As a small business we know you have to be extremely creative with your marketing budget (that’s if you even officially have one!). Most of the time your best bet will be using a “free” source such as one of the many social media networks.

But having the first hand experience of parents who own a local business, I know it’s sometimes difficult (because of both monetary and time constraints) to integrate something new to the your business’ mix. So, I’m going to try to give you a short run down of exactly what social media is and what it can do for your small business.

The Basics

Essentially, social media is a virtual community where people and businesses can go to interact, share and exchanges information. The use of social media has exploded in recent years, and has proven to be a great way to interact with all types of potential customers.

There are a variety of social media networks, each having their own unique uses and audiences. For example, Pinterest is great if you want to provide image-based content geared more towards women (since 70% of users are women). For more information on this and other networks check out our past blog titled “Social Media Network”, explaining each network and its specific uses.

Using social media networks allows you to create pages about your small business and all its offering. Once you set up your pages you are also able to update your followers on a regular basis and help increase in your business’ awareness and exposure. As your followers grow, you will be able to use social media to update them on the latest promotions, trends or products that your business has to offer and drive them in-store and convert them into a long-term customer.

Social media has a lot of potential uses for small businesses, but as with everything it comes with its drawbacks. One of the biggest is the time utilization of being active on a variety of platforms. Over 25% of small businesses, that actively participate in social media, report spending more then 10 hours per week planning, engaging and posting content via social media. But don’t get discouraged by this statistic, the important things is that you get organized and plan ahead to ensure you’re posting engaging content consistently, and with hard work and consistency watch your followers and business grow.

If you ever find that your social media account has become too time consuming, over whelming or are worried that you aren’t using it to your business’ fullest potential we are always here to help! We can help you review, organize, plan and execute any social media plan or campaign you might need across all mediums.