How Social Media is Helping Small Businesses to Grow

Social media has many benefits for small businesses including market research, customer service and collaboration. It’s also a great tool for building relationships. Social media has probably turned a few visitors into loyal fans for your own brand. But if you’re like some marketers, you may misunderstand how fast the return on social media is.

 

Some compare social media to advertising, but this isn’t right. Ads can pump up sales pretty quickly, but it takes time to build relationships that equate to sales. Social media opens doors, but it takes time, patience and diligence to establish strong connections. Some visitors may turn into brand advocates right away, but for others, it could be years down the road that this is reached.

 

Let’s examine how businesses are using social media to grow according to the 2015 report How Marketers are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses.

 

Social Networks Used

 

The study surveyed over 3,700 marketers with the purpose of understanding how they use social media to enhance their business. According to this group, they plan on using Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube more in the coming years. The majority of marketers currently use Facebook but still want to learn more about it because some of their tactics are ineffective. Podcasts and video marketing are other areas marketers would like to strengthen.

 

Length of Experience

 

Ninety-two percent of participants said that social media is important to their business. Fifty-six percent have been using social platforms for two years or more, but a surprising 22 percent have only been using them for less than 12 months. Whether experienced or inexperienced with social media, most marketers agree that are open to learning more because not all marketing efforts are effective or easily analyzed.

 

Social Media Benefits

 

Even when social media marketing seems to be ineffective, marketers agree that they don’t lose sight of the underlying benefits. These include:

 

  • Increased exposure
  • Increased traffic
  • Improved sales
  • Improved search rankings
  • Generated leads
  • Created loyal fans
  • Established thought leadership
  • Reduced marketing expenses
  • More business partnerships

 

Paid Search and Content

 

Marketers agree that social media offers a lot of value that other forms of marketing can’t achieve. That’s why marketers plan on increasing their use of Facebook ads, Google ads, Twitter ads, LinkedIn ads and YouTube ads. They also plan to increase their activities on most major social networks including Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest, in that order.

 

Content is another key aspect for a strong social media presence since content is used to promote a brand, engage an audience and build a following. In the survey, marketers agreed that blogging, videos, visual content and podcasting were most important to their branding. They plan on increasing their activities for all forms of content and want to learn more about them, particularly videos and blogging.

 

Conclusion

 

Social media is a huge time commitment, and the benefits aren’t always easy to see right off the bat. But don’t let this get you down. The more you utilize social media, the more relationships you’ll make. It won’t be long before you turn visitors into loyal fans and advocates of your brand, and this is what makes social media invaluable.

 

For more on this study, be sure to visit to download your free report from Social Media Examiner.

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