I’m guessing at the year, but it had to be around 2008. I was sitting on my backyard patio with two of my very best friends, enjoying a warm summer night and a glass of one of Michigan’s finest wines, when one of them asked, “So, are you on Facebook?”

“What, are you kidding?” I asked rhetorically. “I don’t have time for that crap.”

Little did I know, here I would be, nearly a decade later, telling you why you — and your business — better make time for it.

The truth is, when I finally did get on board with Facebook and various other social media platforms, I did so purely in order to start using the media for my own business purposes, and I was quickly glad I did. So here are six reasons why your business should be on social media as well:

Everyone else already is

I know — this seems like a cop-out reason. It’s the kind of reason we used to give our moms as to why we did something we weren’t supposed to do — “All the other kids were doing it, too, Ma!” Before I hear the Mom’s predictable and proverbial “Would you jump off a bridge…” question in response, the reasons that are to follow will explain why so many businesses — your competition, I should add — are already on social media.

But the good news here is that it’s OK to be late to this party. With social media, you can quickly get to a point where you are reaching and engaging with your target audience, building your brand, and increasing your exposure to potential customers and clients, with every post you make. Do it well, you’ll do of all of this better than your competition, who might have been there first.

Getting started is free

No social media is charging businesses a fee to have a presence on their platforms. Part of what makes social media “social” is that they are free to use by anyone, and therefore, they’re quite inviting to both the day-to-day user and the business trying to attract that user.

Granted, it’s not anywhere as easy to gain as much marketing and advertising traction on social media for free as it was a decade ago. Social media companies realized pretty quickly that there was money to be made via ads. As entrepreneurs ourselves, we can’t really blame these companies for going after that income. Of course, they are doing that, in part, by constantly changing how free (a.k.a “organic”) results are achieved versus paid results, which can sometimes make things confusing and feel like our social media presence is being built on quicksand. But despite that, it’s still possible to get decent organic reach and interact with both current and potential clients for free.

However, if you do decide to pay for ads, you’ll find — unlike search engine ads — that you can reach a lot of people for very little money. Just $20, for example, targeted the right way, can bring your chosen message to thousands of new people. (Try doing THAT with Google.)

Brand exposure

If there’s anything social media facilitates well, it’s brand exposure. For no investment past the time of someone setting up your business’ page, you create an online vehicle for exposure that has a ton of potential. Add just a small financial investment, and you can suddenly reach thousands of new and current customers with your company’s brand.

In return, these people will get familiar with your brand. They’ll recognize it. They’ll remember it. They’ll start to put their trust in it.  And, best of all, when they want your product or service, they might even seek it out.

Instant Communication

You say you need to reach your customers — and fast? There’s nothing like social media to get the word out to your fans and followers. Whether it’s for customer service purposes, public relations, or promotions, social media will deliver the message, quickly and easily.

Improved SEO

Beyond what’s going on within the social media platform itself, many times simply having a social media presence will affect — in an extremely positive way — where your business will land in search results. While you might have trouble getting your website itself to appear on the first page, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn might get your business right up in the rankings, with ease.

Helpful analytics

Want to know more about your target audience? Wonder no more — you’ve got insights, thanks to social media. With just a few clicks of your mouse button, you’ll know who is interacting with your business — where they are located, how old they are, and their gender — and when and even how they are doing so. You’ll learn the sort of content that excites your audience, and also what doesn’t. As any good marketer knows, this information is priceless: It will allow you to identify your customers and target campaigns directly at the people who are truly interested in what your business has to offer.

Start — but don’t stop there!

Of course, to truly be successful with social media, you can’t simply start up a business account on any of these social platforms, and then stop there, expecting the “magic” to just happen. You’ve got to keep these accounts fresh and active for social media users to be able to find you and your business. Yes, get on board ASAP, but be sure not to rest on any laurels — because a good, strong online presence on any platform is an ACTIVE one.

If you are struggling with trying to figure out what to post on your social media accounts, we here at LaCroix Creative have come up with a great offer, purely for Facebook users — our DIY Facebook Content Bundle. In it, you’ll get 30 days worth of creative post ideas, plus a “startup” checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you need to do before your Facebook business page goes live to the public. It also includes a year’s worth of images that you can use as content for the holidays.

During the month of December 2017, we are offering this bundle — a $900 value — for the hard-to-ignore price of $27! It’s our sincere effort to start bringing affordable, creative DIY solutions to budding entrepreneurs. But this price does end at midnight on Dec. 31, 2017, so click HERE today to get all the details of this great bundle!

And, if you understand that you do need to be on social media, but you still don’t know how you’re going to find the time to devote to it, contact us at LaCroix Creative by clicking HERE and we’ll assist you with that!