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Social for SMEs: Put yourself on the map

by Jordan Ellis
on 13 Sep, 2018

Exposure is everything for small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

Prior to 2010, landing on the radar of your target audience in the shadow of large-scale corporations was a challenge. However, the social-media explosion that followed transformed the digital marketing landscape, opening doors for SMEs to build targeted and loyal consumer communities online.

Social media puts SMEs on the map and has evolved into a vital success-driver for many Australian businesses. Within this blog we will explore social strategies that will align your social media tactics with best practice social advertising strategy to allow your business to make the most of your social advertising abilities.

 

Why are socials worth it for a small-medium business?

Social media has been widely popularised for its ability to provide a direct pathway to consumers, and with 51% of small business’ and 58% of medium sized business’ active on social channels, social media is solidifying itself as the go-to marketing solution for companies without a big-business budget.

Social media has simplified the process of accessing and engaging your audience, providing an avenue for smaller scale brands to tailor their target consumer; whether through location tracking, defined interests, ‘likes’, online behaviour or demographic characteristics. Brands can then utilise these segmented audiences to create content that uniquely appeals to their consumers needs on both a local or broader level.

Below is an infographic that details a few crucial statistics.

These statistics prove that social media has a strong commercial grip on our consumers.

Every brand, whether small, medium or large should be present on platforms that are driving almost 70% conversion rates in some audiences.

However, when it comes to small to medium enterprises, reaching a broader audience and increasing brand awareness can especially drive the course of business success.

When done right, greater exposure can influence brand image and perception amongst a wider audience, ultimately influencing purchase behaviour and likening the chance of conversion from a previously inaccessible consumer.

 

Plan for success

In the social media world, simply existing is never enough. Inactive profiles lead to stagnant engagement, which in conjunction with lackluster content will result in negative brand perception.

Distinct strategies need to be set in place to not only ensure that your business image, brand voice and personality are accurately reflected to consumers online, but that your business is actively engaging with, listening to and staying relevant among its audience.

We have put together a list of considerations that underpin successful social media strategies that will allow you to leverage the full potential of your audience online.

1 Research

Your audience

Social media is all about the consumer, and thanks to the immense amount of information publicly shared and tracked by social media platforms, it has never been easier to decipher user behaviour.

Almost every major social platform have accompanying analytic insights that will help you observe consumer behaviour and learn the traits of your audience.

Listen to your data and plan accordingly.

Media habits and trends

Once you have defined your audience, discover their media habits.

Social platforms bring your brand messaging straight to the screens of consumers, however it is your companies job to be in the right place at the right time.

Our infographic above has some excellent insights into specific age-group social media preferences, however there are a multitude of resources online that can help you hone in on which social channels are worth resource investment for your company.

 

2 Understand

Your goals

Without a vision, your brand may never recognise its full potential.

Planning is an essential factor of social media marketing and setting milestone goals is a simple way to monitor your progress and keep your content on-brand and on track.

Set goals for impressions, engagement, organic reach and follower counts in order to grow your following.

The competitive market

The social world is an incredibly competitive space – with your business fighting against both organic and paid competitor content within social platforms. Observe and be inspired by the work of your competitors – which channels, campaigns or content types have generated the greatest amount of engagement?

Use their insights into consumer content preferences to your own advantage.

 

3 Create

Engaging content

When it comes to SME content marketing, quality over quantity is key. Choose your content carefully and build a story through your imagery that spotlights your brand aesthetic and identity. Post with intent and always try to blend your content in with that of the native content on the feeds of your target consumers.

Take advantage of online trends such as video and give your consumers content they will love.

A following

As proven in our infographic above, consumers want to engage with brands online. Make your brand accessible by being present on relevant channels and providing content that gives value to your consumers.

Consider the needs of your following – are they looking for entertainment, information or variety? Tend to that need and provide it regularly to encourage your consumers to follow!

 

4 Engage

With consumers

Your consumers are the biggest advocates for your brand and, in the world of social media, consumer recommendations are invaluable.

52% of consumers are more likely to put their trust in a brand if a business interacts with consumers positively on social media.

Ensure you appreciate your customers online by replying to their comments, drawing attention to user generated content and acknowledging their reviews and queries.

Loyalty is everything for SMEs and social media provides an opportunity for your brand to build genuine, lasting relationships with your consumers.

With the industry

Stay relevant. Keep up to date with industry news and trends in order to depict your business as a key player among category leaders.

With influencers

Use influencers strategically, yet sparingly. Influencers hold an incredible amount of power in social spaces, as proven by cases such as the startup phenomenon Hi-Smile. However there is also an enormous amount of risk involved when enlisting these social media moguls, alongside the potential for inadequate ROI.

Do your research and stay true to your brand values. No brand wants to be involved in another Scarlett London incident.

 

5 Track

Results

Utilise social media advertising suites to track and monitor your traffic on your social platforms.

Facebook Business Manager is a tool that integrates both your Facebook and Instagram accounts and facilitates the creation, scheduling and sponsoring of posts on Facebook in a variety of different formats; including carousel, video and single image.

The program also includes comprehensive real-time data management tools that allow your business to track, monitor and gain insights from user-behaviour data on your profiles.

Business Manager is an essential feature to SME Facebook functioning and our team highly recommend you play around with its custom advertising audiences to best tailor your sponsored content to your consumer.

LinkedIn ‘company pages’ also produce real-time analytics for your brands user behaviour which, alongside the platforms marketing and advertising functions allow your business to track both its organic and sponsored advertising progress among B2B networks and prospective leads.

Twitters ‘activity dashboard’ is another incredible inbuilt social audience tracking feature that allows your brand to observe how people engage with your Tweets, compare your Tweet activity/followers and get detailed insights into your brand’s audience.

 

Ready for more?

Stay tuned for our next social media instalment which is a profile on best-practice social techniques for SME’s!

If you need help setting up a social media strategy for your business, contact our friendly team at Thirst Creative today!


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