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If you’re in business, you are probably already on social media. The 2018 Sensis report indicated that 60% of large businesses and 47% of small to medium businesses are on social media. And it's a good thing too, because social media is often one of the first places consumers look to find out information about a business these days. However, just because you’re on social media doesn’t mean you have mastered the art of it! You might think just being on social media is enough, but you need to be on the right platforms. What’s right for the beauty salon in Hawthorn isn’t necessarily what’s right for the accountants in Geelong. Think about the industry you’re in and what kind of posts you will be making. Then take a look at your competitors:
This will really help you make a start on your social media strategy. After that, you’re going to need to take a good look into the specific platforms and whether they align with your brand DNA. Let’s delve into that a little now.
Facebook is one of the most popular platforms. With 94% of Australian consumers and 90% of Australian businesses on the platform, it’s a pretty safe choice. Facebook is extremely user friendly for both businesses and consumers and it is an appropriate choice for all businesses. Consumers tend to feel more comfortable interacting with businesses on Facebook and have the option to engage with them via posts and messaging. When using Facebook, you’ll want to adopt a more light-hearted and familiar tone. You will also want to make sure you are responding to direct messages from your customers in a timely fashion, because as we know, customer service is extremely important! So if you’re just launching your social media strategy, Facebook is a really great place to start!
Paid ads on Facebook are also a really popular choice as a large portion of your market is almost definitely going to be on Facebook. It’s not just a great way to build brand awareness, you can also be driving purchases through these ads. Facebook ads are a really cost-effective way of boosting your social media marketing strategy.
Twitter is more than just a politicians favourite platform, it’s also a great social media tool for the business toolbelt! Twitter is one of the best ways to open up a dialogue between you and your consumers, so it's important to be active on this platform. As seen above, businesses can respond to consumer issues and easily retweet positive reviews too. Twitter is easily the best place for customer service and public relations. When using Twitter, you’ll want to mix up your tweets with some customer service, product updates and public relations type content. Keep your audience on their toes! Don’t forget to make use of the hashtag too! Particularly if you’re commenting on a viral topic, the hashtag is going to allow you to be seen by anyone interested in the hashtag topic.
LinkedIn is one of the most professional social media platforms out there. This is the best site for business to business communication as well as for recruitment purposes. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to network and keep your finger on the pulse of the industry you operate in. To master LinkedIn, you need to view the site as a professional networking event. Therefore, your voice should be professional! You’re talking to your peers here and this is where other businesses are going to get a good view of who you are. This is a great place to cultivate business relationships and provide information on your organisation!
On YouTube, you can find a wide range of content from funny cat videos to short online courses! As a brand, YouTube can be utilised to produce valuable video content. Compared to other platforms that allow for posts that incorporate videos, YouTube is the platform you will use to produce the longest videos. The main reason you will want to be on YouTube is if you’re publishing explanatory and informative content such as a “how-to” video. To perform well on YouTube, you’ll want to curate playlists, upload thumbnails for videos and obviously have an engaging title.
If publishing content on YouTube doesn't make much sense for your brand, perhaps you will want to try ads on YouTube. This platform (along with Facebook) is really popular for paid advertisements due, in part, to the large user base. However, this is a fine line to walk. As users are there for particular content, ads can seem to be an interruption as they physically pause the video. Also, most ads on YouTube are skippable after 5 seconds. Therefore, your ad needs to be super engaging in the first 5 seconds. Always consider whether or not the first 5 seconds of your ad are going to make the user click through!
Instagram is extremely effective for a well rounded B2C social media strategy. As you likely know, Instagram is a highly visual platform and that's why it is very relevant for businesses such as Celebrity Ink (above) who want to show off their tattoo art. Obviously, if your business isn't exactly highly visual (like, perhaps a software company?) being on Instagram probably just isn’t the right place for you. If you're on Instagram, your images and videos should be creative, arty and eye-catching. Showcase your product or service, add stickers into your stories that encourage engagement and post some business in action or behind the scenes footage.
Snapchat does seem like one of the largely untapped social media platforms, however brands are starting to wake up to its power. Snapchat’s user base is mostly Gen Z and you’ll want to be in B2C if you're on Snapchat. While this platform doesn’t allow quite as much marketing and advertising creativity as some of the other platforms, it can be quite ideal for brand awareness and advertising. You can target your audience through the Discover section and via Stories. If you’re posting Stories, they will want to be much like what you would be posting on Instagram. Short, fun videos with some action and behind the scenes footage is a great way to go with Snapchat too! Lenses are one of the most fun parts of advertising on Snapchat. Anyone who is using Snapchat, definitely has used a lens from time to time. It’s a really great way to show off your brand personality and gain some brand awareness too.
We know that TikTok isn’t huge among brands at the moment, but they have an exciting opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an extremely popular and fast growing platform. The base on TikTok is largely Gen Z and Millennials and of course this is another platform for the B2C community. All TikTok content your brand posts needs to be eye-catching, fun and expressing your brand personality! Start by participating in challenges, using popular sounds and dueting with others. This is a great way to build your base on TikTok and begin to drive organic traffic. Take a look at some of the brands that are tearing it up on the platform and see how you can too!
Social media marketing is no longer an option, it is a necessity! Social media is likely one of the first places your audience is going to go to find out information about your brand, so don't deny them that! Show off your brand personality and engage with your audience in a more comfortable environment for them.