It seems like the whole world is tweeting, recording video on Facebook Live, or Snapchatting their way into profits and brand credibility. But, according to a recent report, there is still a sizeable number of small- to medium-sized business owners who have yet to board the social media train.
Yeah, in 2017. Believe it.
In a recent survey conducted by Clutch, a Washington, D.C. B2B ratings and reviews firm, 24% of small business owners and managers indicated they don’t use social for their business, while 8% never expect to use the popular platforms. Forty percent of the survey’s respondents were companies with 10 or fewer employees, 27% with 11-50 employees, 25% with 51-250 employees, and 8% with 251-500 employees.
The findings of the survey also reflect that for those who use social media, Facebook is king. More than 90% of small businesses with a social media presence use the platform—one that also leads in general usage among all social media lovers. The second most popular channel is Twitter, which is used by 55% of small businesses.
If you’re a small business owner who has not yet tapped into what could be a gold mine of new customers, clients, and leads for you, here are a few facts that might change your mind about disregarding its value:
Your competitors are using it and many are winning.
Whether it’s gaining a foothold in consumer trust or finding ways to reach customers in locations they previously had no presence in, social media is a convenient and often low-cost tool for entrepreneurs. If you’re among the 24% not using social media, think about the more than 75% who are reaching customers you could have. Brands are even incorporating instant-access tools such as Buy Now buttons—a still emerging trend especially popular among millennials—direct web links to sell products or services. With this in mind, you can also get to know your competitors, how they operate, and the audiences they cater to in order to tap into those audiences yourself. Most platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, offer analytic insights that not only allow you to evaluate your customer and follower bases’ demographics but those of your competitors as well.
More consumers are using social media to drive their purchase decisions.
According to PwC’s 2016 Total Retail Survey, social media is a “major influencer of consumer purchasing decisions,” with 78% of global consumers indicating that social media influenced them in some way about what they’d buy or who they’d buy it from. Sixty-seven percent indicated that “either reading or writing social media reviews and comments influences their online shopping behavior.”
Knowing this, why not own the conversation and meet your clients and customers where they are: online? Experts recommend finding out what platforms our customers are most inclined to use, and starting with that one to update them on deals, events, and other aspects of your business that allow them to get to know you and offer their insights on your service or business. You can also use scheduling tools like Hootsuite, or even a consultant or freelancer, to manage your updates for you, to make updating when you don’t have the time, resources, or energy that much easier.