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Small Business Gets Big Value from Social Media

Erin Richards-Kunkel, Director, Social Media | Herbalife Nutrition​ | April 30, 2018
Social media is one of the most powerful tools small businesses can use to connect with customers on a daily basis. Here's why https://hrbl.me/2JBaS3q #SmallBusinessWeekClick To Tweet

For more than 28 million small businesses in America, social media is the closest touchpoint to their consumers – 52% of small businesses post daily on social media, according to a recent Clutch survey. Your online presence plays a critical role in defining your brand, and social media is one of the most powerful tools business can use to shape their voice and connect with customers on a daily basis.

 

How Social Media Boosts Business

Social media creates numerous opportunities for small businesses when done right. A strategic approach to social media can:

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Enhance brand reputation
  • Foster authentic relationships with your customers
  • Drive increased traffic to your website
  • Promote a two-way dialogue with customers to provide feedback and constructive criticism
  • Drive sales

But small businesses that embrace social media need to understand that it’s not just about selling – people generally don’t want to be marketed to when they’re scrolling through their Instagram feed. It’s about human-to-human interaction and building relationships —true engagement should always be the goal of any social media approach.

 

Nobody knows this more than Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors. For many distributors, social media is one of the primary ways they contact their customers, so they invest a lot of time in connecting, motivating and keeping up with their clients on social media. Whether it’s sharing weekly meal plans on Instagram or talking about weight loss journeys on Facebook Messenger, distributors can connect with their customers on social media from anywhere. The relationships they build and support they provide on a daily basis are a huge part of our Distributor Difference, which is what sets Herbalife Nutrition apart.

 

Avoiding social media can be detrimental to small business owners and entrepreneurs. The 2016 Small Business Technology Impact Study from Time Warner Cable found that up to 30% of people might not buy from a company without a social media presence. Additionally, one in five consumers surveyed in the Time Warner Study won’t frequent small businesses that don’t respond to comments on Yelp or other review sites.

 

But posting without a plan can be just a harmful to your brand. We live in a world that is already oversaturated with content; small business owners can feel obligated to pulse out a steady steam of posts daily to keep up, but without a plan, your content will likely not be effective.

 

Quality of content will always trump quantity, but both are important. Figuring out what content resonates with your audience often comes down to trial and error, so you may be optimizing your strategy fairly frequently in the beginning. Keeping up with the latest platform changes is critical, as this can impact the reach and engagement of your posts. For instance, Facebook is now prioritizing content that inspires “meaningful conversations” in the News Feed – this means posting content that will drive comments (versus likes) is more important than ever.

 

Leveraging Social Media for Your Business

Small business owners should ask themselves these key questions when using social media to reach customers:

  • What are my business goals and how can social media help achieve them?
  • Are my customers using social media?
  • Which channels does it make sense for me to be on and who am I trying to reach on each of these?
  • What kind of content will be useful and actionable for my audience?  
  • Who in my industry is doing social well and what can I learn from them?
  • Which metrics should I track?   

Mapping out the answers to these questions will empower you to build a solid foundation for your social media strategy. Constantly measuring and optimizing your approach will help ensure your content is resonating with your audience.