Social Media Is Important For Small BusinessesAccording to the Experian, 2011 Social Media Consumer Report 91% of the American adults online, which sums up to 129 million approximately, access some form of social media each month. This tells us about the power/reach of the social media these days. In another survey by the Constant Contact, 63 percent quote Facebook, and 30 percent quote Twitter as extremely vital tools that aid marketing, and these stats for your information have risen from 50 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

In addition to these statistics, the survey also points out how small business owners now see the social media as equally vital as the old school face-to-face interactions. A social media way to revitalize this old school face-to-face interaction is by adding live chat to website and providing website live support to make the experience easy and friendly.

All the basic traditional marketing activities also saw diffident increases in their importance this fall. By saying traditional marketing activities, I’m including websites, event marketing, email marketing, and online surveys, etc.

The problem with small business owners these days is that they struggle with contracting new customers as well as sustaining the current ones, and as if this wasn’t enough, they also struggle with marketing their products as well as their services in order to succeed. When it comes to websites, small business should have website live support to assist their business.

Ironically the solution to the first and second problem can be solved by addressing the third problem only. Meaning you solve the third problem and the first two get solved automatically. If a small business runs a website then it should opt to add live chat to website and provide website live support. This makes the online interaction between company and customer easier. In case there is any issue, it can be resolved instantly.

Marketing and advertising, is the finest key to any small business’s success and popularity. This journey of gaining popularity began back in the days with directly selling to customers, which further got evolved into advertisements with flyers and posters, and then turned into using websites and emails, and now it’s down to electronic ads on the oh-so-fashionable social networking sites. According to the Facebook’s recent F8 Developer Conference, more than half of Facebook users, more than 400 million people, log into the site every day.  Targeting the appropriate (to your product or service) customers is the most excellent way to anticipate and meet the needs of those customers.

Social networking sites include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Myspace. All of these social networking websites offer options to create profiles and pages, wherein small business owners are able to advertise their products and services. These social media websites now even offer applications which calculate the likes and dislikes of users. According to http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com out of business owners who use social media, 86% use Facebook vs. 41% LinkedIn and 33% Twitter:

Which shows as to how out of the small and medium-sized businesses, majority are investing their most efforts in Facebook. Users of Facebook can even join groups which support small businesses, or like I mentioned earlier the customers even have the option of “become fans of…” these small businesses pages, adding to their reach and advertising audience.

We need to understand that this social networking system of e-collaboration is more or less now the very basis of electronic advertising as far as the small businesses are concerned. What small business owners are doing is that they’re using Facebook as a platform to get through to the masses, updates about their service or product, events that are taking place, what special offers are going on, what achievements or recognitions have been received by the small business, etc.

What Facebook’s done is that the recent activity of individuals, meaning their status updates, posts, comments, likes, them joining small business groups or adding support to small business advertisements, all used to be listed on the user’s profile but, now what they’ve done is evolved that into the “newsfeed” which offers multiple updates on the current activity of friends for everyone on their home page. And this newsfeed further got followed by a ticker box now, which provides real time updates. Doesn’t get better than this, does it?

Published articles pertaining to the achievement or success of these small businesses can be copied and pasted onto the business profile or be linked on to their status on Facebook or Twitter. Such updates allow the current clients and potential ones to view their activities or achievements within, not even minutes, but seconds of their publication.

Indirectly showing off these achievements by posting links and statuses, the small businesses can, more like do create what we call a “buzz” about their ongoing activities. In a survey by Zoomerang, 1,180 small to medium-sized business (SMB) owners and 500 customers were interviewed in September 2011. These participants were all asked about the 3 most important reasons small businesses leverage social media, and were given seven possible options to choose from. The result was as follows:

With the help of social media, what we can see is that small business owners are able to retain customers, build relationships, and receive recommendations by marketing the expertise as well as services they offer through the use of social networking. All you small businesses out there, will definitely and truly benefit immensely from creating a page on these social networking sites, which should contain all the relevant information about your product or service (whichever you’re selling), that users need in order to assess your quality, performance and even popularity. These pages can include the pictures of the company, your product range, pictures of some branding activity that you carried out, along with the appropriate logos and contact information.

These social networking pages target the masses with a single click. What I mean by this is that your updates and messages can be sent to all of your business followers through a single click, hence enabling you to make the most of the many aspects that the social networking applications provide us. Another interesting trend is to offer incentives to the fans on your page, by providing the followers with contests, games, and prizes for fans who participate.

Social media also allows you to create Events via Facebook or for them to be posted on Twitter, which contains the basic contact information along with all the relevant information such as the venue, timing, host, attire, admission fee (if any) etc. Social Media i.e. websites, along with the use of website live support make it more interactive.

In this highly globalized and competitive world, you don’t want your small business to be wiped off the market. So before this can happen, start making use of what is a MUST now, the Social Media and add live chat to website today!

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