Social media savvy: Should your small business utilize social media? |

Social media savvy: Should your small business utilize social media?

Brittany Alward
Special to the Bonanza

More and more companies are investing big money into social media marketing. By the end of 2014, US brands are projected to have spent over 8.2 billion dollars on Social Media Advertising. This is up 31.3% from 2013.

These growing numbers are even more evident during the holiday season where 67% of companies said they plan to spend more on social media during this holiday season than last year.

In the wake of such substantial changes, where does your small business stand? Is it worthwhile for your business to join the fray of social media marketing and if so, how do you begin?

The short answer to the value of social media is: yes. It is important. One of the main reasons this is worthwhile lies with your competition. Up to 60% of small businesses in the US don't even have a website.

Social media provides the opportunity to stand out from opposition, connect to audiences that there was no prior access to, and showcase your products in a medium where people are willing to listen.

If you're wondering how willing consumers are to listen, let's look at Pinterest. Harvard Business Review recently found that 21% of all Pinners have bought a product in store that they found on Pinterest.

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Pinterest currently has over 70 million total users. There are serious implications to having a voice in that kind of market.

So now you're interested but are wondering how costly the implementation will be in time and money. There is no shame in starting small. Instead of spreading yourself thin over a variety of social media platforms with weak campaigns, focus on a smaller area with stronger campaigns.

With 92% of marketers planning to spend the majority of their social marketing budget on Facebook this holiday season, a Facebook account would be a great place to start. Boosting posts is relatively inexpensive and can help you gain visibility from the right people by targeting your audience by gender, age, and interests.

Another great avenue would be blogging, specifically blogging that is mobile optimized. A significant 68% of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogging, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2014. Also, 43% of marketers have a mobile optimized blog, which is up over 28% from last year.

By gaining a foothold in the ever-growing mobile market and cashing in on Facebook while it remains top dog, your company can reap the benefits of social media marketing without a huge budget.

Regardless of your feelings on Social Media, it is not a passing fad. It is a medium that only continues to grow. With a focused target audience and a honed campaign, social media marketing can get the word out about the value of your product and your company.

It does take extra time and money but when done correctly, can reap huge benefits.

Brittany Alward is a Marketing Coordinator at Out and About Marketing. This article first appeared on