The latest Spark Business Barometer, a study sponsored by Capital One Spark Business, reports that 40% of small business owners are still not using social media to grow. More than 400 entrepreneurs were interviewed via phone for the study, of which, 67 percent had five or fewer employees. Further, only 21 percent of those surveyed shared that they use cloud technologies or data analytics to make business decisions. In today’s business environment social media is cheapest and more direct way to market a small business. Helping is the new selling, and your currency is quality content shared via social media.
If social media has not yet resonated with you as a “must do” in your business, let me share a few reasons why you should get on board quickly. After all, people are making money every day with social media. Here are a few more reasons to jump on the social media bandwagon.
It Helps You Get to Know Your Customers: No longer do you have to guess or assume what your customers really want. You can use social media to get to know your target customers intimately by hanging out with them online. You can listen, learn and build real relationships using social media. You can also leverage blog content to position yourself as a resource by sharing helpful information that solves a problem for your target customer.
It’s The Ultimate Focus Group: You listen to what your customer need and get instant feedback on offers, marketing messages and pricing. And on Twitter, you can even listen to the competition and check out their content and they don’t even know you are eavesdropping.
Expand Your Audience: It’s not just about selling to the 30-mile radius around your retail storefront. Social media gives you access to customers across town or worldwide. You need to build an ecommerce presence no matter what kind of business you have, and social media is the best way to build a following of people who can’t just come to your store.
Increase Traffic to Your Website: Social media is the most inexpensive way to drive traffic to your website, which after all is the whole point of using social media marketing. And the more you share, the higher the search rankings will be for your website. If you have a little budget using paid ads on social media allows you to drive targeted traffic to specific landing pages. If you can create an enticing call to actions that will drive action to make your cash register ring.
Close Business with Social Media: There are apps that will allow you to close a sale directly through social media channels. On Facebook, you can use Spark Pay, to embed a buy button on your Facebook page or you can take your product catalog and distribute it across dozens of product feeds and comparison engines like Amazon, Google, Yahoo Shopping. You can sell through your Facebook posts using the Soldsie app. Just upload a photo, the price and description and at the specified time, the item will appear on your Facebook page like any other scheduled post. A great option for selling on Twitter Instagram and Pinterest you can use spreesy to turn fans in customers as well. Who couldn’t use another selling channel.
This should be more than enough information to convince you that it’s time to invest in social media. After all the accounts are free, but you pay with your time, so be strategic. If I can give you just one more piece of advice, focus on just one social media platform at a time. Once you are dominating then move on the next one. Be sure to focus on the social media site where you are target customer spends the majority of their time online. That will give you the best return on your investment.
The month of May belongs to small business and Capital One Spark Business is continuing its “Seize the May” campaign this year, providing small business owners with a wide variety of offerings across banking, lending, merchant services and retirement.
This post is sponsored by Capital One.
About Spark Business
Capital One® offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses, and commercial clients. Spark Business from Capital One comprises a suite of innovative products and services specifically designed for small business, including credit cards with unlimited rewards, no-fee checking and savings, and secure and flexible merchant service offerings. Spark Business provides tips, resources, and inspiration to help your business thrive at www.SparkBusinessIQ.com. For more information, visit www.CapitalOne.com/smallbusiness.