Why Your Small Business Needs to Be on Social Media in 2022
Social media can guarantee easier connectivity between your business and your potential customers. As of January 2022, 20.5 million Australians were active users of social media, that’s just shy of 80% of the population!
Digital marketing can end up costly, particularly when done poorly, which is why it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Social media marketing in contrast can be extremely cost effective with the right strategy.
In this blog we’ll cover off the main social media channels for consideration and some of the many reasons your small business needs to be on social media.
Social Media Platforms
Because social media came about so quickly and can be used by anyone with access to the internet, many thought it would disappear at the same rate – but this couldn’t be further from reality as new platforms and types of social media continue to emerge based on people’s changing interests.
That being said, you don’t need to promote your small business on every single platform – each has its own advantages, and each appeals to a particular type of audience. The following are some of the most used social media platforms in Australia:
Although there are thousands of businesses (and therefore increased competition) vying for a customer’s attention on Facebook and Instagram, there’s a reason for that – 89% of Australians are active on at least one of these two “Meta” platforms. Many businesses these days don’t even have a website, as they focus solely on these two platforms. With such a massive user population, you only need to capture the attention of a small percentage to succeed. That being said, there is also opportunity to focus your social media attention on a smaller, specific network, you may find a better fit to your audience and your offering. Plenty of niche social networks exist for things like gardening, homewares, books, birdwatching, beauty products, and many more. If your business wants to connect with fans of a specific hobby, it might be worth searching around for these first.
Brand awareness represents how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognise it. Brands with high brand awareness are generally referred to as ‘trending,’ ‘buzzworthy,’ or simply ‘popular’. Establishing brand awareness is valuable when marketing and promoting your company and products, especially in the early stages of a business.
One of the quickest ways to spread brand awareness is to “go viral”. There have been countless real-life examples of small businesses that have thrived after creating viral content. TikTok is the most renowned platform currently for making things go viral, but there’s no real guide on how to go viral – sometimes it could be one video, other times it could be a gradual build up over time. Check out these 8 Australian businesses who have done just that.
More than 1 in 3 Australian’s state they use Social Media when looking for information about a brand, indicating the use of social media platforms is crucial for ensuring sustainable marketing of your business. Every chance you have to share content and reach new people is valuable in promoting brand awareness. If a social media user likes, comments, or shares your post, their friends might be able to then see it too. Depending on the social media platform you use, Hashtags can also be an effective way of reaching new people who may have never even heard of your brand. Over time, your combined efforts in posting should be a powerful conduit for brand awareness.
Social media marketing helps build a strong relationship with customers. Customer engagement marketing is essential in maintaining a strong brand presence in the market. The goal of customer engagement and relationship building is to offer customers something of value beyond your products and services. High-quality products initially attract customers; relevant content is what keeps them around.
Your business has a better chance of growing sales once you build, and maintain, a solid relationship with your customer. Relationship building through social media is essential for your business in the following ways:
- Improved reputation management
- Increased brand visibility in the market
- Improved communication patterns with your customer
- An increase in direct and indirect leads
- Sustainable networking and partnership status
- Word of mouth marketing
It’s becoming increasingly common for customers to turn to the social media pages of a business to seek assistance, make complaints, ask questions, and leave feedback. If you’re not on social media, you will miss these opportunities for conversations. This activity also provides real-time data on your customer’s likes, dislikes and other insights which you can learn from.
Your social media platforms also allow you to show customers a bit about yourself. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, online shopping has increased dramatically over the past two years, and Australians are turning more to small businesses over the “bigger guys”. Any chance you have to share a bit about yourself, your brand, or how you create/design your products will help a customer relate to you on a more personal level which in turn will build a better rapport with current and potential customers.
Using a combination of the above approaches will facilitate long-term business and improve your competitive advantage.
Promote Products and Services
Perhaps the most obvious of reasons to have your small business on social media is of course for promoting your products and services.
As well as all the above, social media marketing allows you to incorporate references and links in your posts showing your products and services. The links allow potential customers to be directed straight to a product or service that interests them instead of having to search around your website or online store. A quicker, easier customer experience provides a better opportunity for the purchase process to be completed.
The links shared through the social media platforms also help improve your SEO ranking. For example, Google uses social media metrics to rank brands for consumers to see.
Data is king, and with systems such as Google Analytics, you can acquire more information on your potential clients through your website and social media marketing. Having this data presents an opportunity for more targeted product and service marketing as you will identify particular customers’ interests, demographics, and behaviours.
Increase in Your Conversions
Off the back of the above, interaction through social media provides another touchpoint for people to engage with your business. More than 1 in 3 Australians research a company on social media prior to purchasing. A recurrent social media presence re-assures new and existing customers that your business is alive and well. Having a consistent brand image on social media will help create a strong business/brand. A strong social media presence of information, images, videos, and most importantly links to your products/services will help nudge customers over the line and make a purchase.
Cost-Effective Marketing Strategy
Social media marketing can cost your business nothing but time if you do it yourself using organic posts. If you’re looking to outsource this, or do paid social media marketing (e.g. Facebook Ads) then this will obviously have some cost component depending on the level of work required.
Leveraging social media influencers will also come at a cost, depending on how “big” they are online. Some you may be able to offer your product or service for free, others will want your product or service and be paid a fee. Social media influencers inform their followers of your brand, current developments, and any update on your company. It’s worth opting for social media influencers with the right skills and image for your brand – think of them as your ‘ambassadors’. The main benefits of social media influencers include:
- An improved brand awareness
- Enrichment of the marketing strategy
- Increase in product sales
- Establishment of a creative marketing strategy
- Creation of a win-win partnership with clients (they find out about your brand and often get a discount when doing so through an influencer)
Social media provides a convenient opportunity to market your small business. Having an online presence helps new customers find you, and helps you maintain a long-term relationship with your existing customers in the market. Social media marketing allows you to create engaging content for the right target group. Your small business can increase in leaps and bounds by administering an appropriate social media presence.
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