With more than 15 million Australians using Facebook, a similar number visiting YouTube, 9 million on Instagram, 4.2 million on LinkedIn, 3 million on Twitter and 55,000 on G+ (okay that’s ordinary, but almost 95% use Google as their preferred search engine!) there has never been a better time for you as a small business owner to share your marketing communications and engage with your target communities. Yet most of you don’t and when you do, you’re half baked!
There are more than 2 million small businesses in Australia and, if you employ less than 19 staff, you represent more than 97% of all businesses. Most of you would (or should) understand by now that far more of your customers’ eyes (and ears) are now going online and on social channels than they are watching TV, listening to radio or reading newspapers (do local newspapers even distribute anymore?). What’s more, web & social media marketing is not only measurable i.e. it’s easier to work out if you’re getting ROI compared to traditional media and, it’s dramatically more affordable!
BUT so very few of you are using social media to achieve advantages for your businesses.
Sensis annual social media report tells us that whilst 79% of Aussies are on social media, less than 47% of small businesses have used (think Facebook) and only 26% have ever advertised. This amounts to around 12% of small businesses that MIGHT have their Facebook posts seen. Of those, anecdotally perhaps 3% are set-up, posting & advertising in a manner that is likely to ATTRACT and RETAIN more customers.
Enough already. Here are the three biggest mistakes you’ve been making and it’s time to stop!
1. YOU’RE NOT ON
You’ve got to be on it to win with it! However more than 53% of you have nada, not even a Facebook page? But don’t be all ‘rest on your laurels’ if you do have a Facebook page. Do you know that good ‘organic reach’ for Facebook posts in the States is now around 1-2% of your following – so if you’ve got 200 ‘likers’, maybe 2 of them will get to see your fabulous photo or video post?
Facebook is NOT the only social media. As already noted there are plenty of Australians who are also using Instagram (owned by Facebook), Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and YouTube (owned by Google).
Although 60% of Australian businesses are non-employing, in the main you are not your business. Most businesses have a unique brand and logo, it’s your business that should have a Facebook page, LinkedIn Company, Instagram, Twitter & ‘Google my Business’ account.
2. YOU’RE A MESS
Just because it’s free and relatively easy to set-up your Facebook page and other social media sites doesn’t mean you can be slap dash!
It’s well known that people judge a book by it’s cover and your customers and prospects will judge your business by what it looks like and the information you provide (or don’t provide). So make sure your logo or icon is your business profile image (and that it fits!), not a picture of you or your shop or a dog!
Your ‘real’ photo or video of people and places should go in your cover image and your social media cover images should be consistent across your social channels and with your website (banner/s). You don’t need to have a graphic designer whack text all over it – if you do that people will think you’re selling them something and are more likely to consider you spam. Hence why Facebook’s algorithm penalises too much text on photo posts and won’t let you advertise anything with more than 20% text.
Make sure too that the information provided on your social media channels is complete and consistent across your channels. That includes letting people know how they can contact you and where they can find out more about what you offer i.e. your website or your bricks & mortar shop.
3. YOU’RE NOT ACTIVE
Whilst it’s nice to create your social media ‘field of dreams’, it’s only by actively sharing and engaging with your target audience and strategic others i.e. being social, that people will come!
Yes there are some search advantages by setting up your social media websites, but it’s only by sharing that you’ll finish up in people’s news feeds and that’s what social is all about.
You need to have a daily habit if you want your followers to see and be reminded of who you are and what you do. But don’t just broadcast! You’ve got one mouth, but two eyes and two ears, so make sure you’re following, engaging and even sharing posts by your target community.
If you do this you’ll retain more followers, fans and customers, but you may not acquire more.
To acquire more clients or customers you’ll probably need to advertise. Yes it’s Facebook advertising that you should be using if you want to monetise your social media marketing. Did you know that by spending as little as $5 a day you could be having thousands more people seeing your post and hundreds more people engaging with it!
But remember it’s not about you or your business as such! It’s about why and what your business can do for your customer. Please don’t try and sell directly on social – just educate in a manner that builds trust in you and your services or products.
Social media marketing and Facebook advertising is brilliant for gaining awareness and interest in your unique business offerings, but ultimately the desire and action to purchase is most likely to occur in person or via your website, phone or email.
So it’s not usually social media marketing or Facebook advertising that fails or doesn’t work for your business. It’s often that your business, whether you mean it to be or not, is being anti-social.