How to use social media for small businesses

In this video, I’d like to bring you through a series of questions to help you determine whether you should social media as part of your marketing efforts in your business strategy.

The question of using social media for small businesses has shifted from whether a small business should be on social media to how can small businesses take advantage of social media to develop and grow their business.

Where are your customers?

For one, if your customers—potential or current—“hang out” on social media, perhaps you should consider hanging out with them on social media, too. And if you find that your competitors are hanging out on social media—and are successful at it, too, then you may want to consider looking into what they do and why they do it. The greater opportunity for your customers to be aware of your presence in a particular platform, the greater the chance for them to think of you when they want to purchase a product that you happen to sell.

The most significant reason why you should be on social media is because your customers are there—and are very comfortable navigating through this platform. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Population Clock, there are approximately 24.6 million Australians. As of August 2017,

  1. 7 in 10 in Australians use Facebook
  2. 1 in 2 Australians use Facebook on a daily basis
  3. Australians aged 24-39 and aged 40-55 are more likely to be on Facebook than any other Australians from other age brackets. The 24-39 bracket has 6.1 million users, while the 40-55 age bracket has 4.1 million users. They are followed closely by the 18-25 bracket, with 3.5 million users.
  4. 1 in 2 Australians use YouTube
  5. 1 in 5 Australians use Instagram
  6. 1 in 6 Australians use Snapchat

We are a generation driven by social media. However, before you become fully invested in social media, please note that each business is different, and different customers behave rather uniquely. So the first thing you need to ascertain is how many of your customers are on social media and what they do on social media. If your presence in particular social media platform will encourage them to look at you favourably, then it pays to be on that platform.

For example, if you were in the business of manufacturing screws for electronic equipment, your clients will unlikely look for you in some social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram. Your clients, who are businesses themselves, may likely hang out elsewhere. Although this is an extreme example, the point is that you need to determine what your business is all about, who your clients are, and how they hang out in particular social media platforms. Do they think about you when they hang out in Twitter and Instagram, for example? Or do they even want to think about you?

It is important to identify who your customers are, where your customers engage in social media, and whether exposing yourself in the social media platforms they are active in will provide a positive impression on your brand.

How can social media help me?

There are three ways social media can help you manage and grow your small business.

  1. Reach. Social media gets you closer to your customers.
  2. Engagement. It gives your customers an informal channel to talk to you, aside from the usual channels: phone call, email, personal visit. A lot of people feel more comfortable approaching business and brands this way by making simple inquiries or sharing their reviews/comments, which could be opportunities for you to turn an inquiry into a sale, or strengthen relationships with your current customers.
  3. Customer Service and Market Research. Consider this as a platform for you to listen to what your customers are saying about you and your competitors. There is also nothing wrong in posting questions on your social media accounts to gather market information. What do your customers want? What aren’t your customers happy about? Social media has made it much, much easier for customers to voice out their complaints and reviews.

So the question remains, should you invest in social media. It depends. What do you want out of it? Do you want to sell something? Do you want to educate your potential customers? Or do you want to create awareness for your brand?

When you identify what you want to get out of social media, you will then be able to identify the various platforms in the market, what each can do for your business, and whether it will meet your business objectives. You will need to look into how you will approach them and present to them your business in a way that your current and potential clients will consistently see what you want to tell them about your business and brand.

If you are interested to know more about what a business has to go through when facing exponential growth, you can download the first chapter of the book, ”$20K to $20 Million in 2 Years” absolutely free here. The chapter talks about the differences between a good and a great business and puts out questions that make you consider how you can turn your business from good to great.



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