If you run a business, and you want to extend your reach and spread the word to as many potential customers as possible, ignoring social media simply is not an option. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool that has been instrumental in the success of many modern products and services. Not convinced? Read on for five reasons you should definitely be using social media.

1. The Market is Huge
It’s a well-known fact that Facebook would be the third-largest country in the world if you put all of its members in one place. That’s an absolutely insane number of users you gain access to simply by signing up and starting to promote yourself there. Consider all the other social media platforms available, and this opportunity is simply too huge to ignore.

When you sign up, you’ll establish a personal profile. From that profile you can create a business page for your business. Having a business page at Facebook gives you access to advertising on Facebook. Facebook advertising is highly targeted, providing a good return on your investment.

2. It’s Conducive to ‘Going Viral’
If you want an idea, video or article to “go viral,” then you need social media. Social media’s design is perfectly suited to helping you go viral, as all the tools for sharing are right there, and the networks are already in place. You’ll get the most engagement on any video content you share.

3. Social Media is Interactive
Social media isn’t just about reaching your audience, though. It’s also about interacting with them. Because social media lets you respond to comments, you can actively engage with prospects and thereby build a relationship. The best tool to continue any social media conversation is your smartphone. I’m often asked about the best way to handle your social media profiles and be in a position to answer questions or follow up on leads. I couldn’t do it without the apps on my smartphone.

4. It’s Personal
Social media is also personal, and often the networks in place are based on real-world social networks. So when you see that someone “likes” or “shares” a product, that isn’t just a meaningless statistic; it is a referral from a friend or colleague whom you trust.

5. It’s Targeted
When you sign up to a given social media channel as a user, you start out by providing personal details. These include your name, age, marital status and more. In other words, you are providing tons of information that businesses can use to identify their precise target demographic. It’s not just a huge market; it’s a tailored market!

This is why Facebook advertising can help your business. Facebook lets you narrow your offering to people who are interested in your product. Facebook also uses re-marketing. By putting a small piece of code on your website, you can tell where people visited, and who didn’t take advantage of your offer. You can re-target them on Facebook with a new ad, enticing them back to your website to complete the purchase, or whatever your goal was for your advertisement.

And there’s more!

Social media has benefits beyond these five. Whether it’s the incredible networking possibilities you’re interested in, or the tools and apps that make it so easy to manage your accounts, social media sets itself apart as one of the most powerful tools available to businesses of any size.

About Your Columnist

Debra Simpson is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers all things digital media. Debra Simpson is the epitome of an early adopter of technology. Debra’s fingers were flying across her first computer, a TRS-80 from Radio Shack in 1985 when the World Wide Web was still an international bulletin board! Debra is the producer and host of North San Diego Business, a weekly podcast. You can also find her on YouTube sharing digital marketing techniques and strategies. She consults, trains and manages blogging and social media marketing for small businesses at Web With Deb.

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