Australian consumers are a pretty social bunch. If you want to connect with customers, making social media part of your marketing arsenal is essential.
According to the Yellow Social Media Report 2020, thirty-one per cent of us check our profiles across a range of platforms more than 10 times a day – and 79 per cent check at least once a day.
If you’re a woman you’re more likely to be a frequent user of social media than a man (Thirty-seven per cent of women check-in at least 10 times a day compared to 25 per cent of men). And over half of Gen Z (55 per cent) check social media 10 times a day.
While sixteen years on, Facebook is still the most popular amongst Aussies, closely followed by Instagram and Snapchat.
In fact, social media is a great tool for business owners wanting to engage with their customers. The more you put into it the more likely you are to get out of it. Regularly publish useful, helpful, engaging content and respond to your followers in a human way and you’ll score well with your customers.
“SMBs of all types use social media for reasons that are primarily marketing related. Although only a minority of SMBs advertise on social media, most of those who do, see it as effective,” says Hayley Jovanovic, Chief Marketing Officer at Sensis, publishers of the Yellow report.
“The leading reasons why SMBs use social media are to promote the business (33 per cent), create awareness and exposure (28 per cent) and generate sales (17 per cent). Sixty-three per cent of small businesses use social media channels to engage in two-way communication with customers and contacts.”
On average small business owners spend around $3000 on social media advertising alongside around $2300 on content services. According to Yellow in total, SMBs spend around $7600 on social each year, with Facebook, Insta, Linked and Twitter the most likely to get their spend.
Regardless of the social media channel used for advertising, around 80 per cent of small business owners say it was effective.
Social media builds trust
Social media provides a great opportunity for brands to build trust. Interacting authentically with customers online is a great way to instil your brand values. A third of consumers say they will inspect a brand’s social media presence before making an online purchase if they have not purchased from them before. While over half of those surveyed by Yellow said they were more likely to trust brands if they interact positively with customers on social media (51 per cent), make their content engaging and relevant (54 per cent), and keep it regularly updated (53 per cent)
Social makes sharing easy
Among consumers using Facebook and Instagram, 84 per cent and 48 per cent respectively claim to be following brands or businesses on those platforms. Twenty-five per cent of consumers said they share brand content they have noticed on social media. This is done by around one-third of those aged 18-39. Thirty-seven per cent feel comfortable about having any of their content being posted on a brand channel. Although the older the person, the less likely they are to feel comfortable about this.
The influence of influencers
While it can be tempting to think influencers are passe, the use of social influencers and celebrities in social media marketing can still be an effective tool for small businesses.
According to Yellow’s research, around one in four consumers agreed with the statements: “I notice or follow any social influencer or celebrities when they post about a brand on social media” and “I am likely to trust posts by a social influencer or a celebrity if their post has been sponsored by a brand”. While women and those aged 18-29 are the most positively influenced by social influencers.
Online comments, ratings and reviews
Small businesses that are responsive to customers comments also score highly with consumers. So it’s little wonder that the majority (62 per cent) invite online comments ratings and reviews. Four in ten (42 per cent of consumers provide online ratings for products and two-thirds say they read online reviews or blogs to find out what others think about products or services. And if you thought a bad review was a death knell for a business, think again. As long as a business deals effectively with a customer complaint a quarter of consumers said they would change their opinion of the business. So, it pays to be responsive.
Don’t forget about video
YouTube might not be where Australians are checking in the most, but it’s the place where they are spending the most time. According to Yellow, the average Aussie social media user spends over half an hour watching YouTube videos every time they’re on the platform. That’s more time than they spend on Tik Tok (26 minutes), Tumblr (18 minutes), and Facebook and Pinterest (both 17 minutes). So don’t forget to include YouTube in your social media strategy.
This article was first published on Small Business First. You can see the original content here.