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How to market your small business through social media

by Chloe Baird

Each year, social media continues to grow in popularity. It’s how we connect with our friends and family, and it’s how we keep up to date with the latest trends and news. We follow brands, organisations, celebrities, influencers and experts who share information that we find valuable, interesting and worthwhile. 

In 2020, there are around 3.8 billion people around the world using some form of social media. This number has increased by 321 million new users since the previous year.¹ 

These stats are hard to ignore, and the marketing potential for your business is huge.  

If you currently run your own small business or are thinking about starting a new small small business, then you may be wondering what the best way is to connect with your target market through social media.

There’s never been a better time than right now to start learning more about social media, and how you can make it a part of your small business marketing plan.  

What is a social media marketing strategy? 

Let’s break things down: 

marketing strategy is your business’s overall approach to achieving exposure with your target audience to generate sales.  

social media marketing strategy is how you intend to use social media to achieve those goals.  

content strategy is how you manage your content. Your content refers to any media that you are putting out into the world, whether it’s word-based, visual or audio.  Your content strategy is an important part of your social media marketing strategy, which, in turn, is a part of your marketing strategy. 

What are the most popular social media platforms in Australia? 

Some of the most popular social media platforms in Australia according to Civic Web Media² are:

  • Facebook – 16 million monthly users 
  • YouTube – 15 million monthly users 
  • Instagram – 9 million monthly users 
  • SnapChat – 6.4 million monthly users 
  • WordPress – 5.8 million monthly users 
  • LinkedIn – 5.5 million monthly users 

Which social media platform is the best?

The answer to this question will depend on your business, the types of products and services you sell, and your audience.  

If you’ve done your research, you should know what demographic your audience fits in to, where they’re located, their needs and their problems. And of course, you need to know what their preferred social media channel is.  

For example, Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world with 2.6 billion active users. But if your target market prefers Instagram, then you will need to adjust your social media strategy to work based on this information. 

You will also need to decide what platform works for you and your brand. Make sure that the platforms you use fit in with your brand’s look and feel.   

Why you should research your competition

Before you start posting content, you should check out what your competitors are doing. What platform do they use? What kind of content are they posting? How often do they post? Do they use influencers or affiliate marketers to boost their reach? 

The goal here is not to just copy and paste their content and to steal their ideas. Instead, see what works for them, what doesn’t work, and how you might incorporate similar ideas into your own strategy.  

Why you need to post likeable, shareable content

This might sound obvious, but you need to ensure that the content you’re posting holds value for your target audience and that it reflects your brand’s tone of voice and style. 

People won’t follow you or share your content if they don’t believe that it is relevant or valuable. So make sure your content is always of a high standard (that means no spelling errors or typos!) and that it holds value for your audience. 

While your end goal is to convert followers into paying customers, your content doesn’t always have to be sales orientated. 

Whatever platform you’re using, you can use it to interact and connect with users in a multitude of different ways. Ask for your audience’s opinions, get them to join in with a special hashtag, ask them to share their experiences, or just share with them content that you know they will find interesting and valuable.  

Make sure that your content is always: 

  1. true to your brand’s style; 
  2. authentic and not misleading; and
  3. posted at a consistent time and in line with your strategy schedule

How to grow your business through social media

Open Colleges has a number of online social media courses that can help you grow your small business through social media.  

We’ve partnered with Social Media College (SMC) to bring you four new short online courses that focus on Social Media Marketing and Advertising:

Facebook Advertising 

Instagram Marketing 

LinkedIn Marketing 

Social Media Strategy 

Discover which course might be the best fit for you and your business.  

  1. Source: Chaffey, Dave. 17 April, 2020. ‘Global social media research summary 2020’. 
  2. Source:  5 February, 2020. ‘Australia’s most popular social media sites 2020’. 

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