Here’s how the Internet and Social Media Have Impacted Small Business

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internet and social media have impacted small business
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A decade ago, less than 10% of small businesses had a social media presence. Fast forward to today, almost everyone and every business does, and the impact has been massive.

Online networking has totally reformed and extended the promoting abilities of small businesses.

As more businesses big and small join the revolution, it appears like the end is near for the traditional marketing strategies.

Even though social media was initially meant as a way to connect family and friends, it has evolved into the ultimate tool for businesses to connect with their customers and potential customers.

In this article, we look at how social media and the internet have impacted small businesses as well as the overall impact on our society.

Here are Three Major Impacts of Social Media on Small Business:

1. Highly Targeted Advertising

One massive change social media has brought to small businesses is highly targeted advertising. Social media users provide a lot of information to the platforms they join. They submit anything from their jobs, relationship status, annual income, age to favorite movies.

This information has aided social media giants to create advertising tools that can target potential customers accurately. For example, if a business owner wants to target 18-year-olds who live in New York and enjoy soccer, he/she could easily do that with Facebook advertising–no matter the size of the business.

Additionally, small business owners can easily track the effectiveness of their campaigns and also control how much money they spend on them.

This wasn’t possible before social media.

In the past, business owners would seek out websites and venues they believed their target customers would visit and advertised on them. There wasn’t a proper, easy way to track effectiveness.

2. Viral Marketing

Before the Internet and social media, there wasn’t such a thing as viral marketing. Even though business owners were able to get the word out via word of mouth, the reach was inevitably limited.

Social media and the Internet has made it possible for marketing campaigns of even the smallest businesses to go viral.

With viral marketing, businesses are able to reach millions of people beyond their geographical location. More often, virality is completely organic and cost business owners zero dollars.

As a result, small businesses are able to gain brand name recognition for free, something that would have cost a lot of money in the pre-social media/Internet era.

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3. Better Customer Service

Good and bad customer service can make or break a company respectively. Some businesses specifically use good customer service as a tool to build a competitive advantage.

Thanks to social media and the Internet, small businesses are better equipped to provide customer support to their customers. Businesses are able to offer multiple options for customer support online.

It’s normal for one company, even a very small one, to have a Facebook chatbot, Twitter support, email support and still answer questions posted by customers on their Facebook page.

How Does the Globalized Economy That Technology has Enabled Benefit our Society?

Thanks to technology, we can now all call ourselves citizens of the Earth.

Last week, there was a solar eclipse in the United States. Even though it only happened in the U.S., almost the whole world was able to catch a glimpse thanks to the photos people shared on social media.

This week too, the world mourns with Houstonians as they endure Hurricane Harvey.

Our point is, because of technology, no one is left behind–except for North Korea of course.

There’s more transparency in the way businesses deal with customers. Businesses strive to provide better value to customers because a quick Google search will tell customers and potential customers a lot about a business.

In addition, there’s also the reduced cost of transacting globally.

Thanks to technology, you no longer have to be present in multiple countries to transact. These savings are ultimately passed on to final consumers.

Technology has also led to standardized practices. There’s more certainty about what to expect even if you travel outside your home country. You can with a degree of certainty expect a similar service for all Uber rides no matter the country or city you’re in. The experience would otherwise be different without technology.

Are you a business owner? How has social media impacted your business?

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