Using social media for business is a must. Research has shown businesses that spend six hours a week on social media drive leads and increase sales.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, social media is a cost-effective way to share information and reach large audiences.
This can increase brand awareness, reach and lead generation as well as improve website traffic and internet search ranking. But the most important reason to use social media is that your potential customers expect you to.
More than 90 percent of people research online before making a purchase. They trust peer reviews and social media comments more than website content or traditional advertising. Businesses not on social media are missing out on opportunities.
There are a myriad of social media platforms to choose from. To reach New Zealand audiences the main options are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, You Tube, Google+ and LinkedIn. To be honest, there are just too many to be on them all, so be selective on which ones you actively use.
It is much better to concentrate on one of two social media accounts and do them well. To decide what platform is best, find out what your customers are using.
In New Zealand, Facebook and YouTube have the biggest number of regular daily users followed by Instagram. As a guide we recommend our clients be on Facebook and have a LinkedIn profile. Other platforms can then be added based on the target market preferences.
For example, if your product or service is visual Instagram can be a good choice. If your product or service is DIY based, arts or cooking then Pinterest should also be considered.
Being successful on social media takes time, effort and more importantly a planned approach. You need to sit down and work out how social media will be used for your business.
You also need to realise successful busines social media accounts are not free. It’s a pay to play platform for business. Gone are the days when businesses can expect to get good reach and drive leads without spending money.
With social media, you have two types of reach, ‘organic’ where people see your posts as they (or someone they follow) like your page or ‘paid’ reach where companies pay for advertising to increase the number of people who see their business’s posts or pages.
Yes, you can get high organic reach, especially if you hit social media magic and go viral. But the majority of the time you will need to pay to reach your audience. As a rule of thumb, Facebook will only show your posts to 5-10% of your fan base and Instagram accounts are experiencing similar numbers.
The way to increase your organic reach is to get more likes, shares, clicks, and comments. The more people who interact with your posts the more your audience will grow.
The good news is that social media advertising is not expensive and you can determine how much you spend. You also get real time results on progress and can see if your adverts are providing results. If not, you can continually tweak them until they perform better.
Here are five tips to increase your social media success for New Zealand businesses:
- Create quality content – you need to have great content to post. Just sharing other people’s posts no longer cuts it. You need to post content that’s unique, tailored for your audience and, most importantly, positions you as a thought leader in your industry. And don’t forget to include video.
- Tailored content – Content must be tailored for each platform. Simply replicating posts across different channels isn’t enough.
- Have a plan – Create a social media calendar for the next week or month. Set out what content you will share and the images you will use. Having a planned approach to social media will save you a lot of time.
- Have guidelines – it is incredibly important to be clear on what is appropriate to post for your accounts, especially if you have staff doing this for you.
- Don’t give up – building your social media accounts take time. If it is really not your forte or you are struggling consider outsourcing social media management to get running successfully.