Who would’ve thought that social media shoutouts are actually a significant driver of business?

In the US, an American Express study shows that small businesses generate 23 percent of their revenue from social media endorsements—that’s approximately $197 billion. It seems like simple Instagram Stories and tagged photos are now one of the best ways to get to know a brand, even prevent it from completely shutting down.

Social media effectiveness boils down to engagement. Recommendations from family, friends, and influencers reflect how consumers are becoming more discerning with their choices. Paid advertisements don’t always do the trick. More often than not, whatever feels more genuine and authentic (such as word of mouth) is what moves consumers. 

The thing about small businesses establishing their names online is that there’s always personalized attention that contributes to the customer’s whole buying experience. Owners can give a more personal response instead of scripted, auto-generated answers. This direct connection is what gives small businesses a social advantage.

This direct connection is what gives small businesses a social media advantage.

With the holiday season fast approaching, small businesses need shoutouts more than ever. At the height of e-commerce, online compliments will keep brands top of mind. Movements that support local businesses prove that digital platforms are great avenues for engagement and brand recognition.

Reviews, questions, comments, and feedback mold products and services to what suits consumers better, while shares, mentions, and reactions expand their market reach. Small businesses thrive in communities, and if it’s the kind that passionately supports each other’s growth, one social media story can pave the way for a brand’s victory.