Social media has evolved from a digital platform for photo sharing and other personal uses to a primary source of marketing and growth for home-based businesses.

That’s right — small business owners just like you are building their companies from the ground up (in the comfort of their homes), with the help of a free toolset that reaches billions of people around the world. It might sound too good to be true, but it’s not! Fact is, you don’t need a brick-and-mortar storefront to promote your business using social media — you just need a product or service that customers want, and the know-how to promote it through Twitter®, Facebook®, LinkedIn®, and other social media outlets.

Check out the five upsides to using social media for your home-based business:

1. Save money

Getting a business up and running can be expensive but, with social media, all you need to spend is your time. With numerous social media sites, and more than one billion social users, the business opportunities available are endless.

2. Make connections

Social media sites are large communities where members with similar needs, desires and interests can connect. With a social presence, you can make valuable contacts, interact with other business owners, and make connections with potential business partners.

3. Strengthen your brand

Every business’s goal is to create a memorable identity. If you increase the number of places your business can be found online, you multiply the chance of customers recognizing your business.

4. Attract new customers

With a social presence, you can reach customers who otherwise might not know you exist! Don’t limit your customer growth if you don’t need to — expand and introduce your business to the world. Social media opens your business to the world at no cost to you. Whether you own a local or international home-based business, social media can help customers find you.

5. Build credibility

Online customers want to know they’re working with a legitimate, trustworthy business. When potential customers see your connections and customer reviews online, they are more likely to do business with you.

Now that you know the benefits of social media, take the time to research which social networking sites and methods are right for your business. Read on for others ways you can expand your home-based business’s online presence.

Image by Peter Gerdes via Compfight cc