Social media allows smaller sized companies to compete against some of the larger companies and reach more customers. There are plenty of stats that showcase just how powerful social media is for businesses of all sizes. Here are some powerful numbers that make it more than evident that social media is the way to go in 2015:

  • 63% of millennials say they stay updated on brands through social networks
  • 46% of millennials rely on social media when making purchase online
  • 89% of 18-29 year-olds are active on social media
  • Marketers will spend $8.3 billion on social media advertising in 2015
  • 78% of companies now say they have dedicated social media teams

Despite all of these stats, some businesses still aren’t sold on social media as a marketing tool. In fact, one in three small businesses doesn’t think social media is important for their business. One of the primary reasons for this is simply because they don’t realize all of the benefits it has to offer yet. And this is partially understandable due to the nature of social media. It’s used as a way to build brand awareness, fuel content marketing and other important aspects that aren’t as measurable as what small businesses are used to.

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People have grown to hate unsolicited messages from marketers and will only fill out a survey if there’s some type of gift at the end which can taint the data. Social media gives you the opportunity to find out about your customers in a completely non-intrusive way. On top of that, you have the ability to see what your ideal customers are Tweeting about, what they put up on Instagram and other social media activity. All of this information lets you get a deeper look into who your customers are and what they like/dislike. Before social media you’d have to pay thousands of dollars to put together focus groups. But now it’s all at your fingertips.

People aren’t afraid to voice their opinions on social media. That makes it a great place to get honest and raw feedback of what people think about your products or services. You can monitor what’s being said about your business and resolve issues right away. This is a huge advantage.

People don’t only Tweet negative things about companies. Social media has done an amazing job of breaking down the wall that used to exist between businesses and customers. People post Instagram pictures of themselves enjoying their favorite brands, check in on Facebook when they go out to local bars and restaurants and happily show off their brand loyalty.

Traffic is something that all business owners want, but struggle to get organically. While search engine optimization is usually the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to traffic generation, social media can be just as effective. Sharing your blog posts and other content from your website on social media is an easy way to get more visitors. Just be sure that you’re not only Tweeting your own content. Curate content from other sites in your industry, share images and other types of media.