Social media has become an integral part of daily life for most people. It’s almost 2018, and it almost seems like a cliché to say it. But we cannot make it more clear for small business owners: social media must be part of the way that you plan, market and relate to both current and potential customers.
In fact, over 300 million consumers used Facebook Messenger to contact a small business for the first time in 2017. Whether they used the social media platform to ask a question, follow up on a product, or make a complaint does not really matter. What matters is that customers are increasingly seeing social media as a useful and valid means of connecting with small businesses.
So how can you take advantage of this new interest? The answer is social media integration.
Why is Social Media Integration Important for Small Businesses?
Even if it seems fancy, social media integration is actually less scary than it sounds. All the phrase means is connecting a business website with that business’ social media accounts. But why is this so important?
There are quite a few reasons integrating social media with your small business website is beneficial. The most obvious benefit is that this integration allows you to better connect with both current and potential customers. Instead of getting linked to an impersonal contact form, visitors will have the choice of heading to your business’ Facebook page and messaging directly on the platform that they use the most.
But that’s not the only way social media integration goes. Integration means that your Facebook page or Twitter account links directly back to your small business website. When done right, social media can work as an extremely inexpensive advertising option for businesses of all sizes. In the same vein, social media integration also has the potential of expanding your reach.
How Can Social Media Integration Work for Small Businesses?
Social media integration is not as complicated as it sounds. It simply involves connecting your website and your social media accounts, making your relationship with customers more dynamic. There are a few steps to integrating social media with your small business website.
Add Social Media Buttons on Your Website:
Those little blue and red buttons you see on the website footers and sidebars are there for a very specific reason. They allow site visitors to get to the company’s Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube page with the click of a button. You can do the same, at the very least for Facebook and Twitter.
Include Sharing Buttons With Your Blogging Efforts:
Those handy social buttons should not be limited to a website footer. If you have a business blog (as you should), it is important to include the option for sharing the articles to social media. If a customer finds your article interesting, you want to make sure they easily share it with their friends. Maybe you get a new customer through it. This is quite literally free advertising.
Engage in Social Media Marketing, Linking to Your Website:
As we mentioned before, social media integration goes both ways. By regularly posting to social media with links to your small business website, you are opening up the opportunity for easy lead generation.