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What is the Impact of Social Media on Small Businesses?

Here we are again, talking about social media. This is an article for you small businesses out there. Even if you are a much larger business and you are not on social media, reading this article will benefit you too! We may even persuade you to join us on this social media journey!

Social media can seem like such a scary platform. But really…it isn’t as bad as it seems. If you created a Instagram account for yourself personally then you are going to see one side of Instagram. It will most likely be filled with selfies, people going halfway across the world on holiday or millions of pictures of peoples pets. You won’t come across any other posts unless you search and follow them. The more people you follow and give responses to on their posts, Instagram will create you a whole page full of pictures and videos you may be interested in. But what you are probably looking to do is creating a business account, right? If this is the case, the area you will be part of will be the section of Instagram full of businesses. Your competition are most likely be on there as well…and if they are not, then you are at a strong advantage.

Small companies don’t have to invest as much to make a big impact. Small companies hold the keys to success. It is important to have a structured and organised plan before approaching social media.

So what can social media do for you?

With social media, it gives you an opportunity to make virtual relationships; whether these be with customer, competitors or other businesses. Relationships are easier to obtain by smaller business than larger ones. Smaller businesses tend to have a closer more personal bond between themselves and the clients. The bond is a process of getting to know the client and understanding what they want while working with them. The benefit of this is that their clients are more likely to become loyal to them which could mean more work in the future as they will see the bond and the trust between you both.

How do I get more followers?

What would you prefer, thousands of followers with no interaction or a hundred followers which you get interaction from and connect with personally? It is advised from us that it is better to decide upon quality over quantity. One connection is worth a hundred follows. If your audience interacts with you it will be easier for you, as a small business, to interact with them in return. Everyone wants as many followers as possible, but it is likely that if you have 1,000 followers only around 150 of them will interact with you by liking. However it is harder to get interaction through commenting. People are more likely to comment if you ask them a question or try to connect with them. However, it is key to remember that even though some bigger companies can have thousands of followers and the vast majority of followers interact with them, these companies have been on social media a long time and have built up their profile. Everyone starts off small unless you are born into the fame. The biggest tip we can give you is that people are more likely to comment when they know they are going to get a response. So try and reply as quickly as possible. By replying to their comment, this is your first step to a social media bond. This will enable more interact between you and your target market and maybe even progress to a sale, which is a bonus!

How do you approach social media?

Try to stay away from comparing your small business with larger businesses. They will be posting different content compared to you. They know whatever they post, this will result in likes and comments. Throughout this article we have spoken about interaction, it is the key your success. So the obvious approach you want to take is to interact. When you first start your social media profiles, you will have no followers. So post relevant images (for example: pictures of the team or the office) using hashtags. For information about the right hashtags to use please look at one of our previous articles called “Making use of ‘Weekday Hashtags’”. You can also use hashtags which are keywords to your business. For example: At Hex we use hashtags such as #webdevelopment #coding #wordpress #webdesigner.

Which social media platform is the best for your business?

  • Twitter – everyone from individuals to large scale businesses have a Twitter account. It is easy to learn how to use and once you are up and running, it is a very handy tool to have to interact with your target market. It is recommended to post multiple times a day which means a substantial amount of time needs to be dedicated to this social media platform. However, with the time it needs it can be really useful and can help the publicity of your business dramatically.
  • Instagram – even though once again, anyone can have Instagram it is advised that lifestyle, food, fashion, personalities and luxury brands succeed the best on Instagram. This is determined by which type of people usually go onto the app, but it doesn’t mean your business cannot be successful on it! Posting once a day should be sufficient for a small business, and remember your hashtags!
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a good route to take if you have less time to dedicate to social media. I recommend 2-4 posts a week is sufficient enough to publicise your business successfully. LinkedIn is particularly helpful for job postings, investigating other businesses and employer/employee research.

I hope this article has help to inform you regarding the impact of social media on small businesses. Thank you for reading and good luck!