Do Small Businesses Hold A Social Media Advantage?

Size matters, especially in business. We all know that the larger your buying power, the better deals you can find from buying in bulk. You can also store more inventory and offer a wider selection of options for customers. You also can have bigger headaches as well.

In social media though, being the small guy or lady can actually have its advantages if you know how to play your cards right and use social media properly. In a recent report is was speculated that by 2016 three out of four people around the world will use social media at least once a month. In the U.S. alone it is predicted that there will be 179.4 million social media users by 2016.

With these kind of numbers, it is hard to rationalize that your customers are not on social media, or will never be on there. In fact, when most newcomers join the world of social media, the trends state that they tend to follow or like pages their friends either suggest to them or already like.

It’s Better to be Small
Social media is about relationships. It is much easier for a smaller business to have not only a personality, but also the chance to build a relationship with a customer than a large corporation. Social media users like to interact with a person more than a faceless company – many times large organizations have trouble showing their personality due to multiple people being in charge of social media accounts. Smaller businesses though tend to have just one or two people in charge of their social media accounts and are able to let their personas come through in their posts.

Being human and letting your ideals and personality shine through your posts is a great way to attract more followers. It is also easier to cultivate these online relationships into customers, especially if you are able to recognize someone in your store as a follower on social media.

You Don’t Need It All
We have profiled many of the top social media sites on in the past. While there are many to chose from, you need to find the one that fits you and your customers the best. Time is an issue for many small business owners and trying to cultivate numerous social media accounts can be very time consuming. Find one, stick with it and be loyal to it. If you have just five hours a week to dedicate to social media, those five hours will be better spent on one platform than on five different ones. You will also see a better return from that one than you would from multiple accounts.

Instant Feedback
In years past if you wanted to try something new with your business you would have to try your idea then see if it was well received or not by your customers, such as adding a new product line or venturing into a new market. This was and is not only financially costly it is also time consuming. With the advent of social media you can share your ideas for this new venture and get almost immediate response from your followers. Large corporations will need to run this through multiple levels of management before they can try such an idea. Small businesses though need to just discuss it quickly and run with it. If the feedback from your followers is poor you know not to venture down that road; if it is overwhelmingly positive you can and should go for it.

Free For All
The final way small businesses hold an advantage over large corporations on the social media landscape is that it is an equal playing field. Yes, you can pay to promote yourself, but in all honesty it is free for all users. You can get as much free advertising for your business as any large company can by just posting to the social media site of your choosing. You can also share what your large manufacturing partners are paying someone else to post for free on your page to build excitement about a new product, or let your followers know what the next great fishing tackle product will be. You can even let others test the waters and see the response rate of what they post and then model your posts around what has worked best for them.

Here are just four examples of how small businesses hold an advantage over larger corporations on the social media front. There are probably more, and we welcome you to share your ideas with us on how smaller is better in the world of social media. Just share them with us on our Facebook page or in our LinkedIn group so your fellow fishing tackle retailers can see them as well.