Importance of Small Businesses Using Social Media for Marketing
In January 2020, Australian had 18,000,000 social media users (source: SMPerth). This means just under three quarters of the Australian population is using social media, and if your target demographic is between the ages of 12 and 24, that number sits even higher at around 95% (source: Statista). With so many people consuming content every day through Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and similar social media platforms, it’s obvious that these networks should be a central part of any marketing strategy, especially for small businesses.
Why Social Media Marketing?
There are two important ways in which social media marketing is effective:
- To connect with consumers who already know and enjoy your brand, and;
- To expand your reach to consumers who are not yet aware of your business.
An active social media account shows that your business is moving with the times, and is working in the present. Use socials to establish a visual picture about your business’ expertise in its niche, and showcase your place in the community. You can reach your target audience with a tailored content and social media marketing strategy.
Engaging with Existing Customers
Perhaps the most important facet of using social media to market your small business is building relationships with your customers. With more than 40% of online customers using social media to research a brand, your profile and content should be representative of who you are and what you stand for. “Organic” content is a great place to start. Give your potential customers an insight into your “behind the scenes”, or by sharing an achievement. You also want to be sharing content that your customers actually want to be seeing. For example, compelling visuals that grab their attention, or funny content and memes that will make them laugh, or exclusive promotional material that incentivises them to keep up-to-date with your posts.
Grow with Curated Industry Content
You also don’t need to only share your own content! Platforms like Twitter or Facebook allow you to “retweet” or “share” engaging content posted by other users or businesses to your own group of followers. If customers or businesses are commenting on your content, that’s a perfect opportunity to start engaging and to show off your business’ persona.
Many social media strategies follow the rule of thirds:
- Equal content distribution with posts that promote your services
- Shares useful industry knowledge (usually curated content)
- Reach out to the community more generally with affinity-building posts, like well-wishing for certain holidays.
Expanding Your Customer Base
With the sheer volume of people using social media every day and all over the world, using social media to advertise your business is an effective tool when done correctly. You can use data from social media to reach beyond your current customers with advertising, beyond your organic post strategy.
Market Research Made Simple
Another positive is that your social strategy needs to be neither complicated nor unaffordable. Because everything on social media is (for the most part) completely public, checking out what your competitors are doing is a great place to start! What seems to be working well for them, and what isn’t? Facebook gives you tools to watch other businesses with analytics and insights, and you can conduct social monitoring to also keep an eye on your competitors.
Reach Further with Social Advertising
Unlike older forms of analogue advertisement like billboards or print advertisements, marketing on platforms like Facebook is relatively straightforward and cost-effective, which makes it accessible to anybody. On the other hand, the downside to this is that it’s accessible to anybody, including your competitors. For example, last year, 89% of marketers included Facebook in their marketing strategy, and over 6 million businesses ran ads on Facebook in the final quarter of last year.
Advertising on Facebook and other social media networks is a great option to grow your business and find new customers. However, it’s important that you are advertising the right way, to stand out from a sea of millions of ads seen by consumers every day.