Small businesses and social media. Do you need it?

We’re all on social media. Well, maybe not everyone. According to the Global Web Index (GWI), 67 per cent of the UK population owns a Twitter, Instagram or Facebook account. The question is no longer whether we use it, but why we’ve become such social media fiends. Long gone are the days of Facebook-stalking former classmates or begrudgingly ‘liking’ gap-year photos; networking sites are now a key tool for finding businesses and their products.

With such a large pool of potential customers online, why is it that 24 per cent of smaller, local businesses are reluctant to get a (Twitter) handle on things? Tasha Bodger, Stone Junction’s marketing executive, explains some of the benefits of localised social media.

Notorious Y.O.U
Having an online presence as a local business can be the difference between a mediocre customer base and a great one. By introducing any kind of social media channel, your consumer pool expands from those locally, to anyone searching for a ‘great bakery in Staffordshire’, for example.

You might bake the best cakes in the area — excluding my nan — but without making yourself findable online, you’ve already segregated a large potential customer pool.  

Additionally, eight out of ten small businesses now have an active social media presence, so there’s a high chance that your competitors are just a click away. They might not be better or more convenient, but they are visible. Make sure you are too.

ConTROLL your brand image
Having control over your brand is one of the biggest benefits to social media. Whether it be negative or positive feedback, being able to respond and engage with customers is the perfect way to build relationships whilst supervising the perception of your firm.

Unfortunately, comments aren’t always positive. Some users relish the opportunity to post a highly-strung Facebook rant, potentially to the detriment of your business. However, with appropriate acknowledgement and an effective resolution, your social media platform could turn a negative review into repeat custom.

In fact, the Huffington Post reported that if a complaint is settled effectively, the consumer is five times more likely to return.

Take a break, have a chit chat!
Social media is also a great platform for marketing and at the heart of all social media campaigns is the content. By simply writing a post on the products you offer or the issues that matter to your customer, you could make significant financial gains.

Plus, you don’t need a huge follower base to get started. Regardless of how extensive your social media following is, it only takes one customer to like your posts to create a ripple effect of engagement. As a result, your client base has increased exponentially; and you only had to press send!

Of course, there are ways to tactically manage social media campaigns, grow a larger follower base and get your business in front of the right people. If you’re looking for help with your first social media campaign, contact Stone Junction now on 01785 225416 or e-mail  

Tasha Bodger

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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