Many large companies have websites and social media handles they run effectively. They know how important it is to have both and their effect on the business. However, most startups face a question. Should all small businesses have websites and utilize social media? Most small businesses do not understand how the use of these tools can be beneficial to their business. But small businesses can easily use these tools and thrive.
For websites, most consumers search for information about any product that they want to buy. This information helps them make intelligent purchases as averse to buying products blindly. eCommerce foundation stated that about 88% of consumers conduct product research before they make any purchase. This prevalent trait highlights how important a website is to a business. And as for social media platforms, businesses use them to communicate effectively and in real-time with their faithful customers. It is also a way for businesses to market their business to new companies.
We understand that social media and websites have completely different functions, even though their utilization is intertwined. Social media accounts are simple to set up, unlike websites, and they both have benefits they offer businesses. So in this article, I will take these two and dissect them for you in the easiest way possible. This article will help you understand the benefits when small businesses have websites and utilize social media.
Most businesses recognize the importance a website is to their marketing plans. The marketing plan usually anchors around the business’ website. It is the face of your business in the online space, so we must monitor it. Having a website is synonymous with having a physical shop in a physical marketplace or mall. Your business should revolve around it as various activities you engage in should lead to traffic on the website.
Here are a few things to understand when integrating a website into a small business and how important it is:
1. Website’s importance to businesses’ sales
Thriving businesses that have websites and utilize social media understand the importance of sales. You cannot keep a business afloat without making sales. The health of a business hinges on how many sales they make per time. Therefore, websites are assets to brands that want to grow.
Your website enables you to reach more customers as your online presence is a factor that draws them. However, having a website does not equate to having more paying clients. It is just the first step. The attraction begins when you use search engine optimization on your website. SEO improves the chances of people who would make actual purchases finding their way to your website.
Having a website also improves your availability to sell your products. A website gives you leeway to sell your products and services at all times, even when you are asleep. It is not expedient for you to engage leads actively and regularly, as you’ll get all the information you need from your website without stress.
The website is also an avenue for dispensing information on products they want to buy before purchase, so customers can make informed purchases. Meaning your website serves as an extra salesperson, depending on how you use it. This ‘sales agent’ helps your customer to get important information. Your website content also convinces them of what they stand to enjoy when they buy the product.
2. A Website helps build the Credibility of Brands.
All businesses need to understand how important a website is to their credibility. In the digital space these days, a business without a website seems less credible to consumers. Almost every brand has a website that we can trace them to, so any brand that doesn’t have one gives off the feeling that they are hiding something shady.
A website builds your business’ credibility when consumers can find out everything about your brand with just a few clicks on your website. When consumers know the in-and-out of your business, they trust your business more. This trust is one of the first steps to building a sustainable relationship with your clients.
The authority that your website exhumes also builds credibility. Consumers subconsciously gravitate towards businesses at the top of the pecking order in a niche. Your website has to make your clients convinced they are transacting with a brand at the top of the food chain. The content uploaded on your website determines how your potential clients see your business. When you provide relatable and educational content, you will build relationships with both potential and old clients.
And not only this, a website helps you to set your business apart from others. The content in business websites has a uniqueness to them. Your website’s content is a means of showing both potential and old clients what is different about your brand compared to other brands.
Note that it is easier for a business with a website to gain and keep customers than a business that does not have one. Therefore, small businesses must have websites and utilize social media for their brands.
3. Round the Clock Access to Product Purchase
I talked about this earlier in the introduction to the business website, but I have to elaborate on this. Businesses that have websites and utilize social media understand that a website, unlike you and your staff, does not take hours or days off. It doesn’t go on vacations. When you and your team are taking time off, your website keeps on raking in leads and sales to your target audience at all times. It is physically impossible for you to make sales or communicate with consumers 24/7. But this is possible when you have a website, as consumers can learn about the services you provide anytime.
If your products are available on your site, you can make money when you are not active on the website. It is easier for leads to become paying customers if all they have to do is make a purchase on your website. As earlier stated, your website is your extra salesperson as it practically pitches your product and services to your customers for you.
4. First Impressions is Important
For small businesses that have websites and utilize social media, a website is their chance to create a first impression on a potential customer. No matter how obsolete you think your business is, a potential customer is searching for something related to your business online. You could have a tiling business, a logging business, or a brick-and-wall business, and there would still be loads of people searching for your business. Therefore, your website must be as professional as possible.
It is good for your business to have a website. However, your website has to be attractive. The user interface and user experience have to be topnotch. If you have an unattractive website and users find it hard to navigate through it, you might lose customers without your knowledge. A survey was conducted in Business 2 Community to find out why people discard or distrust a website. According to that survey, the design of the website is a top reason people mistrust certain websites.
We can find the following elements in a professional web design:
- Simplicity in Navigation: Your visitors shouldn’t find it hard to find a product they need on your website. A website’s navigation tools must be simple enough. Your visitors must be able to find their choice of products with no fuss.
- Attractive Design: The use of colors and imagery has to be as aesthetic as possible. It must align with your brand’s identity in its attractiveness. A professional website must balance aesthetics, content, and the ease of use/accessibility of the website.
- Insightful Content: The website must provide relevant content that gives adequate information to the visitors. Your content must be able to disseminate information about your products to your visitors. Important keywords must appear in your content so that your customers can find your business online.
- Search Engine Optimization: Search engine optimization is important for your website. We must optimize content and structure for search engines. For instance, when a customer searches for a particular product or service you provide, your business’ website should pop up because of your search engine optimization.
- Speed in loading: Visitors might leave your website if it takes too long for it to load. A professional website loads faster. The loading speed improves the user experience.
- Easy Conversion: Visitors should be able to convert their orders with ease. The check-out process must be simple and easy. Your customers must be able to use the shopping cart functions with ease. They should also be able to return to them if they momentarily exit the page or your website.
You might not have the resources and creativity to create a professional website by yourself, and that is fine. Not everyone has that, but we can easily outsource it. You can contact professionals/web agencies like Iconic Digital World for your professional website.
Next on our radar on why it is important that “small businesses have websites and utilize social media” is the almighty social media. We understand that small businesses have an advantage in the utilization of social media.
They use social media to interact with both potential and old customers. The advantage a small business has over large brands on social media platforms is simply engagement and interaction. A large brand finds it hard to interact with their customers on social media as they are successful already.
Small Business Social Media
One of the most important parts of social media marketing is interaction. Small businesses that have websites and utilize social media thrive in this area. Social media helps to build awareness for the business. It also helps to improve the business’ client base and constant interaction with old clients. A study found that almost 90% of marketers that took part in a survey claim their businesses could never survive without social media.
It is easy for a small business to market its products and services via social media, as long as it constantly updated its social media pages with content/posts. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn are social media platforms that small businesses used to interact with their customers.
However, engaging your followers without a strategy can be tasking. Create a schedule that will help you engage your followers with little stress. You will also be able to keep them interested in well-structured content.
So what advantage do small businesses have in social media marketing?
Social media success seldom depends on the number of followers brands who have websites and utilize social media has. It depends on the effectiveness of your engagement with your customer.
Below are various reasons small businesses could achieve more success than gigantic business on social media:
- Small businesses focus on community and individuals more
The differences between small and large brands are many. Some of them are the employee count, revenue generation, and legal organization. But these are not the only differences between these two. Small businesses that have websites and utilize social media are prone to focus more on community and individuals. This focus creates a connection between them and their customers. They can also join up with communities and mingle with them. They can also connect with other small businesses. They could also create an avenue of partnership with their small business counterparts and market their products.
Customers are more likely to get a response from small businesses than large businesses on social media platforms. Small brands can easily control the inflow of messages from their followers and also send in quick replies.
Social media is a splendid avenue for social media users to create conversations or content about products or services. We can compel customers to post pictures that have the business’s product in them. They also welcome questions and comments, as well as reviews from their customers.
Customers will have an undying trust for a brand that gives timely responses to their ordeals.
- Fewer expenses incurred on adverts
Advertisement on social media is free. However, there are features you can pay for, like on Twitter and Facebook. Advertisements on social media are relatively cheap. For the paid ads, you can easily target the location of the people you want to reach and their interests. Paid ads help to narrow down the reach to the people who are likely to buy your products.
Before we advertise on Facebook, we should decide on a budget. The type of audience to be reached is also a factor to note. Unlike large businesses, small businesses do not feel the need to reach customers globally. Their focus is on the locality.
You can advertise products, both old and new, to both existing and potential customers when you churn out content. The current customers can be ambassadors for the business as well. It is not surprising if small businesses know all their customers individually. This aids in the brand’s recommendation to their circle.
- Social media marketing Collaboration
Various small businesses could cooperate on social media marketing strategies. Small businesses can come together to form a coalition to target people that are in their particular niche. This coalition could help the corporate parties build the brand’s image and awareness.
- Small businesses can sponge off of big advertising.
Various large brands host events that small brands can leverage in their marketing strategy. For instance, Small Business Saturday (SBS) is a day that was launched in 2010 by American-Express, to promote small brands across the country. SBS is a shopping holiday that encourages people to shop small. The commercial success is always off the charts as it occurs right on Thanksgiving Saturday. Small businesses that have websites and utilize social media can ride on this wave and benefit from the SBS’ massive social media marketing. They could use social media to talk about their affiliation with SBS and get the awareness they seek. This way, small businesses profit from just a simple tweet saying they would take part in SBS.
Now that we have learned why small businesses must have websites and utilize social media, you can implement these into your business. You could decide to place all the weight on your shoulders and go DIY style, but 90% of the time, it doesn’t turn out very good. So why not leave it to professionals like Iconic Digital World? With over five years of experience under their belt, they will get your online presence swinging in no time at all. When you are ready to take the giant leap, contact us online.