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The owners of small businesses may feel overwhelmed by the competition from larger companies and massive corporations. How can anyone just entering the business world get noticed when all others seem to have seven-figure advertising budgets? Social media offers the solution. Advertising with these platforms can be an affordable option with the power to reach millions of potential customers. The challenge for business owners is to know where to begin, how to draw attention, and how to use social media effectively.

Why it Works
Social media is the best advertising format for any company that wants one-on-one contact with the public. Television, print, and email campaigns are static. Social media is an active option that allows consumers to talk directly to the company and see timely information.

Even television cannot match the number of people on each of the most popular platforms or advertise to a global audience like social media. Facebook has 2.85 billion active monthly users. Instagram has one billion users per month, and Twitter now entertains and informs 353 million users per month.

Who it Benefits
Social media works best for small businesses because they want to interact with their clientele. Most small business owners rely on keeping customers happy, so they need constant feedback. Social media makes instant feedback possible. It allows the staff to communicate directly with everyone, so the business develops a better public persona and a reputation for a commitment to their customers.

How it Saves
Social media platforms allow businesses to set up their pages for free. Through effective SEO tactics, fresh content, and consistent updates, it is possible to reach countless followers with only time as an investment. A few hundred dollars per year in add-on advertising features can expand the reach the page receives.

Updates are electronic, so businesses do not need to spend thousands to make changes. Price updates, branding design changes, and other information can change faster than they could in print media and other advertising forms with no added cost. Most sites are user-friendly enough for the owner or staff to operate alone without hiring an IT or creative director. Some companies may choose to bring in a social media manager once their accounts become more active and profitable.

Any small business or startup that needs an effective and affordable (or free) advertising solution should look at the possibilities offered through social media. The major platforms have been thriving for years, and new companies appear on the scene every year.