Social media has changed the landscape for Australian businesses in more ways than one. Not only has it altered the way businesses market themselves and changed how consumers engage with brands, but it has even made a difference to the way we network. No longer limited to those in our backyard, social media has made it possible for small business owners to connect with people right around the globe. Here are five ways social media has changed the way we do business.
1 Global audiences
Reach and engagement are two words that weren’t so common ten years ago, but now they’re a permanent part of our vocabulary. The truth is, social media has opened up a world of possibilities for small business owners. No longer limited to local consumers in the same suburb or city, or even the same country, now businesses and brands can reach people from right across the globe. How? The internet and social media.
2 Emphasis on branding
It may seem like a lifetime ago, but before social media, branding for small businesses was about business cards, shopfronts and packaging. Now, there’s the added pressure of maintaining a brand persona online, particularly on social media. Instead of being an optional activity, many small businesses are required to maintain social media profiles in order to keep up with competition. It’s important that every photo, video and caption posted on social media is a true reflection of your brand.
3 Virtual conferences and webinars
Social media has made the world far more accessible than it ever has been before. While conferences on the other side of the globe were previously out of reach for those unable to be there in person, social media and the internet has made it possible to be a part of many events remotely. Virtual conferences and webinars mean we can hear from world-class speakers without even leaving the office. We now have the ability to connect with other virtual attendees and small business owners via our laptop screens.
4 Facebook groups and shared insights
Running your own business can often be a lonely pursuit but social media has bought many like-minded small business owners together. Facebook groups has created an online avenue for many small business owners and entrepreneurs to connect in order to share insights, advice and concerns. It’s also a great way to meet and connect with people who are on a similar journey or even find business mentors who you can connect with in real life.
5 Connections with consumers
While it may seem like just one more thing to do, social media also has the power to grow small businesses. When used well it can facilitate a true connection with consumers and even generate website traffic and sales. It allows businesses to communicate with their audience like never before, replying to comments and questions almost instantly and allowing consumers to engage with branded content almost anywhere, at any time.