Before the age of technology and social media, getting noticed as a small business was nearly impossible in a world where large corporations are the go-to. Advances in technology have given small businesses an opportunity to grow and thrive in the market.
Social media has become a crucial component for any business to be successful. Companies hire people just to run social media accounts and to promote the business online. In a day and age where people live online, having an online presence is imperative for maintaining customers and earning new ones.
There are multiple ways businesses utilize technology and the internet, whether it be the use of social media, websites, television spots, or radio ads.
“I honestly don’t think I would have been able to build a large customer base so quickly had it not been for Facebook,” said Rikki Shepherd, owner of Giggles & Wishes Photography. “It was a great tool to show and share my work.”
Different social media outlets cater to different audiences. Many companies have profiles on these different platforms in effort to reach a wider group of people.
Shepherd also uses Instagram to share her work in effort to draw in new clients. These sites are also a way for the business to communicate information and deals to their customer base. They also allow for more interaction between the company and the consumer.
While social media does allow for interactions between business and consumer, it is not always perfect. Johanna Figueras, founder of the up and coming Woke Mind Body Studio, has found it difficult to create an online following.
“With Facebook’s new algorithms, I’ve had to consider forms of advertising other than social media,” she said.
Figueras continues to promote via Facebook, mostly in small business networking groups where she knows her postings will be delivered to those within the group. Being a new business, the marketing budget is very limited, which makes more old fashioned was of advertising such and fliers and radio spots hard to come by.
“Once I open, I plan to grow my business page and utilize radio, print, and maybe even television spots,” she said.
For now, social media is her main way of promoting her business, but Figueras plans to steer away from technology and introduce more old school methods.
“Social media is more focused on algorithms and data mining these days,” she said. “I just want people to see an ad that drives them to check out my website so they can find out what Woke is all about in my own Words.”
Social media isn’t the only way to garner customers. Shepherd also gets a lot of traffic through her website. Even still, Facebook has been the best outlet for her business, she said.
Because of website hosts such as Squarespace and Wix, creating a website or platform for companies to promote or sell products to people who can’t physically come to a mom and pop store is now an option. Businesses no longer have to rely on foot traffic, if they have a product or an idea that people like, they can market it to anyone, anywhere.
Opening and running a small business takes a lot of work. Technology and social media can be used as an advantage, but nothing is perfect and with constant updates, algorithms and sites are always changing. Still, the opportunity for self-promotion and growth is more available than ever before.