Social Media for BusinessesSocial media is a part of everyday life for a society engulfed in technology, making it one of the best ways to reach vast and new audiences.

Social media is one of the few aspects of technology that people are exposed to so frequently through the day, with smartphones and tablets enabling people to never have to miss an update again. And with its many free and cost effective business features, it’s no surprise it is one of the most popular digital marketing strategies with new and small businesses looking to grow. Here are just a few of the many ways in which social media can help small business and start-ups:

It Gives Your Brand Personality

People like interacting and doing business with other people, not corporate robots. When a brand is too formal and impersonal it can really put someone off, but social media gives companies the opportunity to change that. Blogging, content sharing, videos and images can all help to give your brand a face and personality. Rather than blogging as a brand, people like it if the CEO or a representative of the company who they can relate to is seen to be doing the blogging, sharing images of the team, putting names rather than brand names to the blogs, having video introductions to employees, and other ways to introduce your customers to the team they are doing business with all go down a treat.

You Can Gain Feedback and Monitor Reputation

It’s no secret that if someone is extremely frustrated with or elated with a brand and their products/services they will most likely take to social media to shout about it. And when people share these passing statuses on social media, they have no idea what kind of impact it could have on their friends, and in turn on their friends of friends. If someone began slating a new product that hadn’t arrived as they expected, it might put me off going out and getting that product in the future. Just the same way as if a friend was saying how fabulous their new product was, I may not have even considered it before but down the line I am likely to begin to want it.

You can monitor your reputation online with reputation management tools, which enable you to locate conversations that mention your brand or even your competitors, and join the conversation. This gives you the chance to right wrongs, swoop in and save the day or simply thank those saying lovely things about your brand. It also allows you to gather candid and honest feedback about your brand, your competitors and what your customers want from your industry in general, allowing you to utilise this information when planning future campaigns, new products and services, etc.

Become Viewed as an Industry Expert and Add Value

Using social media to distribute well written and well informed content that your customers find worthwhile and share is the best way to become viewed as a knowledgeable leader in your industry. Becoming an industry leader in effect makes you the ‘go to’ company when people want something from a trusted source, adding value to your brand.

There a many more reasons why social media is the go to strategy for small businesses and start ups, and why they just can’t afford to not give it the time of day. With the variety of social media channels available, from general B2B and B2C platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, to more specialised and niche platforms such as Pinterest and Vine, there is no industry or company that cannot benefit from being on social media.

About the Author

This article was written by Silverbean, a digital marketing agency based in Newcastle upon Tyne, specialising in SEO/Social Media, Affiliate Marketing, Conversion Rate Optimisation, and PPC Management.