Executive Perspective: Is it Time for Your Business to Get Social?
It’s incredible to think that in the 2020s, many independent businesses – our clients – still don’t have a website. It seems to us that the pandemic proved no business is too small to take advantage of retail technology and a digital marketing presence.
If building a full-scale e-commerce website seems like too large of a bite at a time when businesses are rebounding from the pandemic closures and restrictions, there are ways to reap similar benefits with less effort. Having a social media presence – on Facebook or Instagram – can help any business in many ways. And you don’t have to hire a web designer to get one.
When businesses shut down last year during the pandemic, it not only increased how much people shopped online, it also increased the amount of time they spent on social media.
In January 2021, 4.2 billion people used social media, and 2.8 billion of them are on Facebook. That research also shows that 85% of internet users have a Facebook account and U.S. citizens over 18 spend 33 minutes per day on the site.
Likewise, Instagram has close to 1.2 billion users, enough to prompt CEO Adam Mosseri to recently announce the platform is shifting away from being strictly a photo-sharing app toward one that is more commerce-driven.
All this means is that even without an e-commerce website, businesses can use social media to achieve similar results with a smaller tech investment. Social media sites provide businesses a perfect place to interact with loyal customers and reach out to potential shoppers. They can feature:
- Business locations
- Hours of operation
- Contact information
- Company description – product sales or services
- Sales fliers
- Photos of staff and special events
- And a way to receive questions and provide answers
All this content is aimed at engaging customers (or followers) who will then share your information with others – over time building your presence and eventually your business. It’s essentially giving your store a personality that will draw more customers.
One of the unique aspects of social media is that it can be used to essentially market your business at no cost. They all have add-ons, but basic services are often free.
They’re all pretty easy to set up, too. They have simple instructions to follow to set up pages and accounts. How you use them is up to you.
The whole goal of using social media is to build a community of followers so that when they are thinking of purchasing a product or doing a DIY project, they think of your store first.