According to 2018 Sensis research, 79% of all Australians now use social media. Around 59% of us access social media nearly every day with a third of us checking our social media five times a day or more. If you don’t think social media can help your business, think again!
There’s no denying that social media can be a complex and ever changing marketing paradigm to grasp and it’s not unusual for businesses to have little to no social media presence because of this. Yet with almost one in eight Aussies on social media most days, you simply can’t afford to avoid social media any longer. Whether you sign up to one platform or all of them, or outsource your social media marketing to a professional agency, you need to start a conversation with your audience today!
Social media is just another marketing channel to use, like TV, radio or direct mail. However, like all marketing channels it’s always best to have an understanding of who you’re talking to, what you’re going to say and what your purpose is. Ready to get started in social media? Read our tips below on what you need to know.
1. Know your market and what they are doing onlineWe know from the research that your target markets are definitely online and bound to be on at least one social media platform! Your task is to find out which ones. The gurus from My Marketing Data Blog suggest that the starting point for any social media activity is identifying the 6 W’S:
- Who is your audience?
- Where can you find them (what networks are they on)?
- When are they most likely to engage in a conversation online?
- Why should they connect with you online?
- What do they want to know about?
- What way they would like to communicate or connect to them? (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Instagram).
Once you have identified these core elements you will be aware of how your business can use social media. Perhaps you craft beautiful jewellery so using a highly visual platform like Instagram or Facebook might be best for your business.
2. It’s about your customers not youIt can be hard to get out of the sell, sell, sell mindset and think of social media as anything other than another sales and promotion tool. A far better approach is to provide value to your followers. From an inbound marketing perspective, providing value could be sharing relevant content with your followers. Bombarding your follower's newsfeed with constant self-promotion is a sure fire way to earn an ‘Unfollow’ and drop off your audience’s radar completely!
Being online is all about credibility and how you are seen and reviewed by followers or the wider online community. So it’s important to act with integrity and authenticity in everything you do.
3. Plan and resource your social media efforts
You also need to build into your business plan the resources (or pay a specialist) to post content, tips and engage with followers on your business page. Mistake number one for any business is creating a Facebook page and then leaving it to its own devices! It says “I don’t care” to your followers. All you need to do is devote 15-30 minutes a day to social media and you’ll be kicking goals! You can even use Hootsuite or another social media scheduling tool to make life easier and schedule all your posts in one go.
If you know you’re time poor, outsourcing your social media marketing to a digital marketing specialist might be the way to go instead.
4. Promote your social media presence
Another important aspect to your social media strategy is to promote it! Your social media pages are a great way to engage in a conversation with your audience so you’ll want to integrate social media into your existing marketing channels and include it in things like your email signature, TV commercials, website, print media and any marketing you are doing anywhere! Use it as an integrated part to your marketing, as a communication and awareness tool, which will increase your brand presence too.