level. They also allow you to:

• Spread the word about your business and enhance your brand awareness.
• Engage with your customers in a way no other platforms allow.
• Have a public presence which is easily accessible and readily seen by millions.
• Update and inform your customers on news, changes, events and promotions. Repeat custom is big business too!
• Send potential and existing customers to your website.
• Lead trends, show authority and knowledge in your field and endorse your company.
• Monitor and control public opinion: you can manage your online presence and your reputation.
• Become part of a social media community: support and be supported by other businesses.
• Run advertising campaigns targeting key users with relevant interests.
• Run promotions and competitions which require sharing, thus ensuring you are seen by even more people.
• Show up more in search engine results – not only for your company but for targeted searches. 
• Learn from your customers, see what works, and what information is of most interest.
• Use the data from your social media accounts to analyse your business and improve it.

Your competitors could already be on social media, and since brand awareness and identity has never been more crucial, you need to be on there too, otherwise you are losing out. Many customers will judge you based on your online presence. Having an outdated website, poor social media accounts or having none at all, will leave them wondering whether you are a good business to invest their money in.

With instant internet access on smart phones and tablets, never has it been more important to have an active online presence. To really succeed at social media, you need to use your accounts regularly and update them continuously to build strong customer relationships. Social media relies on regular activity and interaction to survive. With Facebook, interaction is essential or it will stop letting your followers see your posts!

Businesses which invest time in building their online presence will secure a sustainable competitive advantage. In our fast-moving, cross-channel world, it’s essential to be proactive and resourceful. Having active social media accounts with informative, professional profiles and posts shows your customers that you are a conscientious, forward-thinking, popular business.

The internet is a huge collective knowledge base, an interactive world of possibilities, and whether you choose to be a part of it or not is up to you.

Need assistance with setting up or managing your social media presence? Get in contact!