Social media marketing - The case for small business

in Marketing by Robert M. Caruso
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Social Media Business Strategy

You’re a small to medium sized business and you are dabbling in social media marketing or still have not taken the leap, all the while asking yourself WHY. Why should we be using Facebook? Why would we need to be on something called Twitter? Why is it important to our business?


Sound familiar? Let me answer your questions with a simple statement. It’s where the people are now.


Social media has already boomed in Australia and having a presence is no longer the bar. You must be effective.


Here are some statistics that should get your attention:

  • Facebook now has 901+ million active users with mobile users now totaling 488 million each month.

  • Over 125 billion friendships are forged every day on Facebook.

  • Twitter has over 100 million active users.


Not enough for you? How about specifically in Australia?

  • Internet penetration is nearly 80% with about 90% of those online using social networks.

  • 24% of Australian consumers say they use social media to make purchase decisions.

  • 50% of the overall population is on Facebook! (Add New Zealand and the region total is more than 13m people.)

  • Three-quarters of Australian client-side marketers are using off-site social media and that77% of organisations expect to increase investment in this area over the next 12 month.

  • 25% of medium-sized businesses and 50% of large businesses have an active social media presence.

  • Mobile penetration in Australia is 125% and mobile social media is the favoured activity accounting for 34%, ahead of other pastimes such as games at 26% and entertainment at 9%.

  • 60% of Australian consumers stop engaging with brands if communications are poorly targeted


Here is what you need to understand. Consumer activity has changed.

Gone are the days that they find your website, bookmark it and return over and over. Most consumers find a website, immediately look for the social connections, link over and view the company’s page or account. If they are interesting, posting relevant content and engaging (having conversation) with their audience, people tend to follow/like. They then wait for valuable information and content to come to THEM.


This change in consumer behavior impacts your business in several ways:

  1. Consumers want value from brands they connect with in social media. – Not consistently sharing interesting content is a huge factor in users not connecting or doing business with a brand.

  2. You have to stay away from the Me Me syndrome. – There is nothing worse in a social media account that does nothing but post about them. Today’s savvy social consumer identifies this immediately and runs for the door.

  3. Ignoring your audience equates to nails in your coffin. – When a consumer mentions your brand in the social graph or comments on a post you have made, you must jump into a conversation. You would never ignore a customer in your store, so don’t do it in your virtual business online.

  4. Strategy is key. – You must know your target audience and what interests them. There needs to be a strategy for delivering value to them that sparks conversations and result in relationships and revenue.


Now is the time to make commitments to your social media marketing efforts and out-execute your competition. Failure to recognise that social media is where the consumers are now and investing resources in connecting with them in meaningful ways will result in very different conversations about your business just a few years from now.


A few suggestions for upping your social game:

  1. Seek expert help – Whether a professional to consult and provide direction or an agency that can handle everything for you effectively. Australia has a growing community of professionals that solely do this.

  2. Get real with yourself – Ask yourself the hard questions to honestly evaluate if you are doing it right, getting real results or are even capable of doing it yourself.

  3. Social media needs to be handled with a sense of urgency. Your customers are already there and they are connecting with your competitors. Waiting and pondering will be far more costly than taking proper action TODAY!


To be successful, a good rule of thumb to frame your social media activities around is to focus on:

Consistency, Value, Relevance, Responsiveness.

Related Keywords : Marketing , Social Media
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Robert M. Caruso

Robert M. Caruso is a long time social media professional and founder of BundlePost, the first social content management system. His company develops social media technologies that increase social media agencies and marketers efficiency, effectiveness and profitability. Robert also consults brands internationally on their social media programs.

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