With 20.5 million Aussies using social media platforms, social media is one of the most powerful ways for your small business to reach and engage with customers in the digital age. However, social media marketing for small business is about more than just having a presence on Facebook or Instagram.
To succeed on social media, you need to be where your customers are and engage them with the right content and targeting. But with so many social media apps out there, how do you know which ones are right for your business?
Here’s how to choose the right social media platforms for your small business.*
Questions to consider when choosing your social media platforms.
Before you start creating your company’s Facebook page or Twitter account, there are a few questions you should consider to help weigh up which platforms are right for your small business. These will help you to evaluate ‘what is the point of social media for my business?’, identify where your customers are spending time online, and work out how you can most effectively reach them for the best results.
Who is my target audience and what social media platforms do they use?
The number one goal of social media marketing is to reach and engage with your customers online. With this in mind, your social media efforts should be concentrated where your customers spend most of their time.
The simplest way to do this is to look at the demographic data for each social media platform and match this with your business’ target audience. For example, younger customers tend to spend the majority of their time on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, whereas older Australians and professionals spend more time on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
How much am I willing to invest?
There’s no point in creating great content if nobody sees it. That’s where paid advertising comes in.
For instance, 76.8% of Aussies aged 16-64 are on Facebook but the average reach of an organic (unpaid) Facebook post is just 5.2%, and this is steadily declining every year. On top of that, managing a social media page is hard work and requires time and effort, especially when it comes to updating content, keeping up to date with social media trends and communicating with your followers. In this instance, it’s important not to bite off more than you can chew.
Before diving headfirst into a new social media platform, take a look at the resources available to you. This includes who will manage your social media page, how you’ll create content, and how much paid advertising budget you have. From there, decide whether you’re willing to invest in a paid social media campaign that could help you get better results, faster, from your social media marketing efforts.
What are my competitors doing?
Your competitors are a useful guide for figuring out where you should focus your efforts, what works and what doesn’t. For example, if other businesses in your industry have great engagement on Instagram, chances are you should be on there too.
Consider the following:
- Which channels are they posting on?
- What type of content are they creating?
- How many followers do they have?
- How are potential customers interacting with them?
What social media advertising options are available?
According to the latest Yellow Pages Social Media Report, 37% of Australian SMBs say they have paid to advertise on social media. Social advertising helps your content work harder and reach more people, which in turn improves your brand awareness and conversion rate.
When it comes to social advertising, some platforms have more sophisticated targeting options and deliver better return on investment than others. Mature platforms like Facebook and Instagram have a comprehensive suite of paid advertising tools to suit various objectives and content types.
Remember to also consider the data and social media analytics tools that are available for you to work with. Facebook and Instagram, for example, offer a wide range of targeting options, making it easier to hone in on and reach the right people at the right time.
Which are the best social media platforms for small businesses?
Once you’ve considered all of the points above, it’s time to narrow down your platforms. While you can get incredibly niche in your social media marketing, chances are you’re probably considering one of the main apps on this social media list:
So how do they all work, what are their key advantages, and which one should you choose?
Facebook is the most ubiquitous social media platform out there, regardless of a person’s age or gender. Nearly 77 percent of all Australians aged 16-64 are on Facebook and the average user accesses the platform 29 times a week.
At its core, Facebook is a tool for people to stay in touch with their friends and family, follow the brands and businesses they like, and create groups based on hobbies or interests. Facebook users generally get updates via the newsfeed, which shows posts to users based on their interests and previous engagement with certain pages or people.
For small businesses, Facebook offers affordable and comprehensive advertising options from boosted posts to promoted ads, as well as great social media analytics. Because so many people use Facebook regularly, the platform has plenty of data to help brands narrow down their target audience, such as marital status, interests and age.
Cost of investment: While it’s possible to use Facebook without spending on ads, you might not reach that many customers. This is because fans have to follow your page to see your content. If you have a small fan base to begin with, you’ll need to invest some money into Facebook ads to be seen. The average cost-per-click on Facebook is $0.94, or $12.07 per thousand views. It’s estimated that the average cost per lead for a Facebook ad is $5.83.
Who should use it? Almost everyone is on Facebook and the platform still has a strong community-like nature. Because of this, Facebook is best if you’re running a local business-to-consumer (B2C) business and you want to stay in touch with your customers. If you’re a florist, tradie, cafe, hotel or retail brand, Facebook is an ideal choice.
YouTube is the world’s most popular video streaming site for product reviews, how-to videos, news reports and more. More than half (54%) of Australians use YouTube, for an average of 12 hours per week.
Anyone can browse YouTube without an account, and users can search for videos using YouTube’s search bar. Based on viewing history, YouTube also provides video recommendations on the homepage or side bar when videos are playing.
One of the best things about YouTube videos is that they can be embedded into blog posts or websites, and shared across other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. YouTube videos also appear in Google searches, which increases the likelihood of content being discovered by users.
Cost of investment: YouTube ads have an average cost-per-view of $0.010 – $0.030, with the average cost of reaching 100,000 viewers being around $2,000.
Who should use it? YouTube is all about telling stories and providing value through video content. It’s great for businesses with a product or service that people want to understand better.
If you’re a personal trainer or physio, for example, you could post videos of exercise tutorials. If you’re a local painter or plumber, you could post videos that show your business in action. DIY videos are also hugely popular on YouTube, so if you’re in a trade based business, you could create a series of videos with simple DIY tips, for the smaller jobs that don’t need a professional to attend.
Instagram is now the third-most popular social media platform in Australia, behind Facebook and Facebook Messenger. The average Instagram user accesses the app 28 times a week, with visual content such as travel, lifestyle, beauty and food tending to perform best.
Much like Facebook, brands can advertise on Instagram using boosted posts (for existing followers) or paid ads (to target specific audiences). It’s also handy to remember that Instagram is owned by Facebook, and many users link both accounts together.
Cost of investment: On average, brands pay between $0.20 and $2 per click, $6.70 per thousand impressions and $0.01 to $0.05 per engagement for Instagram ads. Although it can vary depending on the industry and product or service offering, the average cost per lead for Instagram ads is $4.97.
Who should use it? If you have a beautiful product or visual service offering, Instagram is definitely the way to go. Instagram users love food, travel, fitness and fashion, so for local restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, retailers, photographers, personal trainers or travel advisors, Instagram is a great option.
As a video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos, TikTok has played a significant role in driving the enormous popularity of short-form video content.
In fact, TikTok attracts a huge audience equivalent to 31.3% of Australia’s internet users, with users being mostly in the Gen Z and millennial demographic. The average TikTok user accesses the app eight times a day and spends just under an hour on the app every day.
Cost of investment: The cost of advertising on TikTok starts at $10 per thousand impressions. In addition, when creating an ad, you’ll need to spend a minimum of $500 to launch your campaign. This makes it one of the more costly social media platforms for advertising – however, if your target customer closely aligns with the user demographic, it could be a worthwhile investment.
Who should use it? 41% of TikTok’s users are aged between 16 and 24 and 66% are under 30. With this in mind, small businesses with a younger customer base – think youth-oriented beauty, fashion and retail brands – could grow brand awareness and generate leads through advertising on TikTok.
Pinterest is like a digital scrapbook where users create boards and ‘pin’ pictures they like to the board. It’s a highly inspirational platform, with users curating boards for topics like weddings, bucket list destinations, home decor, hairstyles and more. One in five Aussies use Pinterest, with the average user spending 17 minutes per session on the app.
As a brand, Pinterest is a great place to post inspirational content and drive traffic back to your website. Advertising on Pinterest is done by sponsoring pins, which appear in search results.
Cost of investment: You can expect to pay between $2 to $5 per thousand views to build brand awareness on Pinterest. Boosting online engagement and driving traffic to your website costs anywhere between $0.10 and $1.50 per engagement.
Who should use it? Because of its niche user base, Pinterest is best suited for businesses who know their customers prefer to do a lot of research before committing to a purchase. Wedding businesses, hair salons, food-based businesses, furniture, home renovations and landscaping businesses work particularly well on this platform because they’re heavily inspiration-based.
Twitter is all about timely and concise content. Each post on Twitter is limited to 280 characters, making it the perfect social media platform to consume bite-sized information. It’s also great for engaging with journalists and other businesses.
Twitter has plenty of ad options, including promoted tweets and accounts. However, the targeting isn’t as extensive as platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
Cost of investment: Promoted tweets cost an average of $0.50 to $2 per action (actions include retweets, follows or likes), whereas promoted accounts cost $2 to $4 per action.
Who should use it? Generally speaking, Twitter is best suited to businesses that regularly share timely and newsworthy content – so it’s not always appropriate for SMBs. However, if your business already has a substantial following on Twitter or your content falls into the right category, advertising on the platform could help connect you with the right types of people.
For B2B and professional services businesses, LinkedIn can be a goldmine. Although it’s a professional networking platform, LinkedIn’s advertising options are fairly extensive. You can advertise on the newsfeed or side bars, or use Sponsored Messaging to get in touch directly with prospective customers. Targeting is also precise, because the platform knows a lot about their customers, such as their job and industry.
Cost of investment: LinkedIn advertising costs depend on factors such as your chosen target audience, campaign objective and bid. On average, though, the cost of LinkedIn ads is $5.26 per click, $6.59 per thousand impressions and $0.80 per InMail message – so it is relatively expensive compared to platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Who should use it? LinkedIn is the largest social media network for professionals, so advertising on the platform is typically most effective if you’re a B2B or professional services business: think legal firms, accounting firms, recruitment agencies and property management agencies.
Above all else, remember this when considering your business’ social media marketing.
The social media objectives for each small business are different. However, regardless of which platform you’re using, you should always fuel it with great content and the right targeting and paid advertising support.
If you want to get the most out of your social media advertising strategy, Yellow Pages is here to help. Find out more about how we can connect your business with its specific audiences through a carefully targeted, expertly managed social media campaign.
*This information is provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; it does not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Yellow Pages.