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Customer Experience

Get the best out of social media for your business

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Social media can be a valuable tool to grow your business. Here are some simple ways to make the most of it.

Social media is all about building relationships. When you put yourself out there, you can get a lot in return – customer interaction, brand loyalty, sales leads and a whole bunch of customer data – all without blowing your marketing budget (if you have one). But with so many social media channels available, it can be overwhelming deciding where to focus your energy.

Having a presence on all possible channels and sharing the same content on each is not going to get you the best results. Instead, you should focus on the channels that suit your company best – and make the most of these.

Are you ready to try out a few social media channels to find which brings the best results for your business? Read through our below guides for a quick overview of the different platforms available. 

The most successful business Facebook pages post useful and relevant content that relates to their offering – such as a hairdresser sharing trends and styles, or a restaurant sharing recipes

- KARLA COURTNEY, MEDIUM RARE CONTENT AGENCY

Facebook

Why: Facebook is the most personal of the online networking channels., It gives you an opportunity to connect and share news with loyal customers and gain feedback from your clients.    

Who: 2.32 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide with an average of 15 million monthly Australian users.    

What: Share at least three short status updates per week, and make them visually arresting to capture attention in the newsfeed. Post news and events relevant to your business such
as sales, new products, exclusive information, and promotions.    

How: Use your page as a customer service portal to answer questions and ask for feedback. There is no cost to run a standard Facebook page, but you can help spread the word of your business using paid posts, Facebook “offers”, and targeted Facebook Ads.    

When: Best times to post are early morning, during lunch, after work, before dinner and before bed.    

Expert tip: “Facebook changed its rules regarding promotions, which means you can use some Facebook actions as an entry into a competition. This means you can run competitions directly on the timeline of your Facebook Business Page, makingthem more visible.  'Like this post and go in the draw to win a product bundle' is a great way to increase engagement with your page and give something back to your fans."    

Troy Townsend, co-founder and chief client officer at TigerPistol social media marketing.

LinkedIn

Why: As a site for business professionals, LinkedIn is the ideal space for business networking and recruitment.  

Who: More than 610 million members globally, with approximately 5.5 million Australians.

What: Share interesting business updates, thought leadership pieces, latest offerings, industry news, and product how-tos. 

How: Create a free Company Page and join industry groups. Premium accounts start at $33.99/month and include things like improved search function and private messaging.    

When: LinkedIn recommends before or after business hours for at least 9 minutes per day. 

Expert tip: “If you’re looking for staff, you can use LinkedIn to find and make contact with people with specific skill sets. Making direct contact with decision makers in businesses that you’d like to be working with is a targeted and effective way to get your offering in front of the right people.” 

Troy Townsend, TigerPistol marketing.

Social statistics

Aussie small businesses on social media:

  1. 51% of Aussie small businesses are on social media
  2. 72% of business social accounts are run by business owners or managers
  3. 20% of the average SME's marketing budget is put into social media

Source: Yellow TM Social Media Report 2018

Instagram

Why: Show what your brand stands for through pictures and video. Use Instagram for inspiration and to find out what appeals to your customers.    

Who: Over 1 billion active users globally, with an estimated 9 million Australians

What: Offer sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes videos, product demos and photos of HQ to cultivate your brand’s unique identity. 

How: Amp up interaction by using questions or hashtags in your captions or built-in interactive functions on your Instagram Stories. Don’t forget to share your photos to Facebook to increase who sees your posts.    

When: Try to post once or twice a day. Aussie Instagrammers are most active around 8pm on weekdays, and 5pm on weekends.    

Expert tip: “Choose a simple but unique hashtag that represents your business to encourage users to share their content. For a recent craft book project of mine I asked users to share photos of their knitting with the hashtag #youcanknit. This encouraged people to get on Instagram, be a part of a community and generate content around my book.” 

Karla Courtney, digital strategy director at Medium Rare Content Agency.

Pinterest

Why: Show your brand’s personality and products with a board of images and videos.

Who: Over 250 million users worldwide and approximately 290,000 users in Australia.

What: Pinterest is all about inspiration, so curate a collection of images and videos of the ideas, places, people and moods behind your brand. 

How: A free Business Account gives access to “rich pins” which auto-fill fields with price and availability from the original source, creating more time for more pinning! 

When: At least one pin per day. If you’re posting multiple pins, stagger these through the day. Pinners are most active on Saturday mornings and during the week from 2pm to 4pm and 8pm to 1am.  

Expert tip: “Pinterest is a hyper-visual environment, so make sure what you publish looks awesome. People are more likely to re-pin a photo of a product in context, so if you sell chairs, use a photo of your chair in a beautiful room, rather than your showroom. It’s also important to think about the keywords you use when creating content, and optimise them for search. You want users to be able to find the content you worked so hard to create.”    

Troy Townsend, TigerPistol marketing.

Twitter

Why: Short and sweet, it’s great for chatting with customers and peers instantly.    

Who: 321 million active users globally; 5.3 million Australian users

What: Tweets are limited to 280 characters so keep your message witty and to the point. Keep updates timely – share industry news, special promotions and helpful product tips.

How: The most retweeted content on the network includes photos, quotes, links and videos. To increase who sees your tweet, you can pay Twitter to promote tweets, your account or topics related to your business.

When: Try for three to five tweets per day. Traffic begins to build after 11am and starts to fade off after 3pm. Interaction rates are 21 per cent higher for tweets under 100 characters in length. 

Expert tip: “Getting people to click through is all about asking them. Businesses often forget to ask their customers to click, interact and buy. Use a strong call to action – but give people a reason to click or buy. They’ll be thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’

And if you want your social content to be found by search, make sure you include relevant #hashtags in your posts.”

Troy Townsend, TigerPistol marketing.

YouTube

Why: Share video and you’ll be following that old adage, “show, don’t tell”.

Who: Globally Youtube recognises more than 1.9 billion users logging in each month, with an estimated 15 million unique Australian visitors per month. 

What: Video can be tutorials, stories to reinforce your brand’s message, or explainers to debunk product myths – whatever will best appeal to your audience.

How: Create a channel for your business and think of a series of themed videos to build subscribers, with each video no longer than three minutes. To jumpstart your views you can pay YouTube to target it to specific categories. 

When: Start off posting three to five videos per month. Traffic peaks from 2pm to 8pm, so upload your video before then. Most video production isn’t cheap, so make the most of it by
including a strong message that directs viewers to your website. 

Expert tip: “YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google. People turn to YouTube not only for videos of sneezing pandas and the Harlem shake, but increasingly for help and education. Whether it’s to learn how to change a nappy, properly apply mascara, or anything in between. Creating the next viral hit is very hard. Instead, try creating educational content that’s entertaining and related to what you sell, and sneak in a couple of commercial messages.”    

Troy Townsend, TigerPistol marketing.

Are you looking to grow your business with the right social media strategy?

Discover resources, reports and insights to help you achieve your goals.

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Originally published 11th November 2013. Updated 7th August 2019.

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