Is small business in Australia finally waking up to the power of effective social media use?
At the end of June 2017 - the Sensis Social Media Report 2017 ( How Australia people and business are using social media ) will be released.
I am really looking forward to it, as the past 2 reports have been fantastic overviews of what is actually happening in the business space with social media use.
Unfortunately though, these past 2 reports backed up what I had been witnessing with small businesses (both clients and non-clients) that there was a real lack of knowledge of the true power of using social media effectively for their business and a misunderstanding of the cost benefits for small business to get on board with new methods of reaching their customer base. Medium to Larger business are on board - but small business, in Australia are lagging behind.
A disturbing number from the 2016 report is this one.
- Large Business - 61% paid to advertise inside social media
- Medium Business - 27% paid to advertise
- Small Business 20% paid to advertise
This figure is incredibly low, because advertising inside Facebook in particular is so cost effective for small business. Just look at what it costs to advertise in the local paper, TV or Radio and then compare that to what a well run Facebook ad can cost, it is a fraction of the cost.
In fact 50% of the small business owners survey above said that it had been effective and 98% of the large businesses said that it was. This is despite consumers saying they ignore the ads.
Our clicks it would appear don’t lie.
Here is another scary statistic
- ¼ of SMB’s say they that have invested money in social media, but don’t know how much.
- 21% of small business and 27% of medium business measure their return on investment
- compared with 61% of large business.
So why are these numbers so low?
Will data from 20107 show and improvement in small business taking charge of their social media activity and being strategic in its application.
It is not just a thing that we do - it is part and parcel of how business is done, yet so many small business owners continue to push it into the next year pile of things they need to do and continue to focus their marketing on old school methods.
Old school methods and old style thinking, won't work for the new digital economy. So why are so many small business owners clinging to this approach?
The known always seems easier than the unknown.
Here’s the thing, 55% of us (in Australia) jump online more than 5 times a day, with 87% of Australians accessing the internet daily. We are using all the main channels and even with growth in Instagram and Snapchat, the number one channel we all use is Facebook. 95% of all social media sites use is Facebook.
When and where are we using social media and in particular Facebook?
69% of us access it from our lounges ( I am in good company) with 63% of us doing this after work and in the evening. Think about that when you choose to schedule your posts!
The second most popular time and place is our bedroom first thing in the morning. 42% of people are logging on in bed and 49% of us like to stay on top of things early in the morning.
What do people think about online advertising?
People say that they don’t click on sponsored ads, but increased spending in this area, and an increased focus on this from large businesses would seem to indicate that we are becoming more used to this method of advertising. Apparently in 2014 69% of us said we ignored them, this dropped to 53% in 2016. It will be interesting to see what this has dropped to for 2017.
How much are we spending?
Large business continues to increase spending in the area of social media, both in terms of advertising, delivery as well as the planning/implementation and measurement of its success. The percentage of the marketing budget spend in social media for large business is now twice as high as that for small business.
Is this telling you something?
Whilst there has been an improvement in the number of small businesses that are approaching social media activity strategically, this number is low, only 31% - yet 76% of large businesses have an actual plan in place.
It is not always about money. It is not always about time.
It needs to be about your consumers, where are they online and when. Your small business future success will depend to some extent on how successfully you reach and connect to your target customer. In 2017 this means you need to be looking to reach people online more effectively.
There is no better place for you to reach your people in my opinion than Facebook. But the way to do that is by advertising inside the platform.
Facebook’s recent data shows there are now 17 million active Australians on Facebook. Therefore approximately 70% of the total Australian population is an active Facebook user. This is a huge number.
Penetration of the Australian Population
- 7 in 10 Australians use Facebook
- 1 in 2 Australians use Facebook on a daily basis
- 1 in 2 Australians use YouTube
- 1 in 5 Australians use Instagram
- 1 in 6 Australians use Snapchat
(Source: Social Media News - May 2017)
Worldwide, there are over 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users for March 2017 which is an 18 percent increase year over year. (Source: Facebook 5/3/17)
What this means for you: In case you had any lingering doubts, statistically, Facebook is too big to ignore.
How much longer are you going to be ignoring Facebook's potential for your business?
Don't let lack of knowledge or lack of time be your excuse. There are lots of great online programs and resources for your to get skilled in this key marketing tool.
My Facebook Frontier Program is a 4 week online training course that teaches small business owners a critical skill for online business success - how to advertise effectively and for the lowest cost/per click inside Facebook and Instagram.
You can find out more about my program here, but the next round starts 19/6/17 and I would love to see you there.
It will be one of the best $347 investments you can make in your own professional development as well as investing in a key strategic marketing tool for your business.
One that you can control.
One that you can master.
One that will put your business in front of your customers, where they spend so much of their time, Facebook.