We hear, especially from Solopreneurs and small businesses, time and time again “Why should my business use social media?” The answer is surprisingly simple – Because it Works.
Australians love social media, with 65% of Australians using social media and 95% of those using Facebook it is an excellent way to access your audience who spend up to 7 hours a week on social media. IN addition, many businesses right across Australia identify social media as a growing channel for their marketing.
The benefits of using social media are many and varied, it can:
Reduce your overall Marketing costs, that’s a win.
Increase traffic to your awesome website, again a win!
Increase your brand awareness, win/win.
Help you talk directly to your customers – WIN!
Help with retention long after the purchase has occurred – DOUBLE WIN!
Isn’t social media free? Yes it is, for solopreneurs and businesses, but you need to factor in things like your time when including this in your budget because social media needs to be daily monitored to ensure customers’ needs are attended to and questions answered.
When determining your social media marketing plan, first you need to identify the 3 M’s of Marketing – Message (What) Market (Who) Medium (How).
Key questions to think about when determining your 3M’s are:
Why are you different? What problem do you fix? Why are you different? What’s in it for them? What message resonates? How many updates per week? What other tactics will you use? How will you measure success?
Once you have determined the 3M’s you can execute your plan in only 15 minutes per week, you need to put time aside to:
Engage with your community
Nurture your own community
Measure your activity
Here’s a quick reference for your daily and weekly social media needs:
Write and schedule your updates for the week (minimum 2), find 3 – 5 people/organisations to follow and look at your metrics for the previous week and adjust your plans where needed.
Quickly scan for any breaking news that is relevant (post it if there is), comment on a couple of posts from connections made, follow accounts of new clients and new networking connections and send personal messages to a few connections.
Other key questions to consider when setting up: How will you promote your social media? Are there any risks to consider? Who are your likely customers? Who your customers’ friends? And if you are one of the many solopreneurs out there, how will you manage your time and resources?
One last thing, stay relevant with your content, think to yourself “Is this important and necessary for the customer to hear” each time you post.
LinkedIn is all about professional connections, whether they be clients, suppliers, business friends (or even real life friends) and those random people you meet at networking events, but never really keep in touch with – except for liking the occasional post. It can be a powerful tool for broadening your business circle, but it can be a little clunky.
There’s an easy to use new feature that LinkedIn has introduced to make it a breeze for people to connect with each other, without the awkward exchange of business cards, or even more awkward connection requests after the event. It’s a QR code! And it’s available in your LinkedIn app.
Have you seen it yet?
To use the code In the LinkedIn app, tap the QR code icon in the Home tab’s search bar, and there you’ll see a QR scanner as well as your own code. Here’s what you see when you open the app:
And what you get when you tap the code icon:
Beyond the app, you can download your personalised QR code and add it to your marketing collateral, including business cards.
As it can be one of the most cost-effective ways to make your business and brand known, it is not surprising that SMEs in Australia are leveraging social media channels to build their businesses.
Everyday, the number of Australians using Facebook, Youtube, WordPress and Instagram increases significantly, creating more and more opportunities for SMEs to use the social media landscape to get in front of potential customers. Here are five advantages that social media, if done well, can offer you and your business:
Increase your business brand recognition
Where else could you open up your business to millions of people online? By creating social media profiles for your brand, you are opening up your doors for people to interact with your business through your content. With each post, you can slowly build your business’ reputation and invite a network of individuals and potential customers. Tested and proven–the more people who know about your brand, the better. And the more they get to know you, the more they will trust you and eventually buy from you.
Invite more inbound traffic
Just because you build a website, or even blog from time to time, doesn’t mean you’ll automatically generate traffic. And this is where social media can help.
Each time you create and post a blog on your website, you need to think of ways to promote your new content. By taking the link and posting it across your social media channels, you will increase the visibility of your content. Even better, if you put a small paid spend behind it (like using a boost on Facebook, or sponsored content on LinkedIn), you can attract a new audience to your content, and ultimately your business.
Be in front of your customers more often
More and more customers are taking to social media before ringing you. Being on top of your social media can help turn a complaint into a happy customer!
You can also use social media to get real time market intel. If you are making a decision on a new colour for an existing product, why not ask your community?
Add value to your customers long after the purchase
Once a customer has made a purchase, consider how you can keep them loyal through nurturing a relationship with the through social media. What content can you create that helps keep you front of mind in between purchases for your existing customers.
Make sure you also ask your customers for a review, so you can leverage their social media networks and extend your organic reach. We also know that while you can say how good you are, it is more meaningful coming from you happy customers.
Using social media platforms can reduce your overall marketing costs. Think about how much it costs to build a new website, or even spend money on an expensive email marketing platform. Setting up social media channels for your business is free.
But keep in mind, while use of social media platforms are generally free, there are still costs, like your own time, that need to be factored into your budget.
What value has social media marketing added to your business?
If you want help getting more out of your social media marketing, please download our free step by step guide today!