Tag Archives: Social Media Marketing

Making small business ‘social savvy’

Making small business ‘social savvy’ blog post - Alicia Sanarko

Alicia Sanarko looks at the hows and whys small businesses should embrace a social media strategy…

Small business, noun
The Australian Taxation Office defines a small business as one that has annual revenue turnover (excluding GST) of less than $2 million. Fair Work Australia defines a small business as one that has less than 15 employees.

Social, adjective
Relating to society or its organisation.

Savvy, adjective
Shrewd and knowledgeable about the realities of life.

Small businesses. They’ve always been a risky move in the business world, but they do have their advantages and of course disadvantages. Starting a small business means the owner has the freedom to be independent, they make all the decisions and take all their risks. However, there is pressure for the business to generate enough cash flow otherwise it may fail.

Being a small business, they wouldn’t have the budget for advertising like larger companies do, so what’s the best way to promote it? Social media. Social media has evolved a lot in the last few years and is a great way for small businesses to get their name out there.

8 out of 10 small businesses use social media to drive growth.

3 in 5 small businesses say they’ve gained new customers by using social media.

70% of business-to-customer marketers have acquired customers through Facebook.

67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter.

Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, are also a big tick when it comes to free exposure. Setting up an account for small businesses can have a very positive effect. Hashtags in posts are used to mark keywords and are a way of categorising; they also help to get more likes on a post which can lead to potential followers. Instagram has a great small business community, they all help to promote and support each other. There are many ‘bargain find’ accounts that also like to share  small businesses/small online stores they like with their followers, word of mouth is an excellent way of promotion.

Many small businesses are also becoming up-to-date with technology, no more paper loyalty cards to collect stamps; these things are being replaced with the customers’ smartphones and a tablet instore where everything is done digitally. There are apps where a customer can, for example, order and pay for their coffee from their favourite café in advance so when they get there they can skip the queue for fast service, and of course still get loyalty benefits.

Making small business ‘social savvy’ is definitely important in this social and technology driven economy.

The Death of the Social Marketing Manager

Dead Bird Blog

Graduating student Bryan Sainsbury-Hore looks at the ever-changing landscape of the social media job market.

To believe that something can “die” one must believe that it truly once lived. In the case of the Social Marketing Manager, death seems impossible. It is a figment of a lazy imagination. Marketing managing is about the control, measurement, and implementation of marking initiatives. The scope of this role has changed immensely as new technology has become part of the kit bag of the current marketing manager, but the responsibility to control what is going on has not been diminished.

Despite these changes in scope and tools, the fundamental mission of the Marketing manager has not changed. And as thus the idea of a Social Marketing Manager as separate to the previously existing Marketing Manager is absurd.

Part of this new technology has certainly been social media. It is a new beast with new ways of doing things that call for assimilation of a new set of skills. Education and cynicism from consumers have ensured that social media has become one of the increasingly few effective ways to reach customers. Interacting with them in less traditional ways, and influencing consumer decisions in more subtly.

Social Media, especially maintaining a constant presence, and being reactive to trends is almost a full-time job in its self. The work demands may dictate the requirement for delegation of social to another person. This function would be overseen by a contentious Marketing Manager as if it is part of the marketing mix it can have good results.

The tools to measure the success and ROI and ROE of social media are quite different to traditional media. Despite social media’s increased ability to gauge customer engagement, there is still a loose connection between activity and bottom line. With extremes of success and wastage as possible outcomes, Social media must be a part of a sophisticated marketing mix, and is now commonplace amongst all competitive businesses.

Imagine a Marketing manager who does not write any copy, or conceive any new ideas, or simply refuses to use anything that is printed. The idea would be ridiculous, and the marketing manager would get canned. The idea of a marketing manager that separates “social” from the rest of their tools, and puts it into the “not my section” category, is quite the same.

Social is not easy. Consumers sense the “ad” and are off put by it. Therefore, social must be treated as social not broadcast media. Consumers are looking for content that improves their life experience, and providing such content is time-consuming, to say the least. It is, however, an essential element to the Marketing Manager’s toolkit, and part of the woodwork.

Social Media and the Path to Purchase

Social Media and the Path to Purchase

Jaime-Lee Mills explores the role Social Media now plays in the irrational world of buyer purchasing decisions and analysis.

Much of today’s marketing and advertising is still based around the path to purchase. Traditionally this involves; problem awareness, consideration of alternatives, intent, purchase and finally post-purchase evaluation. This path to purchase is still widely adopted, and generally seems to give some rationality to the irrational consumer’s decision. BUT does the addition of social media change this path to purchase, or more importantly offer a short cut to the end goal?

There is no denying that the rise of social media makes targeting easier as people openly provide their location, education, interests, likes, age and much more. It is possible that this specific targeting can be used in the awareness stage to predict consumer’s needs or wants based on their likes and interests. For example, if they have ‘liked’ multiple beauty blogs, targeting can be used to make them aware of a new product and the beauty ‘problem’ that has now been solved with this product. To an even greater extent social media has changed the consideration stage; with consideration now being based on peer reviews, friends recommendation, Instagram/Facebook bloggers or simply putting the question to their social media community. As a result consideration is no longer controlled by brands in the safety of their owned media channels and so product and service is more important than ever, as people seek authenticity when considering alternatives.

It is possible that an understanding of how your consumer operates on social media could unlock a measurement metric that can lead to a better bottom line for brands. Research shows that one-week after a sharing a product on social media, roughly half of these purchases have been made. Three weeks after sharing that figure jumps to 80%. This is probably an example of how important social media is during the intent stage of the path to purchase. By the time a consumer has shown favouritism towards a particular product on their social platforms (as a result of the consideration stage), they have already slightly committed to the purchase of that product. As humans have an innate desire to achieve consistency, these purchases are made out of a need to be consistent with what they have portrayed (shared/liked) on their social media platforms.
How effectively this actually impacts the bottom line can sometimes be a matter of which social channels are being utilised. It has been shown that Pinterest is the most likely to drive people to purchase impulsively but of course has a lower reach. Platforms like Pinterest are brilliant for high frequency, high engagement and likelihood to purchase due to the nature of the platform and ability for brands to appear organic in this environment. Facebook on the other hand has a huge reach, and is utilised for larger considered purchases more than any other channel.

Once a consumer has intent to purchase this is where social media can really impact the bottom line for B2C brands. The convenience of social media paired with the strong targeting means that impulse purchases and upselling are more likely to occur. This works in particular with the case of the abandoned cart. Many online shoppers particularly women will know the feeling of shopping online and filling the cart with things way beyond their means. It takes a huge amount of self-discipline to walk away and abandoned cart without purchase. Only to find the next day, through advertisement banners, the things you abandoned in said cart would follow you around like the ghost of unpurchased product. Your Facebook has most likely by now become your worst enemy, as you know you had the strength to walk away from those really expensive shoes once, but you aren’t sure you can do it a second time or in some cases a third, fourth and fifth time. This is where social media can infiltrate the intent stage of the path to purchase and push you impulsively into the purchase.

Whether or not social media produces a short cut on the path to purchase, I think is a matter of brand. Knowing and understanding what role and purpose is appropriate for a brand on social media is paramount. Not all bad things are bad, not all good things are good and not all brands belong on your newsfeed.

Are We Visual Creatures?

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Samantha Harley looks at the popularity of video and animation in advertising and Social Media marketing. Is this the best way to cut through the noise or does it just add to it?

Since childhood we’ve been told, “A picture paints a thousand words”.  Combine this with how advertisers like to cram ads with information, and we have the reason why video has become the next evolution of Social Media marketing.  Content marketing is rarely seen without an accompanying video these days.   With the rise of infographics being used to explain dull or complex content in a vastly simplified manner the Internet and Social Media streams are being transformed into video content hubs.

So what’s wrong with communicating more?  The answer is that soon consumers will be overwhelmed by content.  The artistry of good advertising is communicating a message with minimal content, and while we do enjoy the pretty moving pictures, if everything in our newsfeed is moving, consumers may actually seek out traditional static communication.

Since its inception Youtube has transformed the way we discover content and has evolved into the 2nd largest search engine in the world (owned by the biggest search engine in the world – no names needed). There are over 1 Billion unique monthly visitors to the site, which tells us that it’s the way viewers prefer to be delivered content.  A negative point to this is that everyone is now an independent producer of content and the market is becoming flooded.

Video advertising has branched off through Social Media platforms becoming cloaked as memes and animated GIFs but still has the core focus of selling. Whether selling a product or yourself video has become the answer – with the newest updates to your mobile profile you can post a video as your profile picture on Facebook, and how did Facebook deliver this information…in a video of course.

facebook-profile-video

Video content makes searching more visual and engaging.  With the advancement of technology it has initiated the rise and fall of Motion-ography – by which I mean the rise of the population as motion artists and the fall of artists with true skill who will struggle in the future because everyone can be a ‘motion artist’.

The question remains whether video for the sake of video is the correct progression of advertising or whether the tactics will out-way the purpose of the advertising.  Social Media platforms are independent, evolving organisms but currently they are merging into the same formation – video streaming.  Could it be Facebook’s intention to become a video streaming service and bring social media into the Hulu hub along with Youtube and Netflix?  Or will they remain an independent social network with a strong video centre?  The smart move would be to embrace the element that boosted them to the #1 social platform – connecting people.  If Facebook want to use video then they should introduce reliable video messaging that’s integrated into their existing service to undercut Skype and Facetime. If they continue on the path of flooding consumer Newsfeeds with motion then they run a strong risk of becoming the next MySpace (That’s not a good thing).

On top of everything else, App plugins like ‘Giphy’ have fashioned animated memes as the new method of instant messaging and emoticons are using the sad face as they become animated or obsolete.

Video is feeding the ‘visual creatures’ of the internet, but that hunger will change with time; either increasing to the point that Times Square looks like the fluffy toy of advertising, or decreasing once people have had their fill and we see online content with substance return.