So, you’ve got your website up - but there’s more you can do
Your business plan is going gangbusters. You’ve followed all the steps to establish yourself in the market: you’ve done your research, you’ve registered an ABN and business name, you’ve raised funds and you’ve finally got yourself a website. It must be time to sit back, relax and watch the customers roll in, right? Wrong. There’s so much more you can and should do to ensure your brand has a strong online presence.
Let’s talk about social media
For business owners, social media can be polarising – you either love it or you hate it. Regardless of your relationship with networking apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, there’s no denying that they’re integral to maintaining your professional appearance online.
We’ve been through the movement where everyone shifted their search from the Yellow Pages to Google to find businesses to suit their needs but now we’re seeing another shift. Consumers are beginning to look for businesses on social media and, if you’re not there, you’re missing out.
Check out these stats
The Little Mermaid said, “I want to be where the people are”. She must have been taking Marketing 101 because that’s exactly where a brand needs to be if it wants to be successful. Sensis tells us that 79% of the Australian population are on social media, and over a third of these people check their social pipes over 5 times a day. Facebook continues to lead the pack with 94% of social networkers on the platform, with Instagram coming in behind with 56% of the Australian market.
It’s no surprise that young adults, aged 18-29 have the highest proportion of usage, with only 1% of people not registered on social sites. However, even in the case of adults aged between 50 and 64, more than half have an online social profile.
The kicker? 64% of consumers are likely to trust a brand if it interacts positively on social media. Moreover, only 47% of small to medium businesses are on social media compared with 61% who have a website. That means the competition is thinner and the likelihood of you cornering the market is, in theory, 14% greater.
Basic social media is free. It’s a no-brainer. Get yourself on social now!
Awareness. Loyalty. Sales.
When it comes to growing a brand, there are three integral things you need in order to stay afloat: awareness, loyalty and sales. Social media provides platforms on which you can set all three into motion.
Shhh! Social media isn’t just a pretty place to share content. It is effectively a branding hub disguised as a fun way for users to interact with friends. On social media, you reach a relaxed consumer. They are not in shopping-mode so don’t have their defences up as high against potential “spruiking”. Relaxed consumers are more likely to consider your brand and recognise it even if they don’t immediately make a purchase. This is brand awareness.
Through likes and shares, you can then extend that brand awareness to their friends and the friends of their friends, all the while gaining truthful insight into your audience and measuring customer sentiment. Posting regular social content won’t just keep you front-of-mind to your followers, it will help your SEO and improve your Google rank, making it easier for consumers to find you no matter where they search.
Through the community you create across social networks and the brand relationships you form as a result, you can really foster loyalty within your consumers. Sharing day-to-day brand stories through images, videos and updates, you humanise your business, which strengthens the connection and relationship your consumers have with your brand. People want to be a part of something and letting your customers be a part of your brand makes them all the more interested in making a purchase.
If you’re using a combination of organic posting and paid advertising, you can also build on that loyalty by following your existing customers using the Facebook pixel. This means that you can make your ads highly personal. You may target repeat customers by showing them an ad for a product complimentary to their initial purchase. This is called remarketing or retargeting.
In the same vein, if you have money to spend on social media advertising, you can make use of the hyper-specific targeting available on the Facebook and Instagram platforms. You can home in on an audience specific to their interests, age group, level of education, marital status and many more variables, so the right ads are being seen by the right people. If you use social media advertising effectively, you can increase your conversion rates exponentially and drive more, highly-qualified traffic to your site to make more sales.
Is social media expensive?
Basic social media is absolutely free. If you’re sharing valuable, relevant content, you can generate awareness, build a following and inspire loyalty organically, without putting any money behind it. All it will cost you is time.
If you do allocate a budget to paid media ads, ROI is high due to the highly-targeted nature of the social advertising function. The beauty is, you can advertise on social media on a budget that suits your business. Simply select the outcome you want for your ads – do you want people to see it or click it? – and you’ll only pay when that goal is achieved.
If your business is just about ready to launch online but you don’t have social media, make it next on your to do list. All businesses should be making use of our vast social networks but we understand that not all business owners have the time or expertise to do it themselves. That’s why Netregisry offers a Social Media Management service. We’ll keep your social channels active while you do what you’re best at – running your business. Ring us for a chat today or send us an email to find out more!