Social media a game-changer for small businesses

Before social media became a big portion of our lives, many small businesses struggled to sustain operations through word of mouth and small advertisements around town. Paying for advertising in major newspapers, billboards, radio or television was rarely an option due to the tight budgets of these small-business owners.

However, with the evolution of social media, the challenges small businesses face when it comes to advertising and marketing are fast diminishing. While previously competing for the market share with big companies may have been a case of David versus Goliath, today’s playing field has been made almost even through the presence of social media.

According to 2013 social-media report released by Sensis, over 30% of small businesses in Australia had a social presence online last year. This is more than a twofold increase in comparison to 2011, where only 14% of small businesses had taken to social media. The number is also fast increasing, as more and more small-sized companies are quickly jumping on the bandwagon.

Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like have proven themselves to be popular among small-business owners in their aim of better connecting with their target audience. Based on the same Sensis report, 88% of small-business owners are using Facebook in comparison to 87% of large companies based in Australia.

It is time to make your online social presence known.

While having a Facebook page that is able to draw in consumers enable small businesses to easily market their products and services, some companies have also opted to pay for advertising on social-media platforms, which is relatively cheaper than taking out a billboard or air time. Sensis reported that 41% of small businesses have placed advertisements on Facebook, and of that, 47% have found their campaign to be effective for their businesses.

The social-media platforms have allowed small-business owners to more than just interact and advertise with their target consumers; it has also allowed them to better understand their products and services and the needs of their customers and clients. Through social media, business owners are able to easily receive feedback and comments, allowing them to better finetune their offerings.

The time for small businesses is now. Social media is the tool of choice for many small businesses in Australia, and if your business is not already on it, then it is time to make your online social presence known.

Syahirah Anwar, Roi Connect