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Social media may not have completed its campaign of total world domination, but it’s getting pretty close. Over 80% of Australians use some form of social media, with a whopping 50% spending 20 minutes checking Facebook every single day.

While a massive chunk of this time is spent browsing memes and getting into flame wars, it also means that there are plenty of healthy opportunities for business owners to connect with their audience.

A strong social media campaign is often a vital piece of the digital marketing pie. So how does a business owner get started with creating a social media presence?

The Power of Social

In 2019, no one can afford to underestimate the power and versatility of social channels. No more slapping your business on a billboard, or in a primetime television slot, and then just crossing your fingers and hoping that the right people see it.

You now have the ability to target your audience in ways that seemed impossible just a few years ago. If your product appeals to women, 25-35, living in Mentone, who are single parents and fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then you can go right ahead and craft content specifically for them.

Of course, the first and most vital step of any successful marketing campaign is to know your business, as well as your audience. The second and equally important step: have an end-goal in mind, and use that to work towards your desired outcome.

After this, then it becomes a matter of finding the right social channel for your business type and making them work for you. Some of the more popular forms of social media include:

LINKEDIN

Used primarily for networking, but also well-suited for B2B (business to business) advertising and professional services. If you offer something that can help out another business, LinkedIn might be the network for you.

INSTAGRAM

Perfect for retail and hospitality, as well as influencer marketing. The image-based content allows for more of an emotional appeal, so if you’ve got a product or a service that looks great on camera (doggy daycare or hairdressing are some great examples), Instagram is an awesome way to show your stuff to potential customers.

TWITTER

This is where people go for fast, instant bites of information. Twitter is a great way of forming a ‘personality’ around your brand, with less onus on direct marketing and more on communicating directly with your audience; hugely important in the current business landscape.

FACEBOOK

The largest social media platform in the world, and a good general fit for many businesses. A ‘jack of all trades’ in terms of marketing. It’s at least a good idea to have a presence on Facebook, since people will be using the platform to research your business, its opening hours and other basic info, and these are things you’ll want to control yourself.

GOOGLE+

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YOUTUBE

Far less of a communication channel than the others. Businesses posting videos to YouTube are mainly trying to raise brand and product awareness. If your product or service can tell a great story through video, then this is the platform to get the word out.

Marketing Channel, or Communication Channel?

A business using a social media channel will be doing one of two things: marketing or communication. While the two can and often do intertwine, you could broadly say that marketing is seeking out a new audience, while communication is getting a message out to an audience you already have.

Marketing

You don’t need a mountain of cash to get started with social media marketing, but you do need to have knowledge of the platform you’re using and how to use it to the fullest. And a mountain of cash will always come in handy if you’ve got one, since it means you’re able to further boost campaigns to reach more people.

In a crowded field where everyone is trying to make their voice heard, it’s easy for your voice to be lost; it could be that only around 5% of the content you put out will organically reach your supporters, which is why boosting posts may be necessary.

This is where demographics, metrics and analytics come into play, as you’re able to test different types of ad, aimed at different members of your audience, and refine them to see what’s well-received and what strategies need to be dropped to achieve the greatest ROI (return on investment).

Communication

There’s a strong expectation nowadays of good customer service, which will often be the main reason people are communicating with your business via a social channel in the first place.

71% of people say they’re willing to recommend a company purely based on receiving good service, with an extra 21% spent on products and services afterwards. Those are some beefy numbers that will only climb with time, and you can easily sway both opinions and sales by using your social channels to connect and solve problems. In practical terms, this means keeping a close watch on incoming messages to your various social platforms and swiftly responding to inquiries.

Personalisation is also not only an excellent strategy, but in 2019, it’s expected. The time for cookie-cutter, copy-and-paste responses has passed, especially when that very real person you’re talking to has their name clearly visible. Personalised content is one of social media’s greatest advantages, so don’t hesitate to use it.

The Smarter Way

Despite its immense power, SBM sees social media as an important piece of the marketing puzzle- and an effective tool for raising awareness of a brand- rather than a silver bullet solution.

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure”, and when most forms of social media come with all sorts of reporting tools and analytics, we can easily get down to the granular facts that produce solid results: measuring, return on investment and cost per acquisition.

All of this feeds into our ultimate goal: to create a solid, meaningful and accurate picture of your audience. Once we have this, then you’re then able to create content that relates to them on a personal level. That’s the true advantage of social media: getting to know your audience and what appeals to them, after which you have all the tools and information you need to create some brilliant campaigns.

 


 

Looking to supercharge your digital marketing? Contact Smith Brothers Media for a business discovery session today!

 

– Written by Stuart J.A. McNabb

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