When you think about it, running a small business is all about interpersonal interaction with your customers. Your customers chose you because you offer a level of personal service they can’t receive elsewhere, and your growth depends upon their satisfaction and referrals to their friends and family.

Creative businessmanNowadays, with the majority of people choosing to connect and interact with one another online, a valuable opportunity has emerged for business owners. Social media now offers you the chance to grow your business more rapidly and easily than ever.

Small businesses are becoming more visible. When you’re out and about, you might notice that people seem to be paying more attention to their smart phones and tablets than they are to the real world around them! It’s true; we’re all glued to our devices lately, and there’s no foreseeable end to this trend. As the saying goes, if you can’t beat ’em, you might as well join ’em. Social media offers you an enormous opportunity to get your name right there in front of your target audience.

Small businesses are cultivating relationships with more customers. Before the digital age, small businesses were forced to perform mental gymnastics and guessing games to locate their target audience, contact them, and woo them into a relationship. With the whole world tapped into social media platforms, reaching your target audience is now like shooting fish in a barrel. Instead of pouring time and effort into cultivating relationships one by one, you can blast out messages that reach hundreds or thousands of your followers at once.

Small businesses are getting attention from their target audience. Remember the last time someone very blatantly tried to sell you something? It made you uncomfortable and you probably wanted to avoid them or quickly end the conversation. That’s how your customers often feel about obvious advertisements. But social media gives you an avenue to offer them information they want to read or view, by giving you a channel to post your blogs or videos. When you’re offering something of value, your audience wants to pay attention and interact with you.

Small businesses are reaping easy referrals from current customers. Old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising is still one of the most powerful marketing tools available. But now that your customers are so plugged into social media, they have a more convenient way to spread the word about your business. Positive comments, likes, and shares on your social media post are the modern-day equivalent of recommending your business to neighbors over the backyard fence – and they are seen by hundreds of viewers, not just one person at a time.

There is no evidence that social media is just a flash in the pan trend. It has been around since the days of Myspace, and is only growing in popularity from one year to the next. If your small business has yet to begin a social media campaign, now is the time to get with it! After all, your competition probably already has.