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  • Majority of small businesses use social media to attract new customers

    There's nothing small about the impact small and medium-size businesses make in the economy.

    Social media outlets are a great way to attract new customers.Roughly $5.5 trillion in annual revenue is produced by the 1.3 million small and medium-size businesses in North America, according to Entrepreneur.

    With a limited supply of means, small businesses have to work extra hard to sidestep some of the pitfalls their larger corporate counterparts can more easily avoid. LinkedIn recently reported that social media is one way a small business can stay ahead of the economic curve. LinkedIn said social media is becoming a crucial aspect in the success of many smaller companies.

    "You might be surprised by what we found," LinkedIn's Davis Schneider told WebProNews. "Ninety-four percent of survey respondents who use social media said they use it for marketing, and three in five say social solves for the core business challenge of attracting new customers."

    The LinkedIn survey, which partnered with market research firm TNS, canvassed around 1,000 North American small businesses that net between $1 million and $50 million. The survey revealed 81 percent of those companies use social media to drive growth, while 9 percent plan to use social media in the future.

    It's important for small-business owners to keep up with the times because the survey reported small businesses drive the economy by creating six out of every 10 new jobs. Ninety percent of small businesses plan to or currently use social media.

    If you're a small-business owner, here are a few ways to get your social media accounts - such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, to name a few - rolling.

    Be persistent, post often

    Entrepreneur tells small-business owners that they can never post too much content to their feeds. Some social media experts believe posting too often could lead your followers to unfollow, but when you are starting your company's account, you won't have too many followers anyway.

    Thus, the only way for your account to be recognized is a steady stream of posting. Entrepreneur noted that social media users who would stop following you for posting too much aren't likely to be in your market or buy from you. Meanwhile, LinkedIn reported that two of three small businesses stated their top challenge was attracting new customers.

    "If people aren't complaining about how much you post you are not posting enough," said Entrepreneur's Grant Cardone. "In three years, I posted more than 1,200 videos on YouTube, the social medium I consider to be one of the most powerful. That's almost 400 videos a year." Understand what, when to post When you first start posting social media content to engage consumers, you should try to make most of your posts informational and not promotional. You need to build an audience that wants your content, and it's hard to do that with promotional content, according to Entrepreneur.

    The source said that 80 percent of your content should be information based, while 20 percent should be promotional. Starting off, it might be even better to go with 95 percent informational posts and 5 percent promotional. As your business and social media feeds grow, you can expand your promotional posts.

    Create different content
    Not every post should look the same. You'll want to create different-looking posts with different sets of content to attract your audience. Design posts with quotes, articles, videos and photos. These types of posts are the easiest to share, which might enable you to pick up followers at a faster rate.

    You also shouldn't avoid content from a competitor. Their audience is likely the type of audience you are trying to attract, so don't shy away from sharing their content and giving them credit. This could help you pick up some of their followers who are interested in a similar product or service.