If you run a small business these days you know you need to be using social media. I’m guessing you’ve already got yourself a Facebook page and, if you’re a creative type, maybe have latched onto Instagram as well.
But I’m betting that you’re still unsure how to effectively use social media for your Melbourne business.
I get that. I mean, when you look at the numbers, social media is just soooo big. Did you know there are now over 1 billion people using Facebook? That’s just crazy.
And the other networks aren’t far behind. As at June 2014, there were 225 million active monthly users on Twitter, and 300 million active users on LinkedIn.
And with just about every business out there( seemingly) using social media to try and find customers, it can start to feel little overwhelming. Like, you’d rather go watch cat videos on YouTube than try to think about.
But social media is a terrific marketing tool for small businesses in Melbourne. As big as social media is, it’s also an easy way to a narrow down the conversation to your little corner of the world. It allows you to share, interact and communicate with a small group of people in a more meaningful way.
So What Social Media Sites Should You Be On?
I’m gonna say, it depends. You’ve got to really know who your ideal customers are and what they’re interested in. And it also depends a lot on how much time/energy you have to invest.
Let’s look at the top options:
The mother of all social media, Facebook is to social media like Flinders Street station is to the CBD. It’s always going to be there, and it’s the place everyone knows (I’ve lost count of the times I’ve told someone to just ‘meet me under the clocks’).
Sure, Facebook have made changes that now make it harder for your fans to see your posts. But with the right content and a good strategy, Facebook is hard to beat when it comes to interacting with your customers.
I love Twitter now (come follow me here), but I’ll admit for ages I Just. Did. Not. Get it. Why try to condense everything into a short sentence? And why bother with Twitter when everyone is on Facebook?
I like to think of Twitter like a cocktail party (a really, really big one). Twitter allows you to jump from conversation to conversation. Hear an interesting snippet of news? Follow the related hashtags to get more gossip (read: information) as it flows through.
Twitter works so well for small businesses too because it’s easy to see when people are talking about you. The public nature of it means you can hear exactly what people are saying about your biz (and your competitors), and then respond in a timely matter. Definitely one to add to your arsenal of social media tools.
People like to say that Instagram is the Twitter for pictures. Which is true, in a way. It’s a smartphone app designed for users to post images on-the-go (hence the ‘Insta’).
The visual nature of Instagram makes it an incredibly popular and powerful social media platform. Any small business can make use of this app, but it’s especially good for businesses that create something very visual.
LinkedIn is like Facebook for the business world (incidentally, why is every social media tool compared to Facebook?). Anyway, LinkedIn is a little bit more corporate in it’s feel (you won’t see any cat videos on here). But it is still a great way to build business connections, particularly if you’re offering a service.
The one thing about LinkedIn I will say is, just because it feels more corporate, doesn’t mean you can’t let your personality shine through. The basis of the site is about building personal connections, so if you’re your normal awesome self then prospective clients will be drawn to that.
This is a brief overview of the main social media channels. Of course, there’s so many more to mention (YouTube, Pinterest, Google+), and so much information to delve into. I’ll be bringing my tips, ideas and inspiration on creating great content for each of these sites in upcoming blog posts, so be sure to get your name added to my email list here so you don’t miss a post.
Image source: Flickr/Ben Disinger