Do you ever feel like big businesses have all the advantages? They have big marketing budgets, flashy websites, broad-based brand awareness, and on and on. Even if your small business did scrape up the money for a big marketing campaign, it might feel impossible to crack the dominance the big businesses have in the broader market.

We have good news for you. You don’t have to spend loads of cash for a big nationwide marketing campaign, and you don’t have to compete alongside the big businesses. Instead, you have a marketing tool at your fingertips that is practically tailor-made for small business success: Social media. Social media marketing is currently used by 83 percent of small businesses, and it has a huge potential for helping small companies like yours thrive.

Social media marketing is cost-effective.

Social media marketing isn’t free (sorry), because while many social media platforms are no cost, you do have to spend some time using them. And time is money. However, social media marketing is perhaps the most cost-effective way to get your brand name out there.

For starters, it IS free to join and use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And you don’t suddenly have to start paying monthly fees or add a business account if your social media presence goes viral.

In addition, if you choose to use the advertising channels available through some of these platforms (like Facebook ads), you can usually create advertisements targeted to your area and your target customers. That means that the money you do spend is being directed toward people more likely to engage with your business. Now that’s a smart and cost-effective way to use your limited marketing dollars.

Social media marketing allows you to engage with current and potential customers.

The bread and butter of most small businesses is community engagement. If you are like many other local companies, you are probably involved in your community and connected personally with many of your customers. That’s one reason people shop at a small business: They like the personal connection.

The advantage of social media marketing is that it allows you to deepen that connection with current and potential customers. When you post on social media, people have the opportunity to comment, like, share, and interact with what you posted. And you have the chance to open up conversations that can really put your business in a personal, and positive, light.

Social media marketing allows for personalized customer service.

You can also achieve some excellent customer service through social media marketing. Since half the world’s population uses social media, it is a natural place for them to vent their frustrations if they have an issue with your company. In fact, if you have a social media marketing presence, you might hear about issues that you would otherwise have missed (but we guarantee that their social media network would have heard about!).

And while it might not be comfortable to be called out on an issue in a public forum, it does give you the chance to publicly redeem yourself by dealing with the issue immediately. You are likely to improve your brand reputation if people see that you actually care about what they think. And that disgruntled customer might just become a repeat customer if you handle their issue with kindness, promptness, and professionalism.

Social media marketing allows you to expand your brand awareness.

The personal touch is a strong advantage for small businesses looking into social media marketing. But you probably also want to grow as a business. Social media marketing can help you do that by getting the word out about your business. Called brand awareness, this broader familiarity with your company can lead people to reach out to you instead of a competitor the next time they need something you have to offer.

Social media is great for building this brand awareness because it gives you access to an almost unlimited network of individuals (see the above about half the world’s population using social media). As you share about your company online, your network will begin to share about your business with their networks. And if you do social media marketing right, that means that over time, news about your business can ripple out to wider and wider networks of people.

Social media marketing can become a seamless part of a broader campaign.

Finally, social media marketing has the advantage of being easily integrated into a broader digital marketing campaign. In fact, it usually works best as part of a larger content marketing and digital marketing effort.

For example, say you have a blog that you update once a week. You can link to those blog posts on your social media channels. Now, your incredible content is being distributed more broadly throughout your social media platforms and more people are learning about your industry-leading knowledge and expertise.

Similarly, you can promote sales, products, and changes in your business and industry through social media. By giving you access to a broader (and inexpensive) platform, social media marketing allows you to expand your marketing efforts more widely than would have been possible otherwise.

Social media marketing has the potential to be incredibly effective for your small business. The key is to go about it the right way. If you need help improving or setting up your social media marketing campaign, or if you want to learn more about how social media can become part of a bigger digital marketing campaign, do not hesitate to reach out to Distinct Web Design. We have the expertise and the pricing to help you thrive.