Like it or not, social media is here to stay – more than that, it is thriving!
When you consider that the first recognised form of social media was founded in 1997 (Six Degrees), with Facebook launching as recently as 2004, social media has come an unbelievably long way in a short amount of time. And it is not going anywhere. Add in a pandemic and growth of social media platforms has been at a record high. One report suggested that between July and September, more than 180 million more people used social media than was recorded in the previous quarter – double the growth rate reported in January.
Social media is no longer simply a means for connecting with friends or filling in some spare time. This past year has shown us just how important it is for business too. Indeed, many businesses were only able to survive due to transitioning into the online space, using social media to deliver their message, advise their customers of changes, open online shops, attract new business from a broader base and more. It is a legitimate and valuable tool to consider for your business.
In this blog, we will look at why we believe social media is an important marketing tool for small business.
Reaching Customers through Social Media
In marketing, the mantra is ‘go where your customers are’. With approx. 2.6 billion monthly active users on Facebook and approx. 1 billion on Instagram alone, it is clear that social media is where your customers are. And they are there for approx. 135 minutes on average every day. Putting your message in front of your audience has never been easier – great news for small business.
Almost everyone carries a mobile phone these days with access to the internet, meaning you have the potential to have your content viewed anywhere at any time. No waiting for them to walk by your shop or pick up a newspaper or magazine and happen across your advertisement, you can put yourself right in their hands where you know they are looking daily.
Cost-effective Social Media Marketing
Using social media for marketing can cost as little or as much as you are prepared to spend. From the free DIY creating and scheduling of posts to a more comprehensive strategy including paid advertising, there really is an option to suit every small business budget.
A very handy feature of some platforms is targeted advertising which can really pinpoint your ideal customer and ensure you are getting maximum exposure for the highest possible chance of conversion. The average cost-per-click across all industries ranges somewhere from $0.97 to $1.72. Try it out with split-test marketing and see what works best for your business and on which platform. This is a great way to make sure you are hitting the mark. (If this sounds a little beyond your capabilities, don’t worry. Our team are skilled at creating and deploying content and strategies to meet your objectives!)
Branding on Social Media
No matter where you spend your marketing dollar, you still want to be recognised as you. Fortunately, consistency of brand across your selected social media marketing platforms is simple. It even allows you to show a bit of personality due to the varying requirements of each platform. Paying attention to meeting those requirements regarding image size etc. is important so your brand presents correctly no matter where it is viewed. We can assist with this – it’s something our graphic designers take care of every day for our clients.
With all social media, variety is key. People crave fresh content. Don’t be afraid to be a bit bold and allow your brand to evolve in line with your customers’ needs, while retaining your brand voice and tone, of course. Research will help you here and includes keeping up with hashtags strategies, trending content, participation in groups, evaluating best posting times and monitoring growth/sales. Regular auditing of your social media is vital to continue to meet changing consumer demands.
Summary of Social Media for Small Business
Overall, using social media is a simple and effective way for small business to promote themselves and their products/services. It is easy to set up, highly adaptable and already in the hands of most of your potential customers.
Small business – big outcomes!