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How successful is social media marketing?

by Chloe Baird

When social media first landed in our lives, there were endless numbers of people saying it was nothing but a fad.  

Those people have now been proven very, very wrong.  

Facebook was first launched at the beginning of 2004. Kids that were born the same year that Facebook launched will now be in high school. And Instagram, which still feels relatively ‘new’ to some people, is almost a decade old.  

Today, social media is used by billions of people all over the world. In Australia, more than 70% of the population uses social media.  

If it’s done right, social media marketing can be highly successful.   Marketing through social media is one of the most cost-effective ways businesses can reach their target audience. It helps to establish an online presence, expand brand awareness, promote products and services and increase web traffic.  

This article takes a closer look at why social media is important for businesses, as well as some social media success stories. Want to learn more about social media marketing? Read on.

How can you use social media marketing to reach your target audience?

Why is social media important for businesses?

Here are five key points on why social media is important for business:  

1. Social media helps create brand awareness 

This isn’t rocket science. If a customer doesn’t know about your business, they can’t buy your product or service. By having a social media presence, you have a better chance of reaching your target audience. You can share information with your audience about who you are, what you do, what you sell, and what your values are. You also have access to a much wider global audience, too. 

2. Social media helps build authority

It’s easier than ever for customers to carry out their own research before making a purchasing decision. They can search your business (and your competitors’ businesses) quickly and easily to see if they want to purchase anything from you. But by having well-designed social media accounts, you can develop a professional online presence and build authority. Having no social media presence or poorly managed accounts can give a bad first impression and your customers may choose to shop elsewhere. 

3. Social media helps brands understand their target audience

Emails, leaflets and ads all have one thing in common: they’re one-way conversations. Social media helps to change that by enabling a two-way conversation between your business and your customers. As well as posting content for your audience to view, customers can also share their comments and opinions with you. This instant feedback is invaluable and can help you to better serve your audience in the future.

4. Social media helps brands improve their customer service

Sometimes, customers will post negative comments when they’re not happy about something. You might think you can get around this by not having any online presence—but you’d be totally wrong. Customers are going to be posting to social media whether your brand is present or not. So it’s far better to have an established online presence and to be ready to effectively manage unhappy customers when they do post something negative.  

Want to learn more about how to handle both good and bad comments appropriately? Read out blog, ‘Social media marketing mistakes to avoid’.  

5. Social media helps generate sales

Establishing a social media presence means that you have the power to reach a large audience and generate new leads. Attracting new followers with valuable content is the start of converting leads into sales.  

By having an active online presence, you’ll always be front-of-mind with your customers. So hopefully, the next time they need to make a purchase, you’ll be the first business they think of.  

As we mentioned earlier, social media advertising is a cost-effective way to advertise, and you can usually count on a good return on investment (ROI). On top of this, it gives you the opportunity to work with Influencers and Affiliate Marketers who can also promote your brand.  

Find out how to make Influencer marketing work for you. Read our blog, ‘How to grow your business with Influencer marketing’.  

Social media marketing can help you reach a wide audience and generate sales.

Social media success stories

Here are three social media success stories:


Who doesn’t know Messina? And there’s one very, very good reason for that: they’ve done social media right. Messina was founded back in 2002 in Sydney. Since then, they’ve expanded massively across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. And while Messina was first started before social media really blew up, it wasn’t long before they realised that social media marketing was the way to promote their very Insta-worthy, mouth-watering products and their quirky yet honest brand identity. Often when you’re lining up outside one of their stores (because there is never not a line) you’ll see people taking snaps of their Messina ice cream ready to post. @gelatomessina now has more than 200,000 followers on Instagram, and a loyal following of fans across their different social media platforms.  

Place Names in Addresses

This was a campaign started by Gomeroi woman Rachel McPhail to raise awareness of the traditional First Nations names of countries in Australia. Rachel started a petition to Australia Post to collate an extensive database of First Nations countries that could be included in address lines, along with all the other information that’s usually included on a letter or parcel.  

Since first starting up her Instagram account @place_names_in_address in 2020, Rachel has increased her follower count to more than 11,000 (and counting) people. Australia Post has also advised that they support and encourage the use of First Nations names in postal addresses (though they have not committed to building a database as yet). The story of Rachel’s campaign has also been picked up the ABC, Broadsheet,, and The Times and the BBC in the United Kingdom. 

Polished Man

Back in 2014, the Polished Man started out as a campaign to raise awareness of violence against children around the world. The campaign encouraged people, both men and women, to paint one fingernail blue for the month of October. The idea is that this would spark conversations around difficult issues, and raise funds for trauma prevention and recovery for children. 

Through digital and social media marketing, Polished Man has managed to attract supporters like Vance Joy, Nazeem Hussain, Dan Sultan, Jo Stanley, Michael Klim and Scott Cam. 

In 2014, the campaign raised $233,298. They reached more than 257,000 unique Facebook users, had 55,815 website hits and increased their Instagram follower count by 61%.   

In 2019, Polished Man raised $1,132,348. They got 12,100 Facebook likes, received more than 293,000 website hits and reached 36,400 Instagram followers. Social interactions rose to 221,000 and impressions rose to 7.3 million. 

Start reaching a wider audience and work on your social media marketing skills

All those people who once dismissed social media as a ‘fad’ are probably feeling pretty silly right about now.

Whether you’re a Small Business Owner, an aspiring Influencer, have a social cause you care about and want to promote or want to pursue a career as a Social Media Marketer, there’s never been a better time to start improving your social media marketing skills.

OC has partnered with Social Media College to bring you four social media marketing courses: 

These short online course will give you insights into different social media platforms, strategy, and how to get the most out of your social media marketing plan. 

Find out more about our exciting social media online courses by clicking on the above links. 

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