4.76 billion people globally use social media, with the daily time spent on social media is on average 2 hours and 31 minutes. Due to the ever-increasing role social media plays in our lives, businesses have taken to setting up accounts on social media. It has become essential for businesses to have a presence online for a many reasons. With social media accounts linking to websites where consumers can buy products using online payment solutions, businesses are widening trading hours, profitability, and customer base. In a society where we are rarely without our phones and spend our lunch hour scrolling social feeds, it is a wasted opportunity not to advertise your business on social media.
Missing Out on Social Media Means Missing Out on Millions of Potential Customers
Facebook boasts an impressive 2.9 billion monthly users as of 2022. Instagram also has a staggering monthly user amount of 1.1 billion. These are platforms you can use to promote your business. Not all social media platforms are equal, with specific platforms more beneficial to certain business types. For example, Facebook would benefit hairdressers, barbers, and beauticians. Not only can you have your trading hours and location show, but customers can also leave reviews and tag the business in photos of the final product. Additionally, businesses that require bookings can do so through social media. Companies can attach their booking page to their social media account to make it much easier for consumers to visit your business.
Instagram may benefit restaurants and cafes. We’ve all seen people get out their phones to take a picture before they tuck into the aesthetically pleasing meal placed in front of them. Having the restaurant on Instagram means that when people share these photos, they can tag the restaurant, so not only does word of mouth get out about the restaurant, but also the location is easily found for others to visit.
Snapchat may benefit businesses that are in multiple locations, for example, pop-ups or stalls at events or fares. Through Snapchat, you can post stories about where your business currently is, which will then feature on the area’s Snapchat map for customers to discover you.
Social Commerce is on the Rise
For a small business, there are many benefits to being on a suitable social media platform:
- It gives small and local businesses visibility and presence online. By having social media accounts, you can link your website in the bio and within posts. This can lead to an increase in web traffic. If you sell products on your website using an ecommerce payment system, you are a business open 24/7 to consumers.
- Social commerce is on the rise. Social media platforms have acknowledged the critical role social media can play in businesses. In recent years they have evolved, and consumers can make purchases using storefronts on the platforms. Incorporating storefronts means consumers can purchase on websites without leaving the social platform, streamlining the purchase process.
- Creating accounts on social media platforms is free, meaning there is no financial risk to having an account for your business. It won’t cost you to use this tool for your business, and it can be a hugely beneficial marketing tool to build your brand and get your business out there. You can grow your customer pool both online and at a physical location by having the details of your business featured on the account.
- You can create a community with your customers. Social media allows interaction with consumers at any time, even after purchasing. It then forms a personal relationship between consumers and the brand if they can interact with business accounts. Customers can leave feedback, reviews, and photos of what your business offers. This can be highly beneficial to businesses as user-generated content builds trust with consumers considering purchasing from your business. They can see your product in an honest and authentic light.
A Like and a Share is the New Way to Recommend
If you are a small business, you may not have the time or resources for a marketing team or employee. Social media accounts can be your way to market your business. Word of mouth is a vital part of marketing. People like to take recommendations from friends and loved ones. This message can be heard louder and further with social media. Simply seeing a friend post about your business on an Instagram story could have the potential of multiple peaked interests in visiting your store or website. According to a study conducted by Forbes, over 383 million consumers reported social media recommendations significantly impact their buying decisions. This is supported further by the Q1 2022 Global Social Commerce Market Survey, which reported that in 2021 around 80% of consumers in the UK used a social media platform for shopping.
As society is developing and new business trends emerge, it is clear that technology is holding an increasingly important role in our lives. For local and small businesses, competition is fierce amidst this climate of choice. Increasing your business’s visibility is essential, and going where your customers are is a huge benefit.