When is the last time you checked your personal Facebook account? If you’re like the nearly 1.8 billion people who used Facebook this month, you probably spent about 20 minutes on Facebook just today. And this doesn’t include the other social media sites you may frequent, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, et cetera…

What if you could get your small business customers to spend 20 minutes engaging with your products and services? And, could keep them coming back day after day?

When you use social media for business, you can. Social media evens the playing field between small businesses and huge corporations. It allows Mom and Pop local businesses to have the same reach as the biggest company in their industry. It’s no longer about who has the biggest budget, but about who has the most creative way to reach more customers.

Despite this, almost 35% of small businesses in America don’t think that social media is important for their business[1]. Many business owners and managers mistakenly think that social media is for personal use only. Yet, more than half of consumers say that they would be “somewhat” or “very” influenced if they see positive reviews or praise on social media or review sites such as Yelp. Businesses that successfully use social media are able to convey their brand identity in a friendly, informal way that lends itself to relationship marketing.

Here are some of the reasons why your business should be using social media.

Get to Know Your Customers

Tracking “likes” and “comments” and otherwise engaging your customers online gives you a treasure trove of information. If you knew the age, gender, psychological profile, and other demographics of your customers, you could offer products and services that better appeal to them.

Solve Customer Problems

In the past, if a customer was unhappy with your business, that person would go home and tell friends about it. But now, customers Tweet and post it to the world. If you had an unhappy customer, wouldn’t you want to know about it so that you could respond? Social media allows small businesses to identify customer issues and create a great image by being responsive.

Get Your Customers to Market for You

Customers don’t only announce problems. They Tweet, post photos on Instagram, and even Live Stream about businesses and products. Customer reviews are 12 times more trusted than when the business describes its own products or services[2].

If you want to develop a better relationship with your customers, be able to identify and handle customer service issues, and leverage the power of social media to improve your business, your business coule benefit greatly from a social media presence.

[1] http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/ryangushue/2015-08-17/small-businesses-dont-think-social-media-important-consumers

[2] https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them