Get the most out of social media by managing your approach strategically. Here’s how.
Social media gives small businesses the opportunity to reach millions of customers all over the globe at a fraction of the cost. In fact, according to the Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report, 54% of customers say an up-to-date website and social media presence are important factors in keeping them coming back. A total of 2.8 billion people worldwide use social media, including almost eight in ten Australians. But before you embark on your social media marketing odyssey it’s important to put a well-considered strategy in place across key channels for your brand. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest or one of the many other platforms, you’ll get more out of social media by using one or two platforms really well – rather than trying to divide your resources across every platform available.
“While there are many tools on the market that can create a website, knowing how to digitally market your products and use the internet to drive sales is another story,” says Kochie. “The one major problem holding businesses back is what’s called the digital skills gap.”
We recently partnered with Channel 7 docuseries Bricks and Clicks, hosted by Kochie’s Business Builders, to help give businesses the tools and information they need to thrive online. Here are four questions you should be asking yourself about your business before setting up shop on social media.
What do you want to achieve?
Your objectives will go a long way to determining which social media platforms will work for your business. Think about what your primary goals are – keeping in mind that you may have more than one. Most businesses create social media profiles in order to provide customer support and communication, engage and expand their existing audience, build brand awareness, provide a forum for product reviews and feedback, get customer insights or create a new sales arm for the business.
These objectives should fit in with your business plan and communicate your brand purpose. “You’ve got to know what you stand for and therefore why people should buy or should follow your good or your service,” explains Tom Griffith, co-founder of leading health food retailer, Emma & Tom’s and a Bricks and Clicks ‘Million Dollar Mentor’.
The type of bricks-and-mortar business you own, or the kind of online business you are looking to start, will also have a huge impact on the social channels you choose to go with. Fashion, furniture and other retailers should focus on platforms with solid sales track records, such as Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, while those with more of a service focus might want to consider Twitter. According to the Yellow Social Media Report, a total of 53% of small–medium businesses measure social success via comments and likes, but if your primary objective is sales this may not be the best performance indicator. Write down your KPIs for social media marketing before you get started and revisit them often to make sure your business stays on track.
Do you want to run paid campaigns?
While most platforms have paid campaign capabilities, some platforms make it easier for businesses than others. Particularly, Facebook and Instagram make it easy to run your own advertising campaigns. Using the various mechanisms at your disposal, small businesses can build website traffic, test products, create audience and retargeting pools and attract new customers. But it’s important to use a process of trial and error rather than banking on the success of one particular approach. “Expect failure,” says Tom. “You can’t budget to execute the perfect plan because you’re going to drop things for sure and you need to have enough buffer to be able to wear that.”
The good news is advertising on social media can also be a great way for businesses to make a small budget go a long way. It’s so cost-effective that one in three small–medium businesses are paying for social media ads. Both Instagram and Facebook advertising allow brands to target audiences by various relevant criteria, such as age, gender and interests. You can also extend your reach and track the progress of campaigns in real time, offering important insights into what’s working well and what you need to change. Research each platform’s campaign and monitoring capabilities to ensure they align with your business goals.
What kind of content will you post?
Research shows that, for 72% of small businesses on social, the owner does all of the posting. So before choosing your social media platforms, consider the types of content that will best serve your business. Each platform has strengths and weaknesses and approaches content in a slightly different way, so determining which one best aligns with your approach to content is paramount. “You want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy your product,” says Tom.
Facebook’s business pages let you share images, videos, events and news with customers, offering a strong all-round approach. Strong imagery is key to achieving brand success on Pinterest and Instagram, so if you decide to focus on these channels it’s worth investing in genuinely great images. If your content is B2B focussed and a combination of video, images and news, LinkedIn could be the best fit for your brand. Make a list of the different content types you plan to use throughout your social media strategy and work backwards from there.
Who is your audience?
To get the most out of social media, you’ll need to identify your target audience and create a customer profile. On a broader level, think about their age, gender, socio-economic circumstances and location. It’s also important to consider what motivates them to purchase and how you can best cater to these demands.
“In building the business for a platform, we really had to make sure that we, as the brand owners, are communicating to all our stakeholder groups,” explains Tom. “For us, that is shopkeepers, consumers and our internal team.”
Select your social media platforms based on your audience profile. For example, millennials and Gen X are more inclined to share content on Facebook – which is why nine in ten businesses have a Facebook business presence – so it’s a good starting point for brands targeting both of these demographics. Instagram and Snapchat, however, are more popular with teens. Snapchat is the favourite social media forum for 39% of teens, while 53% of teenagers say Instagram is the best place to learn about new products, making it a leading choice for brands looking to engage this audience. Pinterest, meanwhile, is a great place to target young families and under 30s, with 60% of Pinterest users having kids under five years of age, and 80% of millennials citing the platform as a great place to find products they want to purchase. Study your customers and their social media habits before making your final platform choice.
At Netregistry, we know social media marketing can be daunting. Fortunately, we can help you get on track when it comes to social media advertising. Our expert marketing professionals will work with you one-on-one to put together a personalised social media strategy designed to meet your needs. Our experts can also help you to manage all amplification and social media advertising, and set up social media profiles on your behalf, making the transition to online easy. Check out our toolkit for setting up a Facebook marketing campaign, plus our easy plans and packages for Facebook and Instagram Advertising.
Want to learn more? Download our handy guide to online success, or call our sales team on 1300 638 734.
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