Social media has penetrated and dominated nearly every industry, world-wide.
Still, when people think of social media marketing, many envision the expensive ad-campaigns run by Fortune 500 companies and the like. Think of Target's "Back to School" commercials or Walmart's "Everyday Low Price Guarantee", which feature impossible-to-beat margins. But, while these mega-companies appear to dominate the space, there is actually a large hole in the market. This hole is perfect for local small business owners.
While e-commerce thrived during the Coronavirus pandemic, small businesses everywhere suffered. Unfortunately, many also went out of business. However, the pandemic nearing its end also presents a unique opportunity to current and emerging small business owners: people are itching to get back inside of brick-and-mortar shops.
As restrictions are lifted and summer is around the corner, patronage will skyrocket. It is already starting to right now! In order to capitalize on this pandemic bounce-back, your business must utilize social media marketing. I know, you have heard it before: "Social media marketing is so important!" But, right now, it could not be more true.
Let's jump into how and why social media marketing will revitalize your small business during this very unique time.
50% of small businesses are not using social media to promote their business.
Yes, you read that right. Half of your competition is failing to use the most advanced networking tool to their advantage.
As people in your town return to some version of "normalcy", like setting out to plan summer-fun activities, date nights and family dinners, they will be doing research on the internet. If you do not create an online presence, the social algorithms will never suggest you to prospective customers.
For example, a mother named Jane wants to find the best restaurant for labor day weekend. Jane's research consists of visiting the town Facebook group, looking up Yelp reviews, searching local Instagram hashtags and even asking her Alexa "Alexa, what are the best restaurants near me?" Unless you have social media pages and a website up-and-running, Jane will completely miss you. The social media algorithms will never recognize you as an option. Jane would not hear about you in time for Labor Day and most likely never will- unless she drives past your store or somehow learns via word-of-mouth.
Do not leave your prospective customer's in the hands of others' conversations. Do not allow your local competitors to occupy the social media space alone. Even by simply creating an Instagram and using local hashtags, you are participating in social media marketing. It does not have to be a fancy Target campaign to be very effective.
Social media is not only for targeting "young people".
Another common misconception is that social media marketing mostly targets younger age brackets. Statistics from the Pew Research Center show that as of 2021, the upper age brackets are really catching up.
From ages 18-29, 84% of people use social media. Coming in close second, from ages 30-49 a striking 81% of people use social media. People aged 50-64 are also using social media more than ever- clocking in at 73%.
The excuse that social media marketing "will not benefit your target demographic" is a thing of the past. Do not underestimate your customer base. As more and more people become tech savvy, your business must keep up. Why wouldn't you want to appeal to people 24 hours a day, for free, in the biggest marketplace every?!
75% of marketers believe that social media marketing has been "effective" or "very effective" for their business.
Social media marketing has been tried and proven, time and time again. It is not a gamble to make an Instagram account or a huge financial endeavor to create a Facebook page. Sure, you can monetarily promote posts or hire social media marketers if you choose. But, it never hurts to get started organically. You will be shocked at how many people support your business "just because" they were endlessly scrolling and stumbled upon your page.
This probably sounds too good to be true
I know what you're thinking, this sounds way too good to be realistic. But, social media is just funny that way. People can go to bed with 50 or 100 followers and wake up "viral" over night. It is all about putting yourself out there. Producing content that is accurate to your business, and that appeals to your customer base, will steadily attract more and more customers.
Content creation may not be easy at first. Setting up many different social media accounts, and constantly updating them, can be time consuming. But, it is essential in order to survive in our digital world. Start now, and then hardest part is over. Once you are up and running, simply maintain your social media presence and watch your customer base blossom.
Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below if you will start utilizing social media marketing. Or, if you have already, let us know how it is going!