Since the first social media site, Six Degrees, was created back in 1997, the social media revolution has continued to grow and thrive. MySpace took social media to international stardom in 2003, but it wasn’t until Facebook came along that the vast majority of the population took to embracing the social media phenomenon. Today, Facebook is not the only popular social network; different apps jostle for niche appeal and mainstream success, with Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok vying for supremacy among certain demographics.
One area in which social media has undeniably transformed life is that of business. To put it simply, the business landscape today is unrecognisable from where it was fifteen or even ten years ago. Social media has made every interaction between businesses and their customers – not to mention business-to-business transactions – completely different. The question remains, however: does every single business need to have a social media presence? If you’re running a small business, just how important is social media to your strategy?
The answer is a resounding “yes”, in our opinion. Every business needs to have a social media presence, and there are very few exceptions. Social media drives the majority of online interaction nowadays. Different platforms target different demographics, and each platform offers a unique service to its users. Without a social media presence, it’s going to be very hard for your business to publicise itself to your customers, not to mention interacting with them and understanding what they want from you. Your social media is effectively the way by which you present yourself to the online world.
Why is Social Media so Important?
Social media is important for several reasons, but the primary reason is engagement. You can’t easily talk to your customers and discover what they’re saying about your services or what they want you to provide without social media. Opening a dialogue on a social media platform is as easy as putting a call out via Facebook or Twitter asking what you could be doing better or what people like about your brand. By driving organic engagement, you’re increasing people’s appreciation for your brand, which is one of the reasons social media is so crucial to your image.
You should also consider that social media is vital for raising awareness of a business. Social media networks usually offer advertising programs that allow you to promote your content for a fee. Using those services is crucial; depending on what demographic you want to target, each service can help you to reach more people if you use paid advertising promotion. Even if you don’t pay for advertising, simply telling people that your brand is available and ready to take business will raise awareness if you do it on the right social media channels.
Organise your Social Media Platform
Organising your social media platforms so they correspond with one another is also crucial for a business. When a customer searches you on Google – or when they’re looking for the services your business provides – they’ll come across your social media pages as well as your official website. How well you coordinate that information will be vital to whether or not that customer decides to shop with you or avail themselves of your services. If you don’t have a social media presence, you’ll seem sketchy and disreputable to customers; after all, who doesn’t have social media these days?
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes for a minute. You have a grievance with a business. Would you rather go through labyrinthine channels to contact them, perhaps waiting on the phone for several minutes and getting shunted around departments, or would you rather simply DM them on social media? If you don’t have social media, your customer support will suffer. People will think you’re difficult to reach, which is lethal for a business’s branding. You should always strive to be approachable and ready to listen to customers, which is something social media can help you to facilitate.
The bottom line
These are just some of the reasons why social media is important for a business. The truth is that social media is probably more vital for a business to have than for any single individual, because it represents more than just an online platform; it’s the way customers reach you, the way they confirm your authority, and the way they get to learn about your brand in the first place.