What Can Social Media Do for the Small Business?

Social media tools create a means by which a business can engage their audience with communication and start a conversation that they may not have had the opportunity to otherwise. The consumers can ask questions, comment and receive feedback. This allows the business to use these tools to better reach and understand their customers where the focus is on the conversation rather than the tools used to make the connection. Use the same tools in the same ways and for the same reasons that your customer would. 

Relationship
Traditionally companies don’t get to start a relationship with a customer until that customer comes to their business. Social media gives the customer the ability to get to know the person representing the business, thus evaluating the business ahead of time. Relationships and communication are ultimately the be-all and end-all of good business.

Effective marketing is done by word of mouth. The business should have the intent of creating the best possible experience and relationship with each customer. Their next closeout may very well come from the result of a customer experience instead of an ad campaign. 

Value
Success in social media is dependent upon having a direct benefit to others. The key is to first provide a benefit to the audience by creating content and community that offers them value. By giving your audience a direct benefit, the business benefits indirectly with sales increase.

If the business instead tries to directly promote themselves, it will be a value loss.

People want to be informed and educated. The best customers are those you educate about your product and who then decide to purchase it because it is a good fit for them. People buy from those that they like and trust. Are you worth trusting?