Using Social Media for a competitive edge for your small business in 2017

It’s no secret that social media has kicked up a storm for the marketing industry over the past two decades – and it’s no wonder businesses are using it today as a platform to leverage themselves against their competitors.

So what impact does social media have as a tool for small businesses in 2017? Here we explore the reasons why social media is useful for your small business and ways in which you can use it to advance your business.

Firstly, Social media is not only free – but it’s an ideal way to get prime engagement from current and potential audiences without spending extensive amounts. Unlike costly traditional marketing techniques, social media can be used to communicate directly with customers. Although typically businesses will use paid forms of advertising, they can vary from as little as £1 per advert or ‘boost’, perfect for small or start-up companies looking to save when marketing their new business. Although advertising can become costly, the audiences that you may reach by using social media are far wider than those of traditional marketing techniques meaning you are able to connect with audiences far and wide that may take an interest in your business.

Not only is it cost effective, social media encourages an authentic relationship between you, (the business) and the customer. By creating posts that are relatable to the audience, you engage with those you are targeting – prompting a trusting and more personal customer relationship.

Social media is direct. With the use of clever tools such as analytics, social media cuts straight to the audience your small business is marketing to, based on a person’s profile on each network. If you’re targeting a specific age, gender or area, Facebook smartly does the hard work for you by narrowing the fields, giving you that competitive edge against similar companies.

It allows you to analyse your success or failures. What could take hours with traditional marketing takes a simple few clicks with social media when it comes to analysing the success of your marketing campaign efforts. With an extensive review of traffic, clicks or likes on your campaigns, social media can analyse what works and doesn’t work for the audience to get the best results. Whether it’s posting humorous content, asking questions to the audience, or simply updating information, Facebook can tell you what’s worked or hasn’t that month, giving you the opportunity to figure out the best social media strategy for your small business. As well as this, you are also able to review insights into what is being talked about most in your particular industry.

Conversion Rates. Whether you own a small shop, provide a service or run a website – social media can undoubtedly convert traffic to sales. If a business is providing its audience with engaging content, it could see an increase of its sales and/or traffic to its website.

Of course, Social media doesn’t come without its downfalls. If you’re a service based company be prepared to receive public reviews on your Facebook or Twitter pages that are honest and direct and understand how to handle them. This can give you the competitive advantage against similar companies to you.