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.
Relating to society or its organisation.
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.
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.
This presentation in Toronto, Canada by Mark Rison in November 2015 to an audience of seasoned marketers will raise an eyebrow or two – just as it did with Mark’s audience on the day.
Mark’s hypothesis is that marketers should climb out of their discipline and media silo’s and get over their over-indexed obsession with all things digital – in particular the multitude of social channels to focus (re-focus) on an ‘integrated approach marketing communications’…
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.
From the heartwarming to the note worthy, Adam Davidi from The Guardian Australia, compiles the ads their contributors liked the most this year…
Tiny Dancer, John Lewis Home Insurance Picked by: Jim Carroll, former UK chair, BBH
Advertising home insurance isn’t easy. It belongs in the “boring-but-important” category of expenditure. John Lewis focuses on the human value, not the material cost: you’re insuring your home, not your house. And it dramatises the ubiquitous risk of disaster, not its rare occurrence; thereby reinforcing the product’s importance and at the same time keeping us on tenterhooks. It’s all executed with such elegance and warmth: the expressive choreography, the pigtails and glasses, the brother’s look, the teetering vase, one of Elton John’s most moving songs; and the charming Tiny Dancer herself. Perfect.
Superhero: I Want to Be, Thai Life Insurance Picked by: Geoffrey Colon, group product marketing manager, emerging media, Microsoft
In 2014, Thai Life Insurance ushered in storytelling that really pulled at the heartstrings with their ad Unsung Hero . It’s an effective mechanism in a world of noise. In 2015 they followed up with another story, this time pulling at our heartstrings with the theme that our parents are our superheroes. When you’re watching these ads for the first time, you have no idea what the product is but you get sucked in and by the end, you realise a company’s cultural message can be strong even with products as bland and boring as insurance. If they can do this, why can’t technology companies or non-profits that have powerful missions? This is the best ad of the year because hopefully it will influence other industries to take note and use stories that help entice social sharing because of the underlying message.
Beyond Utility, Lexus Picked by: Jerry Daykin, global digital partner, Dentsu Aegis Network
My favourite ad of 2015 isn’t exactly one advert but 1,000. It doesn’t tell an emotive story, feature fancy production or special effects and you’ve probably never seen it. In fact, I can almost guarantee you didn’t see 999 of the executions. Lexus’s Beyond Utility ad campaign gives us a glimpse of the future of personalised advertising, with a thousand subtly different short animations created and served to millions of consumers based on their individual passion points and interests. Sure the storytelling could be better but as a first step into this new world it’s an eye-opening start.
Choose Beautiful, Dove Picked by: Mark Evans, marketing director, Direct Line
Dove smashed it this year with its Choose Beautiful campaign. Challenging women from around the world to walk between two doorways marked “beautiful” and “average” it received a polarised response. But I loved it for the fact that it was so true to the incredibly simple but powerful insight that many women do not see themselves as beautiful, but did it in a completely different way to previous Dove campaigns such as Real Curves and Real Beauty sketches. If I take my teenage daughter’s strength of response as a barometer then Dove definitely hit the mark.
The Flag of Flags, Norwegian Airlines
Picked by: Tom Goodwin, senior vice president of strategy and innovation, Havas Media US
There is a T-Shirt I love. It states: modern art = I could do that + yeah but you didn’t. The very, very best advertising doesn’t have the “I could do that” part.
For me, this print ad for Norwegian Airlines is an example of that. The best advertising is a concept so incredible, so rich, so smart, so deep. It’s still on brand, it’s not smart for the sake of it, it’s not ads for ad people, it’s hard working, it gets a pricing message across in a smart way, while building the brand.
My favourite ad of the year is also the most viral ad of the year; in fact, the most shared ad of all time. What I like about it is that it is a classic piece of brand advertising created by an ad tech brand. In all of this talk about ad tech interruption and ad blockers and how science is driving out art from advertising, it takes one of the proponents of algorithmic advertising to execute what is a brilliantly crafted, single-minded, adorable film that builds affinity with the brand it promotes. Ad tech plus ad agency working in harmony, “together, but not the same”.
You Can’t Get Any More Ribenary, Ribena Picked by: Amy Kean, regional director, strategy, Mindshare Asia Pacific
It’s rare to find an advert that is part favourite, part arch nemesis, because you cannot get it out of your head. Seriously, I haven’t slept for four months because of this ad.
Ribena nailed it for me this year with their new millennial positioning and an integrated creative that was clearly designed with the textbook E4 viewer front of mind. It’s weird (rabbits with sunglasses), it’s compelling (ridiculously addictive soundtrack from Tiger Monkey), and it’s voiced by the guy that played Holly in Red Dwarf. Every inch of this ad is cool – if your idea of cool is hedgehogs with top hats and mine is. Forgetting brand metrics and big data for a moment, if your ad can make people think and talk, you’re doing something right. The surreal is underrated in advertising, but it definitely gets people’s attention and I can’t wait for the sequel.
High School Girl?, Shiseido Picked by: Tham Khai Meng, worldwide chief creative officer, Ogilvy & Mather
Gender fluidity is not widely seen on TV, so it was refreshing to see the Shiseido High School Girl? commercial showing the issue in loving close-up. The transformation is all done with Shiseido cosmetics, which are used to turn a classroom of schoolboys into schoolgirls. Directed by Sho Yanagisawa, it’s a dream to watch – an audacious concept matched with brilliant camera work, direction, sound design and editing. It’s one of those spots that are so good you seek it out to watch again.
Celebrate the Breaks, KitKat Picked by: Deirdre McGlashan, global chief digital officer, MediaCom Worldwide
My favourite ad of 2015 was the Celebrate the Breaks campaign from KitKat. I love this campaign because it brings together the right moment (break time), a clever play on the word break and a very specific product feature the brand is well known for. Then it incorporates the product itself with the 72 types of breaks featured on the packaging as well as the hashtag #mybreak moulded into the actual chocolate bars. It’s a great example of a total brand experience, bringing together the marketing experience with the product experience, because that’s how we, as regular people, encounter brands.
Unstoppable, P&G Picked by: Lindsay Pattison, global CEO, Maxus
Advertising today has to achieve the right balance of consistency versus speed, being both relevant and cleverly placed. But when a campaign nails this while also inverting damaging historic stereotypes, it becomes a truly worthy endeavour.
For me – and countless others – Always Unstoppable smashed it for 2015, with its clear demonstration of how society limits girls. The ad, directed by Lauren Greenfield shows girls breaking up cliché written boxes to underline the frustration these young women feel at being pigeon holed. It’s a powerful call to action with its deservedly angry girls. Not only is Unstoppable a great piece of work in its own right but it manages to build on the previous Always campaign Like A Girl which was widely and justly rewarded.
White Squad, MTV Picked by: Sanam Petri, creative director, Wieden+Kennedy
There were lots of great ads in 2015, but for me the most interesting campaign was one done for MTV called White Squad. It was created as a way to advertise a documentary on racial injustice in America and while many found it controversial, I thought it was one of the best social-issue campaigns in recent memory. It’s not often you see a satirical ad about social injustice – especially with so much turmoil in the culture to underscore it. Sure, it may have raised a few hackles when it was released. But after all, isn’t that sort of the point?
Keep Britain Tidy Picked by: Richard Shotton, head of insight, ZenithOptimedia
Keep Britain Tidy’s anti-dog fouling ad is a brilliant example of the application of psychological insights to advertising. The copy is based on experiments by Newcastle University which prove that displaying images of eyes, by making us feel watched, reduces anti-social behaviour. In a clever twist the ad uses eyes that glow in the dark, the very time most dog fouling occurs.
Will this ad win any awards? No. Will it change behaviour? Yes. That’s enough to make it my ad of the year.
Man on the Moon, John Lewis Picked by: Susan Smith Ellis, chief marketing officer, Getty Images
For me the best ads are the ones that engage the viewer by telling a story. The best demonstrate what we call “the end, end-benefit” – the end-benefit being the impact of any one advert on how that brand makes you feel. The Apple ad Music Every Day (2013) is a spot on example of this concept.
This year’s John Lewis Christmas advert, Man on the Moon, is one of 2015’s finest. It is visually beautiful, wonderfully cast, and uses storytelling to show us the often lonely existence of the elderly, and the power of connecting. Never heavy handed, it draws the viewer into the film. Imagery powerfully utilised.
Look at Me, Women’s Aid Picked by: Sarah Speake, chief marketing officer, Clear Channel
This year, it’s been exciting to see so many great examples of out of home media using technology and creativity together to create beautiful, emotionally impactful advertising experiences for consumers.
A personal favourite was Women’s Aid’s interactive Look at Me campaign. The ad, which showed an image of a bruised woman, used facial tracking software to recognise when passers-by were looking at the screen and would then trigger a live copy change. When people payed attention to the ad, the on-screen bruises would visibly heal, showing how we can all make tangible changes in the fight against domestic violence.