Many small businesses have been watching the rapid evolution of social media and wondering whether they should be using social media for their business? It is now clearer, thanks to the latest Neilson survey (which luckily includes Australian participants); that while social media users may not confuse a brand with their friends, they actually do want to relate to brands through social media. In fact, active adult social networkers are much more likely to follow a brand (53%) than a celebrity (32%).
The benefits of leveraging social media for brand marketing
The report states that 60% of social media users create reviews of products or services and these are the preferred source of information about product/service value, price and quality. This provides the incentive for good social media marketing to build impressive and impactful brand loyalty.
It means that it is more beneficial to use social media to build your relationship with existing customers, rather than trying to acquire new customers via Facebook or Google+. This includes marketing efforts focused on customer retention, selling additional premium services, and introducing new offerings.
“The value of the time consumers spend online and on social networks and blogs continues to grow, most visible through the influence on purchase decisions,” Nielsen reports.
So, as new customers frequently trust the recommendations of their friends and peers, this provides further evidence that social media is an ideal platform for connecting with influential customers who spread online word of mouth in terms of re-posts and comments.
Australians are No 1 in social media use
Among Nielsen’s ten internet metered survey markets, Australian internet users are in the number 1 spot in terms of spending the most time visiting social networks and blogs, averaging 7 hours and 17 minutes per person over three month survey timeframe.
As our social media use grows it’s more crucial for small businesses to understand how different customer segments use and share online content.
Know Thy Customer
The question for businesses is no longer, “should I be using social media?” but “how should I?” While this report points to growing usage trends and the rise of multiple new social media platforms, each business needs to become more intimately acquainted with its own customers’ specific social media behaviour. While the media is constantly changing, the nature of customer communication has not; and by putting your customers first, your social media campaign will be off to a great start.
About the author: Teresa Bassham is an Authentic Marketing Coach and Director of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing. Teresa is passionate about helping small businesses create the right marketing and achieve transformational results. For more tips and information about Authentic Marketing, visit and like my Facebook page to receive regular updates.
All or parts of this blog are able to be published with permission from the author – provided that the author is acknowledged and a link is given to the original source blog.
This blog is original content influenced by years of experience within the Australian small business culture and may not be applicable to other countries small business cultures.