In the past year, I have increasingly used Facebook as a key communication app to message friends and customers, with almost instantaneous response. Sharing ideas, personalising messages, notifying future events and promoting offers through this medium, has been soliciting a much higher response to email marketing especially with a small and personal contact list.

For more professional matters, industry news and updates, a finely crafted eNewsletter still has a place. It serves as another medium for more comprehensive messages.

Before we delve into the 5 ways in which social media can help any small business grow, I have some 3 introspective questions for you as a small business owner:

  1. In your own opinion, what will be the greatest benefit you can get from using social media in your business?
  2. Are you willing to start using social media (if you haven’t yet) or are you still not convinced enough that it’s truly beneficial?
  3. If you have started, do you know how to enhance the use of Social media marketing to build your brand, friends and followers?

While you get a brain exercise by finding the answers, let’s learn the five ways the social media can help your business grow.

5 Ways Social Media Can Help Small Business Grow1) Monitors Your Brand’s Reputation

An infinite number of online conversations take place on a daily basis across social networking sites. Many of these discussions are about the public’s perception of various brands on the market, both good and bad. By utilising online reputation management tools, you can monitor for mentions of your brand on the Internet to promptly engage in those active conversations. This can go a long way in helping to convert a prospect that has been researching your brand to a viable customer. In the event that negative feedback is being voiced, these monitoring tools allow you to take action quickly before your brand can be damaged.

5 Ways Social Media Can Help Small Business Grow2) Positions You as an Industry Expert

By using your various social media channels to share compelling, industry-specific content that your customer base will find valuable, you can be viewed as an expert in your industry. Earning this status will help you to become the “go to” person in your domain and creating additional opportunities to expand your brand’s presence on the Internet through guest blogging or webcasts.

5 Ways Social Media Can Help Small Business Grow3) Increases Sales

Social media marketing needs to help increase sales and revenue. That’s why it’s called social media marketing and not simply social media public relations. To be fair, improving brand awareness and legitimizing a brand should, by themselves, help increase sales. But there are ways to use social media to directly steer consumers toward the sales funnel. For fans of the business, business owners can write posts that link to products, sales, etc.

Marketers can also use promoted content and advertisements to sell products to target audiences who haven’t become fans of a brand yet. The ability to target particular audiences is one of the greatest benefits of social media marketing. Social networks know a lot about consumer interests and demographics, so even though there are hundreds of millions of fans, marketers can accurately target the right people with the right message.

There are also a lot of ways that retailers can sell products directly from social networks. On Facebook, business owners can set up a Facebook store with apps like Ecwid or Beetailer. Shopify account can sync and publish a Smart Market Mobile App to for users to receive deals and buy directly on mobile.

5 Ways Social Media Can Help Small Business Grow4) Improves Customer Service

Another benefit of social media that’s easy to overlook is customer service. Even if a business has a dedicated customer service department, telephone number, or email, it’s important to handle issues via the method of communication the consumer prefers. The fact that people use social media to ask customer service questions is reason enough for businesses to ensure their ability to help customers through social media.

5) Attains Positive Reviews

Delighted customers who are interactive on social media would have an avenue to share their experiences, post, share and act as advocates for your business. Of course there might be the odd negative review posted, but this provides the business an opportunity to interact and response positively to ‘make right’ of a negative experience. Best brands and businesses are build with integrity and honesty anyways, a bad review on social media can often be made right with other delighted customers themselves responding to the criticism.

Final Words: Use Social Media to Build Attraction!

Today, NO Social Media presence means NO presence at all. Therefore, it’s important to get your social media plan right on point NOW!

if you don’t have time or resources to get set-up on a social media plan and action, you may want to look at outsourcing to someone or a dedicated company that quickly understands the nature of your business and give you a defined plan with purposeful actions.

The clock is TICKING!

5 Ways Social Media Can Help Small Business Grow