If you’re not already harnessing the power of social media to grow your business, you’re missing out! According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 71% of the approximately 24.3 million Australians are using social media. They go on to break that number down even further:
- 17 million Australians are using Facebook.
- 5 million Australians are active on Instagram.
- 2.8 million Australians use Twitter.
Those numbers represent millions of people your business could be reaching out to through the wonder of social media channels. In fact, a recent report shows Australians averaging a social media ad spend of around $1.87 billion in 2018, and that number is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2018–2023) of 12.1%, resulting in a market volume of $3.3 billion by 2023.
Finding the right channel
Currently, the leading social networks in regard to advertising possibilities for businesses are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, each of them caters to their audience in their own unique way. It’s important to understand this and utilise the differences between them to maximise their capabilities for your business goals.
Facebook is where the phenomenon all began. Some might say it’s the universal social media network. As of the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.27 billion monthly active users, hosting over a quarter of the world’s population and providing business owners like yourself the unparalleled opportunity to reach virtually anyone and everyone both locally and globally.
Common examples of content your business can offer as part of your social media advertising campaign include:
- White papers
- Product coupons
- Sitewide discounts
- Limited-time offers
- Free shipping
Facebook also offers more advanced targeting than some of the other social platforms. As a business owner, you can actually target your consumer by location (within a eight-kilometre radius), job description, interests, past activity, and many other incredibly valuable criteria.
Instagram now showcases more than 800 million monthly active users, and many experts believe it could reach one billion by the end of 2018. In addition, Instagram’s engagement rates are 58% higher than Facebook’s and 2,000% higher than Twitter’s, making it the obvious choice for businesses wanting to reach a larger audience.
The Instagram platform is known for its filtered, savvy images, and more recently its expansion into the video aspect of storytelling. With this in mind, businesses wishing to catch the eye of Instagrammers scrolling through their feed need to put their efforts into displaying their products or services in a visually appealing way.
One important thing to keep in mind as well is that Instagram’s user base skews heavily to the 18–29 year olds.
If any or all of those characteristics are in alignment with your target audience or buyer persona, then odds are that Instagram will be the best ad choice for your business. Also, Instagram ads let you link directly to a product page or other landing page, allowing for direct engagement with your products.
Twitter has revolutionized breaking news and provided unparalleled access for users to connect with both niche and mainstream influencers. With 328 million monthly active users, it remains one of the most popular social media platforms.
More and more businesses are finding Twitter to be a viable avenue to promote their products and services. Currently, businesses utilising Twitter are largely based in the hospitality, entertainment, retail, and technology sectors.
Businesses that can benefit from using Twitter are likely to:
- Provide dynamic products or services that are newsworthy, such as new menu items, new products, new information, or special offers.
- Develop relationships and engage with their customers over time rather than just one-off transactions.
- Retain staff who are enthusiastic about social media and keen to take part in using Twitter to promote the daily activities taking place within the business.
Australian businesses using Twitter range from both large corporations like Telstra to small businesses like local cafes and pubs.
Delighting your customer
Finally, one of the most important things to remember when it comes to using social media as a marketing platform is that the average person shares a positive customer service experience with nine other people. Finding fun and creative ways to delight your target audience is a key strategy to implement when it comes to both paid advertising and organic posting.
The social media landscape is constantly changing, and the marketing tactics are changing as well. That being said, take the time to develop a multichannel social media strategy that clearly articulates your brand voice, uses a mix of paid and organic means, and brings delight to your followers. Over time, you will establish a substantial social media following capable of driving big business to your organisation.