In the past few weeks we have spoken with a few business owners who are doing “just fine” with their current marketing and advertising efforts (or lack of effort.) They were all established, small local businesses with a firm foundation in the community.

Thus far, a few print ads (where there is still print), coupon mailers and word-of-mouth from current loyal customers has helped to propel them forward.

They saw absolutely no need to pay for Social Media assistance, didn’t see the importance of using the sites for marketing purposes and certainly were not interested in advertising.

One company even told us they did not want a mobile-friendly website because they didn’t want to be found on a mobile phone, they only wanted customers who found them on a desktop computer (yeah, we were a bit stunned by this one too!)

If you are positive you absolutely do not need to bother with a serious, formal and professional Social Media Strategy, you may want to read further.

Here are the top 3 reasons why you need to reconsider Social and get your business out there with a consistent strategy if you want to still have a viable business in a couple years.

  1. Your Competitors are Using Social Media

93% of consumers research brands on Social Media before making a purchasing decision.1

When these consumers are doing their research on Social Media will they find you or will they find your competitors?

If your competitors are using Facebook consistently and correctly and you are not, you may be giving business to them. Consumers want to see an active presence on Social Media, they want to see reviews and they want to know that if they have an issue you can resolve it for them. Give them what they want! Because if your competitor has an active presence, reviews and good customer service it is likely that these consumers will do business with them instead of you.

If you personally use Facebook and start to see ads for your competitors, there is no question you MUST start advertising on Facebook. Because if you are seeing the ads, it is 100% likely your current customers are seeing these ads too.

  1. Your Current Customers don’t Use Social Media

Facebook adds 500,000 new users every day – that is 6 new personal profiles every second.2 Most internet users have an average of 5.54 Social Media Accounts.3

Almost half of all Americans say that Facebook is the #1 influencer of their purchasing decisions.4

Trust the statistics, most everyone is using Social Media these days. The most common demographic using Social Media are the 25 to 34 year olds and the fastest growing demographic5 on Social Media are those over the age of 55.

Over 70% of online adults are using Social Media and 91% of Millennials (the newest consumers) use Social Media. All income brackets are represented, all locations, all races, and both genders – it is statistically likely that most of your customers are, in fact, using Social Media.

  1. Your Current (Loyal) Customers are Happy with Your Business

While your current customers are loyal and call you when they need you, if they are being bombarded by ads for your competitors on Facebook or seeing their friends comments about how wonderful your competitor is or your competitor is has a better price/coupon/deal/etc. for Social Media users are you confident your customers will not be persuaded to call your competitor the next time they need assistance?

In 2015, Facebook influenced 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchases, up from 36% in 2014 and this number will likely keep increasing.6

You may have a full book of clients, and some fairly decent word-of-mouth and referral sources, but as your customers begin to see your competitors’ ads on a daily basis and learn more about offers that are better than your prices or see the services their friends use your book may start to dwindle.

There is Still a Window to Seize the Social Opportunity

There are 50 million small Business Pages on Facebook, but only 2 million of those businesses pay for advertising and only 41% of small businesses are using Facebook.8

It’s time to get serious about the future. Do you really want to take the chance that your competitors are in the 59% of small businesses not using Facebook?

If you want to grow you need to use Social Media, it’s no longer an optional tool, it is a crucial part of any marketing and advertising campaign and you need to take it seriously.