The Yellow Pages, an ad in the local rag or on-vehicle signage – even a website – may just not be enough anymore to promote your trades business in today’s digitised world. In professions where word-of-mouth can make or break a business, and with eight in 10 Australians now using social media, having a presence online has never been more important.
We take a look at how social media, done well, can turbo-charge your marketing.
Why use social media for your business?
There’s no shortage of reasons why more and more small businesses and self-employed professionals are making the switch to social media to promote and advertise their business, but, primarily:
- It’s cost-effective: It costs an average of $32 to reach 1,000 people using traditional print media, compared to just 25 cents using Facebook advertising. With these figures in mind, social media can be a great way for tradies to save on advertising costs.
- You can target your audience: Social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, allow you to target adverts to specific demographics. Whether you want to target people based on their age, location or interests, social media provides a level of targeting that most other forms of advertising can’t.
- You can build and manage your reputation: A well-thought-out social media presence, where you respond to and interact with your audience, can help you connect with potential customers and build trusting online communities. In fact, 64% of consumers said they were more likely to trust a business if they interact positively on social media.
Tips for navigating social media
One of the benefits of social media is that almost anyone can succeed at it, but there are a few things you should know before you invest your time or your money:
- Choose the right platform: Not every platform will be right for your business, so do your research to find out which one will work for you. Facebook is a popular starting point, engaging 94% of Australian social media users across all age groups. Twitter is great for businesses that want to post shorter, more frequent updates and make use of trending hashtags, while Instagram is a great choice for landscapers or builders, where a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Consistency is key: A little bit of effort goes a long way when it comes to maintaining your social pages. People want to follow brands that are active and engaging – if you’re posting sporadically or take several days to respond to messages and comments, you could end up sending the wrong message about your business.
- Responding to negative feedback: Every business receives a less than favourable review from time to time. On social media – where everyone can see what others are saying about you – the most important thing is how you respond. You should aim to reply quickly and politely, so that anyone who might come across the review also sees your response, and your commitment to resolving the issue. Done right, you can turn a complaint into an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to good customer service.
Social media is a truly powerful tool for tradies who want to raise awareness of their business in the local community – whether by simply being there to chat, or using it as a tool to advertise your services. Before you start out, do some research of your own to give your small business the best chance at success.
To learn more about promoting your small business, check out these resources.