In order to understand why social media is important to your small business, you need to first consider some important ideas about your customers.
Lets first create a quick "Avatar" on who your customer is:
No matter what market your in, you can bet that your customer is using social media.
- People spend 1 out of every 6 minutes using social media
- Over 750 million Facebook users
- 93% of American Internet users are on Facebook
Now, these first 3 bullets are important to set the scene. This last bullet is the most important in relation to why you need to jump into social media head first.
Why do you think that is so great for your business?
Your customers are on social media listening to there friends and family posts about their experiences with your business products and services.
Social media is a small town mentality world (if you like reading, I recommend picking up Gary V's new book: The Thank You Economy).
Customers are more frequently posting about their experiences with the businesses they interact with. So if your customer is happy with your product or service they are likely going to post how satisfied they were with your product or service. They are actually doing you a favor by promoting your product or service for you because all their friends and family see it.
This is "word of month" amplified, not only do you get a satisfied customer, you also get free advertisement and more customers willing to try your product or services because one of their friends or family members posted saying how they just loved their experience with your product of services. People are more willing to do business with you if someone they trust already has had a good experience with your business.
Now, just being on social media is not enough. No one is going to complete a transaction right there from Facebook. You need to have a place to send these people that are talking about you. You need a home base, a website, or better yet, an online business.
Imagine that social media is like being in the local grocery store, you pass a friend in isle 5, they mention that they just got this great new product or had this amazing time (because of you). You ask how to reach that person that made it happen, and they direct you to their place of business (their website).
Creating an online business is getting comfortable with the whole internet ecosystem: websites & social media are just a part of that ecosystem. You need a site in order to benefit from social media, period.