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The Effects of Social Media Platforms on Small Businesses

We live in a world where places are rated based on how “Instagrammable” they are. Thousands of people around the world share similar content on social media platforms, calling themselves “influencers” and asking for special treatment just because other people on the same social media platforms pushed the “following” button. Ads are being pushed into your newsfeed using complicated algorithms, while your friends’ notifications remain muted.

Over the past few years, social media platforms have developed massively, creating an entirely new generation of people desperately seeking validation from strangers. Inside this glamorous virtual life of filters and body apps that make you look like a supermodel, many people lose their self-esteem, build frustration, and even forget what the real world looks like.

However, these networks also give a real chance to family-owned businesses and small companies to make themselves noticed in a market full of commerce titans like Amazon, Inditex, Starbucks, and Walmart. There are several ways through which social media helps boost your business and even bring you more visibility in a short period.

It creates needs and offers solutions at the same time

Before the development of social media channels, people didn’t need additional camera lights or lenses to take selfies. This is the perfect example of how these platforms managed to create artificial needs and business niches for those willing to fulfill them.

Do you really need a new phone with multiple cameras just to post better pictures on Instagram and Twitter? How about a phone case with an attached ring to lower the chances of dropping your phone when taking pictures? Perhaps a new foundation, highlighter or primer that will make your skin camera-ready?

Endless products and services cater to the artificial needs of the “Instagram generation”, generating billions of dollars in revenues while feeding on people’s insecurities.

It helps you reach out to a bigger audience

Hands down, the most important reason why social media platforms continue to increase in popularity when it comes to marketing opportunities for businesses is that they allow companies to reach out to more potential customers.

Boosted posts are part of any marketer’s campaign to draw awareness on a new product, service or company that is about to launch. Studies show that almost 90% of marketers believe that social marketing efforts increase a company’s visibility and exposure, which can be translated into more clients and more products and services sold.

These digital platforms also allow you to directly reach out to customers and connect with them on a more personal level. You can initiate conversations with real or potential customers, asking them to share your content for increased visibility and traffic. Hashtags have a similar function, making certain products, companies, people or services “trending” which, ultimately, also translates into more exposure.

It offers small businesses and companies a real shot

Launching companies or small businesses rarely have an allocated marketing budget, meaning they cannot afford to spend their money on advertorials, marketing campaigns, and lavish launching parties.

However, with the help of social media channels and boosted posts, anyone can promote their business for a dime. Whether you’re encouraging people to eat your healthy foods, try out your organic skincare product line or even improve their knowledge of space and planets by purchasing the best microscope, there is enough room for all businesses, no matter how small they are.

In time, some of these new business ideas turn into successful business models and even end up changing mentalities or fighting stereotypes. One powerful example is the increasing number of online lingerie stores that cater to the needs of women with curves, boosting their self-confidence and helping them embrace their bodies.

What started as a niche business grew into a full market, with newcomers joining the club of body positivity every year.

It allows collecting first-hand customer feedback

In a world where new generations grew up thinking each individual is special and meant to raise out of anonymity, companies are doing their best to reach out to their customers and show that every client is important.

While the concept per se is not harmful, it does tend to have social, economic, and psychological repercussions that are yet to be quantified. According to psychiatrists, overfeeding the ego of people can create a whole new generation of social misfits who are always in-between jobs and never find happiness due to their high expectations, powerfully contrasting with their skills, knowledge, and education.

Companies can feed on the human ego and turn it into a powerful weapon with the help of social media platforms. Through one simple post, companies can receive first-hand client feedback that can help them improve their products and services, as well as the overall relationship with the customers and the perception of the company.

It is a win-win successful recipe – people have their egos fed thinking their opinion matters, while companies gather easy data on the profile of their customers without having to hire third parties to conduct ample market research.

About the author


Irina Ionescu