Small businesses are still hesitant to add social media to their marketing mix. They see it as too time consuming with little possible results. However, this opinion isn’t based upon fact. Of all marketing methods, social media is one of the most cost effective and takes little time once a strategy is implemented. Small businesses that don’t adopt social media are losing out against the competition which does use it every single day.
According to Zoomerang, almost two thirds of small businesses spend less than $100 on social media marketing. Every small business can afford this tiny amount to get their name in front of hundreds of millions of users. This same site found that only 26% of small businesses actually hire a dedicated social media marketing manager. In fact, many small businesses spend nothing on social media marketing except their time.
Increase In Business
Before you discount social media as wasted time, consider the increase in business. A survey conducted by MediaBistro found that at least 50% of small businesses gained new customers by using sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This same survey found that your followers are much more likely to buy from you than the competition. In fact, Twitter users are 64% more likely to purchase from the brands they choose to follow.
Online Equals Offline Results
While online small businesses usually readily adopt social media, small offline businesses still refrain from social media marketing. However, a Nielsen study of social media activity showed that active social media users are more active offline as well. They are more likely to attend sporting events, make music and clothing purchases, join gyms and even go out on dates. Currently, approximately 53% of active users follow a brand. The study also found that active social media users have a greater influence on their friends. Get online followers and get offline results.
Using traditional marketing methods, you have the opportunity to reach thousands as a small business. With social media, you have the opportunity to reach millions on a daily basis. In Nielsen’s third quarter 2011 social media report, 80% of Americans use at least one social network. Even with all the online competition, users still spend over 20% of their time on social networks. Small businesses cannot afford to hide themselves from such a large audience.