Social media has become a huge influence in our society. Most businesses are aware of this and the importance of being on social media. Over 60% of Australian businesses have a social media presence and this number is continuously growing each year. Facebook is still overwhelmingly the most popular social platform for businesses, however there are constantly new social platforms popping up. Instagram, Snapchat, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and youtube are just a few of the most common platforms businesses use to communicate and engage with their audiences.
We know businesses understand having a presence on some of these platforms is important, but do we really understand why we bother? Is all the time spent thinking of posts and replying to customers really worth it?
Simply, yes. It is 100% worth it.
The thing with social media is that it needs to be engaging and effective. It all comes down to understanding your audience and what they want to know. By understanding your audience, you will know what social media platforms they use most and what they’re going to be interested in seeing. There is an extensive list of platforms out there and not every business needs to be on every one of them.
Depending on your industry, what you want to achieve from social media will differ. For a retail business, the ultimate goal will be sales and this is easier to measure than some other industries. For other businesses, some of the most important aspects of being on social media include:
- Audience Engagement: Engaging with your audience allows you to give the brand a personality and allows the audience to gain a sense of trust for your brand. This is a great strategy for developing brand loyalty
- Brand Awareness: Being on social media gives you the opportunity to be recognised by potential customers. Given that majority of businesses are on social media and 70% of Australians use it, not having a presence is a missed opportunity to be recognised
- Low Cost: Using social media organically is completely free and is therefore the cheapest marketing strategy one could utilise
- Transparency: Due to its instantaneous nature, customers have the ability to write complaints or give praise at anytime. Having a public complaint can give you the opportunity to rectify the problem and it actually tends to have a positive effect when handled effectively
Like anything, setting goals and aiming for success is irrelevant unless you are able to measure it. Social media success is not something that happens overnight. It can take a long time to build an active following of people who are interested and engaged in what you’re showcasing. No matter what it is you are trying to gain from social media, setting measureable, realistic and relevant goals is so important.
It depends on what you want to achieve but some examples of goals for social media include
- Gain Brand Awareness: Although not the most measurable of goals, creating a presence among your audience is one of the most important aspects of social media
- Increase website traffic: It is vital to have a link to your website on your social platforms as generating leads and sales is the overarching goal
- Increase Conversion rates: Particularly in the retail industry, this is a priority and is easy to measure. However, this can be used in most industries with the conversion being made more specific to the business.
All of these goals would need to be made more specific depending on your business size and industry, but it gives you an idea of what is important and how social media success can actually be measured.
Do you want the best social media strategy you've ever had? Of course you do