When was the last time you skimmed through the Yellow Pages to find a business?
Today, most people will search for a business online. So if that’s where your business’s customers are, then it’s where you should be, too.
More than 18 million Australians are social media users. We spend about 40 hours every week online (Source), and one in three minutes online is spent on social media. This is why your business needs a social media marketing strategy.
If you’re a Small Business Owner who doesn’t have an online presence or a working social media marketing strategy, then you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to engage with your audience.
You have two options: either shun social media at your own peril, or learn how to harness the power of social media marketing to reach your business goals.
How can social media marketing help my business?
There are a number of way social media can help your business. Here are 5 ways social media can help your business:
1. Build brand awareness.
By curating an engaging social media presence, you can attract new followers to your accounts.
2. Establish your brand’s identity.
Social media gives you direct access to your customer base. Here, you can begin to build your brand identity and share with your followers what your business stands for.
3. Bring in new customers.
Social media is an easy way for you to connect with new followers and, hopefully, convert them into loyal, paying customers. There are plenty of different ways you can do this, including through influencer marketing.
4. Your followers will think of you first.
If you’re creating dynamic, interesting content that your followers like and engage with, then you’ll be first in their minds when they think about purchasing a product or using your services.
5. Create targeted advertising.
Social media advertising can be a cost-effective way to promote your brand. You can also select who will see these ads, so you can make sure your brand is getting in front of the right people.
How can I create a social media strategy?
Ok, so now you have a pretty solid understanding of just why social media is so important to promote your brand. But where do you start?
Throwing time and effort into your social media presence won’t be worth it if you don’t have a social media strategy. So, first things first: let’s create your social media marketing strategy.
A strong social media marketing strategy is an integral part of any small business’s marketing plan. You won’t be able to plan the perfect strategy in a few hours – it will take time and effort. But if you execute your social media marketing strategy correctly, then the results will reflect your perseverance.
Steps you should follow to create a social media marketing strategy for your business
If you have yet to create a social media marketing strategy, here are the basic steps you’ll need to take first before you launch anything:
1. Decide what your social media marketing goals are.
2. Do as much research as much as possible – your competitors, your target audience, different platforms, everything!
3. Decide on the kind of social media content you’ll be posting – what kind of identity are you seeking to create and how do you want to interact with your audience?
4. Set up a schedule for your posts and stick to it.
To find out more in-depth details about these different steps, read our blog: ‘How to plan a social media marketing strategy’.
What’s the difference between a social media marketing strategy and a social media campaign?
A marketing strategy is how a business plans to achieve exposure with their target audience to reach their business goals (generating leads, converting sales, raising brand awareness, etc).
Your social media marketing strategy is how you intend to use social media to achieve those goals.
A social media marketing campaign is built based on your social media strategy. While your strategy is an overarching, long-term plan, each campaign you run may have slightly different goals and will run for a few weeks or months. A campaign will often centre around an event, such as a sale or a promotion.
Measuring the success of your social media marketing campaign
You could have the most ingenious social media marketing strategy ever planned. But if you don’t measure the results of your campaign, how will you know if it was a success or not?
This is an important step in your social media marketing strategy. You need to determine if the results were what you anticipated, how it compared to other campaigns, and whether or not it met the goals you set out to achieve. This is also a great opportunity for you to conduct a social media audit.
There is a huge range of different tools out there today that will help you collate, monitor and analyse your results, so the task won’t seem too monumental. Most platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, have their own analytics tools that can also help.
Just make sure you’re focusing on the right kind of metrics. Vanity metrics have their place, but your ‘like’ count isn’t the be-all and end-all.
Which social media platform is right for my business?
This is a common question many Small Business Owners ask themselves. And with so many different options out there, you want to make sure you’re selecting the right platform that works best for your business.
The main factor in choosing the right platform (or platforms) will mainly come down to where your audience spend most of their time. If you’ve done the research on your target audience, then choosing the right platform should become simpler.
The most popular social media platform for Aussies is Facebook, with around 16.5 million unique monthly users. This is followed very closely by YouTube, with 16 million users and then Instagram with 9 million users. LinkedIn has 6.5 million unique monthly users, and Twitter has 5.8 million.
These numbers are important to keep in mind. But what’s most important is to determine which platforms your customers are using.
A survey from Roy Morgan found that Facebook was universally popular across different generations, but that YouTube was proving to be more popular than Facebook for Gen Z. Whereas Instagram was more popular with Gen Z and Millennials than it was with Gen X.
How will these stats affect your choice of social media platform?
Where can I learn more about social media marketing?
Are you itching to learn more about social media and to launch a winning social media marketing strategy?
Open Colleges has recently partnered with Social Media College to bring you four unique short courses, all designed to help you master social media. These courses will help you get a better understanding of how social media marketing can help your small business and how you can use social media to achieve your business goals.
What are you waiting for? Enrol today and unlock the potential of social media marketing.