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Updated Apr 10, 2023

Why Small Businesses Need a Social Media Presence 

Considering pausing your social presence? Here's why it still counts for small businesses.

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Sean Peek, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
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Small businesses are constantly trying to find new ways to gain exposure and improve their marketing plans. While some business owners may still be resistant to the idea, statistics prove that consumers are on social media, making it a great space to increase brand awareness and promote content.

According to Statista, there are more than 4.59 billion active social media users today, and that number is expected to increase to nearly six billion by 2027. Here are some reasons why a social media presence is essential for small businesses. 

Why your business needs a social media presence

Social media increases brand awareness.

Social media is no longer just a place to connect and socialize with friends and family. According to data gathered by  SCORE, 77% of small businesses use social media to help build brand awareness, facilitate customer service, and increase revenue. For example, data from Meta shows that 83% of Instagram users say they discover new brands while using the platform. Those users are then able to share posts with friends, further increasing brand awareness.

Social posts drive traffic to your website. 

Social media platforms allow small businesses to drive traffic to their website. For instance, on Instagram, you can post the URL to your website in your account bio and direct users to this link via a post on your feed or story. Giving users a taste of what your business has to offer through posts on your feed will intrigue consumers to want to know more about your brand. 

Bottom LineBottom line
It's important to always include a link to your website on all of your social media platforms so users can easily access your website for further information.

Social platforms help you promote content. 

Since there are multiple  popular social platforms out there, that translates into more ways for small businesses to promote content. Whether they favorInstagram stories or Facebook Messenger, businesses have options to express their creative side and showcase their expertise. For example, providing stats and fun facts about the products you are selling or services that you are providing can prove to viewers your business is worth taking a chance on. 

Social media remains a valuable communication avenue.

When it comes to small businesses, or any business really, it’s better to have too many than too few methods for communicating with your customer base. Mailing addresses, phone calls, email and contact forms on websites are all helpful, but if the customer has a quick question to ask or wants to share the good news about their order arriving earlier than anticipated, they tend to do this through platforms like Twitter and Instagram. The real-time advantages of social platforms allow your business to engage with your customers promptly. You don’t have to be on every platform, but it’s helpful to have a few active accounts where you know your customers can be found.

Social platforms allow you to better understand your customers.

Who are your customers? If you don’t know, social platforms like Facebook and Instagram can help you aggregate data and define your target market. This isn’t exactly news to any small business already doing that, but those that think they can skip social media may be missing out on potential leads and an audience interested in investing in its products and services.

Social media keeps you a step ahead of your competitors.

While a small business shouldn’t copy every move that their competition makes, they should be mindful of where their competitors are at and what they’re up to. If your competition actively engages its customers through social media, they have the advantage of being able to boast about that presence.

Simply by having active social media profiles, you’re doing your business a favor and increasing its visibility through search result pages. As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to plaster your business on every social platform – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, YouTube – to show that you’re active. CNBC reports that sites like Instagram and WhatsApp continue to remain popular with their user base. Go to the sites where your brand’s voice will be at its strongest and able to engage with customers while still getting its overall message across.

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Think outside the box when creating social media content, and take advantage of all the various ways in which you can promote your business.

The social networks your business should be on

Facebook

There are several features of Facebook that small businesses should take full advantage of. Aside from creating a page for your business, the platform also allows you to further promote content by sharing posts on your feed and in your daily stories. In addition to that, businesses can create groups that attract like-minded people and other businesses. Use Facebook ads to promote brands and reach audiences that might be interested in your product. One of the most unique features Facebook provides is Facebook Messenger, which businesses can use to interact with, provide support to and send frequent updates to customers. 

Instagram

Much like Facebook, Instagram can be used to promote your business. Followers are able to view bright and vibrant photos of your brand as they scroll through their feed, accompanied by captions, tags and hashtags. There are also various types of ads you can experiment with, such as photo, video, carousel and story ads. If viewers see something they like about your brand, they can easily share posts with friends via their own Instagram accounts or through direct messages. 

Twitter

Twitter is known for its tweets, microposts with a 280-character limit through which users are able to briefly say what’s on their mind. Tweets can be a great way for small businesses to create a consistent voice that aligns with their values, engages with potential consumers and reaches a particular demographic. Posting tweets to your feed gives you  a chance to interact with customers who have mentioned your business on their personal page, whether in the form of positive reviews or negative ones. Twitter can also track your analytics so your company is able to see what is working and what isn’t.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn serves as the world’s largest professional network. The platform allows companies to showcase the products and services they provide directly on their LinkedIn business profile, giving viewers an automatic idea of what your business has to offer. With the help of the platform’s About section, you can showcase the voice behind your brand. Brands can even post customers’ past reviews of their products or services on their profiles as free advertising. 

Additional reporting by Deborah Sweeney.

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Sean Peek, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
Sean Peek co-founded and self-funded a small business that's grown to include more than a dozen dedicated team members. Over the years, he's become adept at navigating the intricacies of bootstrapping a new business, overseeing day-to-day operations, utilizing process automation to increase efficiencies and cut costs, and leading a small workforce. This journey has afforded him a profound understanding of the B2B landscape and the critical challenges business owners face as they start and grow their enterprises today. In addition to running his own business, Peek shares his firsthand experiences and vast knowledge to support fellow entrepreneurs, offering guidance on everything from business software to marketing strategies to HR management. In fact, his expertise has been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc. and Forbes and with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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