So you’ve been told “the future is digital” and you’ve heard your business needs to be on social media to survive but you’re wondering where the heck you should even start. You’re wondering if it’s even worth the amount of time you need to put in to work it out or if you should splash the cash and hire a social media specialist to just do it for you.
The good news is, you’re not alone! Trust me, there are so many small businesses out there who have been doing a hell of a good job doing what they do best, their business, who have no idea how to dive into the world of social media. The even better news is that with a willingness to learn, a bit of practice and a small investment of time in the early stages you’ll be able to increase your brand’s visibility on social media and attract new customers too!
Sounds pretty good, right? Great! We’ll get started by discussing the basics of what you need to know about a couple of the main platforms and why your business should be there.
Facebook is the big one, with over 17 million Australian users there’s no doubt that this is the best place to start. Love it or hate it, Facebook is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
· Familiar Platform - most people will have a personal account and understand the basics.
· Huge Amounts of Data - you can really drill down your target audience/s based on nearly any interest, location, age, behaviour (e.g. uses a Google Chrome browser), the list goes on.
· Cheap and Flexible – you don’t have to have big $$$ to see an immediate impact from your advertising spend. You are also able to choose what you’re spending your money on in most cases (e.g. clicks, likes etc.)
· Algorithms – Facebook wants you to spend, so you get very little exposure to new audiences for free thanks to their ever changing algorithms that choose what content they show users.
· Crowded – every man and his dog (literally) seem to have a Facebook page so it can be easy to get lost in the noise.
· Customers – Facebook has become the new “letter to the editor” allowing marginally disgruntled customers to stand on a soap box and yell their grievance at you (and their entire network of friends + other users of your page).
Verdict: Every business should have a Facebook page, regardless of whether or not you post regularly. Customers have come to expect easy access to your business and Facebook is a cheap and simple way to provide this.
This time last year Instagram would have been at the bottom of this list but the, Facebook owned, platform has really started to pick up its business game in recent times and is pinned to be “the social media platform” of 2017.
· Visual – the platform is purely visual so you can create content that really shows off your product (or embodies your services).
· Hashtags + Explore – it’s acceptable to use a tonne of hashtags on Instagram (up to 30 per post) which essentially puts your brand in front of new eyes every time you upload an image. The explore tab does something similar to this as well.
· Stories – quick bites of video and images shared for only 24hrs. They’re perfect for sharing an insider look at your business in a less curated more human way.
· Fickle Users – it can be hard to get started on Instagram as people tend to like you if you already have followers. You’ll also find that they’re quick to unfollow your account too!
· Daily Activity + Scheduling – it’s necessary to have nearly daily posts on Instagram to ensure growth of your audience. At this stage there is no way to schedule posts to post at a later time.
· Insights – you can only gain limited insights about your audience and who’s interacting with each post through the platform.
Verdict: Instagram is a great place for product based businesses and services that have a creative flair. If you don’t fall under either of these, Instagram is more of a “nice to have”.
LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest are the other major platforms that you’ll need to start considering when looking at where your business should be on social media.
Want to know more? Secure your spot at our Brisbane Social Media 101 Workshop on 28th April here.
This piece was originally written for CCIQ as a premium contributor piece. CCIQ have been taking care of business for almost 150 years. Since 1868, they’ve made it their business to represent, protect and nourish Queensland businesses in every way possible.