It costs nothing to use free social networking tools to increase brand recognition and connect with current clients and prospective customers. Social media allows for real-time engagement, which increases brand awareness and loyalty. The frequency in which you can connect directly with customers and clients also means they’re unlikely to forget you or your product.
Social media also allows small business owners to establish themselves as experts in their industry. It costs you absolutely nothing to share news and ideas with your followers, and yet it will absolutely add value to your brand.
Advertising platforms, like the ones Facebook offers, do cost money but it’s just a fraction of what businesses often spend on print, television, or radio ads. For example, the average cost for 100 clicks, or around 36,364 views, is $24. Another option is “boosting” a post. The starting cost of “boosting” a Facebook post is $5, which will get you an estimated reach of 470-1200 people. No matter which route you choose, this is a far cheaper alternative than the expensive print and commercial ads of the past!
Whether or not you decide to pay a small fee for advertising on social media channels, the beauty of networks like Facebook or Twitter is that people can share what you’ve created. If you create meaningful, compelling content, people will pass it on to everyone else who subscribes to their feed. Think of “word-of-mouth” advertising, except faster and more widespread.
Before the Internet and social media, traditional forms of print or television media were often restricted by location. Now, businesses can reach would-be clients beyond the immediate scope of their communities! To use another example from Facebook advertisements, you can customize exactly what locations you’d like your post to be seen in (among many other demographics). Since the advent of social media, loyal clients and customers have the ability to also share your posts and promotions to their friends, no matter where they live. Nationwide and even global outreach is now possible for small business owners, and all at a fraction of the old cost.
As a small business owner, you know time is also money. With just one click of a button you can ensure that the same types of visual or audio content can be instantly transmitted to audiences everywhere. By using social media, you are engaging in real-time, lightning-fast connection with potential clients.
You don’t have to wait for that commercial to air, or that print ad to be published. You also don’t have to wait to see whether or not it had a positive effect. As soon as you publish a post on any social media network, you can track its effectiveness through each channel. For example, Facebook analytics allow you to find out instantly how many people are favorably engaged with your post or your advertisement.
Airing a TV or radio commercial, or publishing a print advertisement, didn’t just cost businesses a lot more money. It also took a lot of time to create that one “perfect” ad meant to entice potential customers or clients. This isn’t the case with social media. Your business page was meant to be updated regularly. In fact, frequent updates are the whole reason why social media exists!
When used effectively, social media levels the playing field for small business owners competing with big-budget companies. You can increase your brand recognition tenfold and establish meaningful connection with clients and customers by using these invaluable tools.