Why Social Media is Important for Small Businesses
For businesses affected by a COVID-19 closure or shelter in place order, maintaining and strengthening your client relationships is more important than ever. Even if you’re not seeing clients in-person right now, it’s still important to maintain and even increase your social media presence. Let your clients know that they can support you and your business without spending a penny simply by leaving a great review for you online. That way, when you get back to work, you’ll have new clients to greet alongside your established customer base. Click here to read a letter from our CEO, detailing how Vagaro is here to help your business get through this crisis.
Easy Ways to Use Social Media for Your Business
More than ever, small business owners are turning to social media marketing as a dedicated part of their overall marketing plan. After all, it’s a jackpot of customer information, just waiting to be discovered, due to the transparent nature of the platform. That means the benefits of successful social media marketing extend well beyond simply increasing sales and bookings, and also improving customer retention. Here are some of the biggest benefits of implementing your own social media campaign, and bright ideas to help you get the ball rolling.
1. Social Media is Cost-Effective
When it comes to cost, social media marketing is one of your best bets. It’s free to sign up and create a user profile on most social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
You don’t necessarily have to run paid ads on social media sites to drive traffic. Though if you opt to go this route, ad prices are considerably lower than comparable ad campaigns run through traditional media.
Because social media marketing is considerably less expensive, you’ll maintain a greater budget for other marketing or operating expenses. The lower cost of social media marketing also increases the likelihood of seeing a higher return on investment (ROI). For example, studies show that a $5 investment on a Facebook ad can reach up to 787 new people per day, averaging 1,000 impressions.
Share your campaigns, sales, deals & discounts using Vagaro’s Facebook integration, and then measure their performance to see how much new revenue your campaigns bring in.
2. It Makes Your Small Business Stand Out From the Competition
Did you know that almost half of US shoppers use social media to ask questions about businesses, products, and services? Because of the visual, transparent nature of social media platforms, there’s no better way to boost your brand visibility than through social media! Social media exposes your logos, colors, fonts, and other key branding elements to a broader audience, thus increasing your brand recognition.
The more people “like”, engage with, and share your posts, the more your business becomes recognizable to new users. Engaging with your existing fans and followers helps grow your presence as they share your page with their friends. By dedicating a block of time every week to nurture your social media pages, you can increase visibility and make your brand instantly recognizable, increasing brand loyalty. In fact, studies estimate that 53% of the US following a brand on social media are more likely to be loyal to that brand.
Create a discount code (FACEBOOK20, TWITTER10, INSTAGRAM15, etc.) for each social media platform you use in a promotion targeted to reach new customers. Then, analyze the results to see which platform gets the most engagement, so you’ll know where to focus your future efforts.
3. Social Media Engagement Helps New Customers Find You
Without factoring in social media traffic, chances are that the inbound traffic to your website or online bookings is limited to your established customer base. Social media platforms present you with the opportunity to reach new customers without having to figure out who to target, or how to reach them. Hashtags, content, and user engagements with social media algorithms help new customers come to you instead, giving you access to different groups of people!
Hashtags are free and help new groups of users find your business when they’re searching for something specific. Some examples of hashtags to help boost discoverability include: #highlights, #personaltrainer, #spalife, #barberskills, #nailart, #yogastudio, #grooming. Marketing research indicates that posts using 1-3 well-placed hashtags increases the likelihood of re-sharing by up to 55%! But be mindful of “hashtag stuffing”, because more hashtags don’t necessarily translate into greater visibility or engagement and can actually be flagged by social media platforms as spam.
4. Social Media Turns “Likes” Into Customers
More visibility means more opportunities to turn casual browsers into customers. Every post, picture, video, comment, and re-share has the potential to lead new users to your website, where they can book services and buy products. The greatest opportunity social media marketing gives you, however, is the chance to show the human side of your business.
Engaging with customer comments and re-shares is an investment that makes your brand have a human element, which can be a motivating factor in conversion. By taking the time to develop relationships with social media users who aren’t customers yet, you increase the probability that they will become customers. Research shows that 73% of consumers are more likely to book a service or make a purchase when brands reply to their questions on social media. What’s more—social media drives 5% of small business leads and has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
Add a call-to-action (CTA) and motivate visitors to do something. Make sure you’re clear in the action you want them to take. For example, “Get results like these in 90 days and save 20% when you book training sessions with me today using code FACEBOOK20.” Or, if you want them to shop online, create a CTA such as “Shop now & get free shipping when you use code InstaFREE.”
5. Social Media Builds Brand Awareness
Social media helps build your brand. By posting consistently, your followers will see your brand more often, which increases the chance that they’ll share your post with non-followers. Engaging with your fans will keep you at the forefront of their mind when thinking about where to book their next service.
Establish a consistent brand voice across your social channels. Your followers will become more familiar with and connected to your brand and persona.
6. It Allows Your Small Business to Provide Quick Customer Service
Whether your followers have questions about your operating hours, reservation policies or the services you offer, being active on social media allows you to answer these questions quickly. People expect a response to their social media comments within an hour. While this may not always be realistic, a consistent presence on social platforms allows you to shorten your response times.
Check your account messages frequently, or about every 2–3 hours, during your normal working hours, to make sure you’re responding to any customer questions or concerns in a reasonable window of time.
7. You Can Easily Promote News & Content from Your Small Business
If you’re closing early, running a limited-time promotion or just posting a new blog article, social media is an excellent way to inform your followers. Creating a social post is quick and easy. It can also increase how many people take advantage of a promotion, decrease confusion if your hours change and drive traffic to your website.
Consider creating a social media calendar to track when and what you’re posting. A calendar can help you map out a social media plan, especially if you’re running a campaign or trying to promote a new service.
Simplify Your Social Media
You don’t need to have a dedicated social media team to create a campaign that drives new customers and increases revenue. All you need is a solid marketing plan and automated tools to create a social media campaign that’s easy to maintain and gets results! Vagaro features Facebook and Yelp integrations that make it easy to create campaigns and directly post them to social media, where customers can book immediately.
Consider adding your social media links to your email marketing campaigns, to make a campaign work double-time for you. Prospective customers use social media every day to communicate their values, needs, and expectations. Social media marketing gives you the chance to meet—and exceed! – their expectations.
Ready to get social with new customers? Your next sale could be just a few posts away!
Header Image and Icons: Mia Montemayor via Vagaro
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