Consumers Value Social Media Presence — But Some Small Businesses Aren’t Buying In

Small businesses are missing out on great opportunities when they hesitate to engage with customers online and don't provide a space for customer reviews.

Small businesses stand to gain a lot from engaging with social media. Reviews and other user-generated content can yield a great return and drive purchases. However, according to data from digital display software provider Enplug, 34 percent of small business owners don’t think social media can provide value for their business.

Enplug commissioned market research firm YouGov to survey small business owners and consumers, to find how they felt about social media’s impact on business. YouGov polled 506 American small business owners and 1,155 consumers between Feb. 27 and March 2.

The results largely indicated that small business owners aren’t aware of the weight consumers give to social media content. Small businesses are missing out on great opportunities when they hesitate to engage with customers online.

Thirty-six percent of businesses don’t maintain a social media presence that allows users to comment. The problem with this is that customers want to leave positive feedback. According to the data, one-in-seven customers only leave positive feedback, and as such businesses are completely missing a benefit. In fact, a dedicated review section can provide a multitude of benefits.

Enplug CEO Nanxi Liu said in a statement:

In a world where communication is increasingly conducted on social networks, it’s clear small businesses have a prime opportunity to reach their customers more effectively, and more immediately, than ever before. In fact, it’s now a consumer expectation that not only can they learn about a business on social media, but that they can talk with the business – whether it’s to troubleshoot a problem or simply give praise.

Because businesses aren’t engaging with customers on social media, they also miss out on the 18 percent of customers who would post positive reviews if incentivized in-store, or on social media. A campaign that incentivizes users to post, and integrates online and offline activity can also be beneficial for any business.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of promoting users reviews on your social channels is how persuasive these posts can be to other users. 80 percent of Snapchat users polled would think more positively about a business upon seeing a positive customer review, as would 76 percent of Instagram users, 70 percent of Pinterest users, and 63 percent of Facebook users.

As as small business in the modern area, social media can greatly expand your reach, and put your posts in front of a much wider audience. And when that content is user generated, it’s even more trustworthy. Users want to post about your business, don’t stand in their way.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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