I had lunch with some close friends of mine who own a gym.
They told me that their marketing consultant recommended they get on Twitter as soon as possible, use Instagram as much as they can and ramp up their Facebook page, to which they already get a great level of traffic and, more importantly, close engagement with clients on.
My advice to them: beware of fragmenting your social media presence.
Focus on what works; work out a schedule and some goals and see how they go.
If you’re hitting those goals and have the resources to spare, then start looking at additional platforms. Why? Because you’re going to find different kinds of clients on different platforms.
While big companies can boast big budgets, smaller businesses that have committed to growing on one platform have a distinct advantage, as long as they know an audience is there and they’re seeing results.
Here is a breakdown of the social media networks and platforms that Australian small business is most engaged with in 2013 and how they can work for your business:
Great for: Retail, Services, Hospitality, Interest Groups
For too long, marketers have insisted that you HAVE to be on Facebook – if you’re not there, then your business is dead already. But, like any social network, you get out of it what you put in.
While your primary presence on this platform is engagement, there are other areas in which Facebook can help you.
While direct eCommerce eBay-style isn’t encouraged by the network, it provides a range of tools that allow potential customers to purchase directly from your page (see Ecwid).
Another area you can utilise the huge stable of free apps Facebook make available: many are free, others are paid for, and the network has the capacity to create apps too.
By offering one extra reason to spend time on your page, you’re giving more reason for your client to trust you.
Ironically, while Facebook heralds social media as more effective than traditional advertising, its Facebook Ad platform is essentially that.
However, it’s extremely cheap and you can hyper-target your desired demographic.
With improved mobile eCommerce and a Graph Search product on the way, Facebook is trying hard to help your business become successful on their network.
Great for: Retail, Services, Tourism, Entertainment
Many have extolled the power of online video, though small businesses are yet to see its true potential.
Online video, done well, can be the most tantalising internet fodder available. The arrival of the NBN (assuming it isn’t reigned back post-2013 election) will allow consumers and businesses access to faster download speeds, meaning better and faster video feeds.
Add this to better device technology (smartphones with cameras) and cheap/free editing apps, and producing engaging video content isn’t as hard as you’d think.
From blenders to tech companies, sharing video content has become a primary point of sale for many overseas businesses – what better way for your consumer to get behind the scenes, get tips and advice, or be entertained than by short videos?
If you’re a micro-business, YouTube even allows you the chance to be their next ‘How To’ guru, positioning your industry know-how in the limelight.
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