People are spending more and more time on their phones these days – especially younger generations, making social media an increasingly effective way to market your business.

Social media is a great way for consumers to understand and research a brand before making a purchase. But not all businesses are putting in the effort to display their company on these platforms.

According to a recent study, nearly 40% of potential customers research a small business’ social media platform before making a purchase. In order to highlight the ROI of a cohesive online presence and proven results from social media, here are 4 ways you can expect to see an improvement in your marketing returns:

  1. Boost in engagement
  2. New leads from social promotions
  3. Building brand loyalty and new followers
  4. Improvement in brand authority

Boost in Engagement

Customer engagement helps build loyalty, trust, and authority.

In order to make a conversion online, there is a process of engagement leading up to the final “buy” button. These engagements may seem inconsequential, but think about it, would you ask someone to marry you after just meeting them? No, of course not. Much like the process of dating, think of engagements as a way to court your potential buyer before they actually say “I do” to a purchase.

People like to connect with people, not products. So, by displaying your company on social media, you can strategically assert your brand as more than just a label. Through platforms like Instagram and Twitter, you can express your brand voice, share company photos, promote testimonials, and start building a portfolio of content that helps your customers understand what they can expect from your company.

Small businesses can take this even further by cashing in on their “community” appeal. According to a 2020 study by Red Egg Marketing, 82.76 percent of shoppers say they would rather support a local business than a large corporation. Their reasoning? Just because they want to support their community!

This puts small businesses in a unique position to familiarize their customers with their products and brand on social media to boost engagements and increase the chances of a conversion.

New Leads

We’ve addressed the importance of brand engagement to drive conversions, but social media’s reach actually goes beyond those individuals who are already interested in your brand.

Hashtags, paid advertisements, and personal sharing options increase your brand reach beyond your current customer base. You can even go the extra mile to engage with people and other companies within your industry to boost your presence on various platforms.

Contests are also a great way to draw in new leads. In 2019, my team saw a lot of success after implementing a social media contest for a Credit Union client. Members and potential members had to complete social media actions to earn entries into a drawing. The prize was a visit from a food truck & we were able to boost our clients social following by 15% with hundreds of new members.

If your small business is seeing a lag in new members and shoppers, try implementing some of these social media strategies to market your offerings and allow for brand visibility.

Brand Loyalty

People have endless options online when it comes to shopping. However, a majority claim to be loyal, frequent customers to a particular brand.

Loyal customers are some of the most valuable people in business. Not only are they continuously spending money on your products, but they’re also most likely to refer new customers.

While there are many strategies you can use to inspire loyal customers, one of the most promising options is to create a community around your brand.

In order to establish a community between your shoppers, brands need to understand what qualities and interests their customers have in common. When it comes to local small businesses, this connection is obvious. And where do all these experiences converge? On social media, of course.

Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even YouTube, social media platforms are communities in their own right. Some small business brands even elect to bring their local supporters together for events and outings.

While this avenue may take hard work, a solid brand message, and consistency, it pays off in the long run in the form of a community of loyal customers.

Brand Authority

The size of a company doesn’t determine the authority they can hold within their industry.

Brand authority is an important component to instill trust from your customers. This is why running social media platforms isn’t as easy as taking a random photo and immediately posting it online. Just like traditional marketing and advertising, these platforms should be hosted with intention and to serve your audience.

This doesn’t mean small businesses need to spend ad budget to take professional photos every week or hire a producer to film videos for YouTube. This simply means that your content should serve an overarching purpose – to provide some kind of value to your consumer.

Listen to your audience and the questions they have about your industry. Aim to educate, inform, and entertain. After all, as a small business, you know the ins and outs of your own industry as well as anyone else.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to limit what you share on social media to your own products and services. Scout out important and beneficial resources for your audience and be their personal curator. The bottom line is, be intentional.

Making the Move to Improve Your Small Business’ Social Presence

While this all may seem daunting, it starts with just a single post.

Have an idea of what your brand message will be and just start engaging. As small businesses look to invest in their marketing efforts, social media strategies shouldn’t be ignored. It’s an effective, free way for businesses to connect with the community on a daily basis.