How to get social media working for your businessBY Australian Retailers Association
Social media has proven to be an effective tool for businesses to reach out and improve relationships with customers.
It allows you to communicate and engage directly with your audience, where you can ask them questions and give them real-time information about your brand’s activities such as new product launches, charitable initiatives and behind the scenes information. Social media channels, more so than websites, are designed for this.It is one thing to have social media accounts but to be active on it and use it to its fullest potential is another thing. Below is a five-step guide for setting up the right social channels to ensure your brand or business benefits from it.
1. Know who your audience is
Before you even choose your social media channels, you need to understand who your customer is. You can then identify the most relevant social media platform to use and have the ability to create posts that are more suited to them.
To determine who your customer is, create a customer persona and this will list out the demographics and traits of your consumer. This will help you identify the most common type of customer. You can then add target demographics into your social page – whether Facebook or Instagram.
2. Don’t just promote, build relationships
Social media users are not big fans of sales-y content, so avoid blatant promotional posts and upload witty and creative posts to keep your customers engaged. Businesses should create and establish relationships through social media by engaging with their followers instead of putting out content to secure sales. Take the time out to create posts people want to see and to start building a rapport with them.
3. Choose one (or maybe two) channel/s
Being active on a number of social media platforms is difficult and a dedicated team would be needed to ensure the proper running of each platform, so it is not recommended to use all of them. Choose either one or two channels and focus on those – limiting to this amount allows for easier management.
Different platforms need to have different types of content, which also needs to be adjusted depending on the type of platform. This can create more work for your business and could mean little time to create effective and engaging posts. Keep in mind that there are different types of people on different platforms, therefore it is best for the content to not be replicated across all your social media platforms.
4.You must be active
Many businesses set up social media accounts and forget about it, but it can only work if you are active on it. Social media moves fast and being inactive for a day can mean you miss out on the latest trends. This also means you should be posting on a regular basis to build consistency with your followers.
Being active also humanises your brand and will create a better and stronger emotional bond with your audience. Posting inconsistently can look odd and unprofessional in the eyes of consumers, so you should allow yourself the time to engage and respond on your platforms.
5. Understand what your goals are
Your goals can only be decided once you have clearly established who your customer is, otherwise, your goals are likely to be blurry, making it difficult to measure and achieve. As social media changes regularly, you must understand your goals are likely to change as well and remain flexible and ready to make compromises.
Like specifying your target audience, it is equally important to understand your goals when it comes to your social media marketing. Your main goal should not only be to get likes, but also shares or re-tweets, as shared posts stay on profiles and are seen by the person’s friends or followers. This results in even more engagement.
A realistic goal would be to get more traffic to your website using your social platforms. This can be done by implementing a call to action in your posts, such as ‘buy now’ or ‘click here’, which will lead people to click onto your website’s URL. If you are flexible, realistic and establish goals of substance, then you are on your way to see good return on investment from your social media marketing.
Lucas Bikowski is Managing Director and Senior SEO Strategist at SEO Shark, a digital marketing agency. Lucas’s experience in the industry spans over 15 years and includes contracts with dozens of enterprise clients, as well as small and large businesses. Visit seoshark.com.au
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Australian Retailers Association
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.