Almost every business must advertise in some way, at least if it hopes to grow. Sure, a small mom and pop restaurant that is known to all the locals might get enough local business to scrape by, but if they want to grow their customer base even they need to advertise. Your business needs to advertise, and one of the most effective ways to do this in our technologically modern world is to make effective use of social media to promote your company.
The Value of Social Media
In the past advertising has generally consisted of mailing flyers, hand passing out advertisements, placing ads in newspapers and magazines, calling potential customers and other such efforts and cost-intensive initiatives. Advertising in these ways can require a substantial financial investment, one that is challenging for small businesses.
Enter: social media.
Today, social media makes it much less expensive for small businesses to get the word out to potential customers. As the internet age dawned business people quickly began to use email and webpages to advertise, and these tools are still effective today. But social media has the added advantage of being just as inexpensive – or even less expensive – as email and websites, and has the ability to reach a very targeted audience at a time when they are receptive to your message.
The Advantages of Using Social Media
Social media is becoming more popular all of the time. It all started with chatrooms and news boards, but once MySpace hit, the world changed. Now, social media just gets bigger and bigger with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and who knows what else right around the corner. Facebook alone has nearly one and a half billion active users each month and the number just keeps growing.
To be clear, social media offers the following advantages, among others:
- A large customer base that just gets bigger. From teenagers to grandparents, liberals to conservatives, men to women, everyone seems to be on Facebook.
- Increased profits. Social media has a very low overhead. Joining most social media networks is free, even for businesses. And posting messages is free. This extra saving can be invested in safe areas like annuities or structured settlements which can be used for urgent financial needs in future
- Fast. Social media is very fast; you can post announcements of specials or sales right as they are happening and always be relevant to what is going on in your business or in the world.
The Disadvantages of Social Media
Of course, nothing is without its disadvantages. Social media does have a few of those, including:
- Large time investment by knowledgeable staff. To be effective on social media you need to have someone posting, a lot. You need to be constantly visible and relevant, and you want the posts to be done by (or at least approved by) a person who is high up and knowledgeable about the business. This means that one of your most important people will have to dedicate time to social media.
- Need to check often and delete overly negative posts. Social media responses must be checked often to see what viewers and customers are saying, to deal with any negative responses, and to change or delete posts that turn out to be wrong or not accomplish the intended goal.
- It’s difficult to measure how effective it is. If you mail out a postcard with a coupon you can tell if it is effective by how many people turn in the coupon. Social media is not always as easy to quantify. Sure, you can send out coupons and coupon codes and track that, but much social media is like word of mouth and the results are not always so readily seen.
Despite some minor disadvantages, using social media for advertising is still one of the most effective ways to get the word out to the right people at the right time and help to grow your business.
Image: Author’s Own
Joseph Green is a professional internet marketing analyst at Strategic Capital. He believes in providing the best and suitable financial advice. Joseph has vast experience in various financial sectors and specializes in structured settlements. He keeps writing about helpful and practical financial solutions.