Are you missing out on millions of potential customers? Neilson research shows there were more than 17 million internet users in Australia in 2014, about 80% of the population. More than half of these people are using social media and at an average of nearly 10 hours per month social media use, Australians are the biggest consumers of social media in the world! That sure is a lot of potential customers you are missing out on connecting with if you are not using social media!
If you are thinking about using social media for your business you should first determine what you want to achieve from your social media strategy. Do you want to promote products, build a mailing list, enhance brand recognition or are you looking to recruit new employees?
"Build it and They will Come!"
The crux of any marketing strategy is that you must create value for your customers; social media is no exception! You might have a Facebook landing page more handsome than Monet's Water Lilies, but unless you give your customers value you might as well post pictures of sea slugs mating. A little bit of market research goes a long way - make an effort to learn about your audience and connect with them on a relevant level. Don't just overwhelm customers with dribble about how great you are and then repeatedly post the same deal you've been posting all month.
What is Your Capacity?
Many small businesses can't afford to hire specialty social media staff or an external agency to run campaigns, so the biggest social media investment they will make is their own time. Before you get started with your social media campaigns, think about how much time you can realistically dedicate to managing and providing value in your networks.
Yes you could go and setup profiles on a dozen different social networks but lack of maintenance can cause more harm than good. It's much worse to have an out-of-date page than to not have one at all, especially if your customers are trying to engage with you via dormant social profiles. Choose the social networks that suit your business and focus your efforts there, then commit to checking and posting to your networks regularly.
Choose Your Weapons
There are hundreds of social media outlets you can use and each one may have a different niche, target market or method of connecting you to your customers. Many of these networks also integrate to help you create a cohesive social media profile.
Most people know about Facebook and Twitter, but some businesses may build better customer relationships through blogging, interacting on forums or answering questions in Q&A sites. For example, a law firm might find that visiting online legal forums and answering questions may yield more customers than constantly sharing articles via Digg. Here are some of the main types of social media and some use suggestions:
Examples: Facebook, MySpace, Google Plus,...