As a social media practitioner and avid personal social user, it shocked me to discover that many small businesses are still not utilising social media.
It seems that many of you guys are starting to notice this (thank god) and are getting involved increasingly. Last year there was a big upswing in small businesses getting involved with a growth recorded of 31% to 48% of you guys creating a social media presence in 2016.
However this is still a shocking adaption rate considering in Australia there are over 15 million facebook users alone! Don’t get me started on instagram and other platforms. With mobile use on a huge rise globally, not just in Australia – on the go browsing is where it’s at.
Smartphones are the revolution that we have been looking for, according to the 2015 Brand Building on Mobile Survey conducted by Google and Ipsos, more individuals checked a company’s website, facebook, made a purchase, chatted about the company, shared a post or ad, and had a positive opinion about a company after seeing branded content or advertising on their smartphones than those who saw similar content on TV.
Even if you don’t engage in a huge online advertising plan – the fact is if you are not on social media – you are running a major risk of not coming across as real, relevant or trustworthy.
Much has been said about consumers and word of mouth – word of mouth is now on social media – not from your neighbours. You need peer endorsement, and social media is how you get it. Don’t think for one second that it’s just the millennials who are fluffing around on social sites – on Twitter for example, the 55-64 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic with a 79% growth rate since 2012! In addition the fastest growing demographic on Facebook and Google+ is the 45-54 year age bracket. (source Ruder Finn)
Consider the fact that nearly half (46%) of social media users are already using social platforms whilst they are considering a purchase, and 40% of users are actively deciding what to buy based on what they’ve checked out on social media platforms, looking at reviews and recommendations for example, (source Ruder Finn) as well having a stalk as to what kind of stuff is on their social – are people already there – engaging with this company? If they aren’t the purchase decision can only be negatively impacted – what does this business have to hide? Why does no one follow them? Why is their facebook page so lame and old looking?
Don’t let potential customers have even the slightest opportunity to ask those questions. Loyal customers following you on social media are like old, best friends, and that annoying relative you have on your personal facebook who comments on everything? They are who you want to follow your brand – they will like your social engagements religiously and share them with their friends, and discuss your updates earnestly within your online community, these guys are your golden tickets to staying relevant and alive, you need to give them points to talk about, things to laugh about – stories to remind them why they like you so much.
If you feel a tad overwhelmed by social media – just focus on your business strengths and let those who live and breath social take care of it for you.
Written by Abbey Morrish