5 Social Media Best Practices for Marketers
As a marketing professional in Australia, you are no doubt using social media to connect with new business prospects and stay connected with current clients. From small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to large corporate brands, increasing numbers of companies are adapting their marketing to include social media. Social platforms present vital tools for SMEs, and are becoming more of a necessity in an ever-changing technological market.
In a study conducted by LinkedIn, it was found that 89 percent of companies surveyed use social media to build awareness of their brand, and 72 percent see social media as essential for the future of their business.
Matt Tindale, director, Marketing Solutions AU & NZ at LinkedIn suggests that, “With SME prospects, leads, and customers active on social media too, not being a part of the conversation is detrimental to brand awareness and customer retention. LinkedIn provides the tools a SME needs to be a part of that conversation in informative, inspirational, and insightful ways.”
“I believe that both small and large business alike are finally realising that simply having the most junior marketing employee updating their company pages is not enough,” said Stephan Grace of Ashdown Consulting. “We are seeing huge growth in highly paid internal roles focused on social media, and also the rise of boutique specialist agencies growing quickly in this space.”
So what does this mean for you? It means that engaging with your future client has become even easier. Holding their attention, however, is the new name of the game. SMEs are looking for two big things out of social media: 1) growing their customer base and 2) collecting information to make informed financial decisions. By effectively using social media, you can provide your client with relevant information and improve overall and specific points of your customers’ experience. LinkedIn has shared several ways to accomplish these goals.
Enable Learning throughout Each Phase of the Customer Purchase Path
Informing your potential clients about the uses of social media is a powerful way to start the dialogue. Companies already know it’s a solid way to communicate with their customer base, so show them the platform’s capabilities beyond this.
The SMEs surveyed by LinkedIn shared their top five uses for social media: 1) delivering content and new information about their company; 2) advertising to help increase awareness; 3) generating word-of-mouth about the company; 4) maintaining a company presence and identity online; and 5) for promotional purposes and to provide deals to consumers.
The biggest issues for SMEs related to the use of social media come down to two things,” said Grace, “first – getting it right. Social media can also be extremely damaging to a brand and make a company look amateurish if not executed well. Second is consistency; engaging with customers is great with relevant content, but ensuring it’s not an initial burst that then fades away is also a common mistake.”
By using your company’s social media platforms in these ways, you open more chances for dialogue about your company’s products and services. Create a marketing strategy that puts your company in front of its clients on a more regular basis so that you can communicate with them through a more casual setting. In addition, this casual and personable atmosphere creates a more receptive audience.
Fulfil Sales-boosting Content Needs
The number one challenge companies, particularly SMEs, have in today’s market is attracting new, business-sustaining customers. Many markets are saturated with similar options for products or services. A creative marketing strategy empowered by social media can help attract new clientele. In LinkedIn’s survey, 65 percent of responders shared that they believe social media is a vital resource for getting new customers.
SMEs also agreed that it’s a great channel for marketing strategies such as advertising, branding, content delivery and customer service. Whether you work on a marketing team at a company or for a marketing firm, you are in a unique situation to fill the marketing and advertising gaps of your company with social media options.
Close your marketing gap by providing content relevant to your clients and the business’s goals and cultures. Content marketing continues to be among the most effective value-building business tools, adding exponential clout to your marketing efforts. Banner and popup ads are easily ignored by today’s consumers; instead of visual advertisements, you can enrich your customer’s lives with an interesting article pertaining in some way to the goods or services the company provides.
Social media platforms are especially influential for businesses that are looking for financial service providers. Over three quarters of SMEs surveyed by LinkedIn shared they have used social media for finance-related purposes, including keeping up-to-date with financial trends, gathering preliminary financial information, seeking advice on a financial decision, recommending a financial project to others and revaluating a previous financial decision.
Target hyper-growth companies
There are over 200 companies in Australia that can be classified as SMEs, with around 13 percent of those companies experiencing hyper-growth in the last year. In conducting this study, LinkedIn found that the revenue growth these companies experienced was related to an increased marketing spend on social media.
In fact, 58 percent of the businesses surveyed attributed their hyper-growth to the increased spend on social media advertising. And to keep the cycle going, businesses that are experiencing hyper-growth are more likely to use social media specifically to continue driving sales and growth. Most impressively, 68 percent of hyper-growth companies use LinkedIn.
When sourcing your next project, look towards making connections with these companies experiencing hyper-growth. They are sure to be pushing a big social media platform campaign. As stated earlier, your company could be just what they need to fill their content and marketing strategy gaps.
Provide Resources for the Entire SMB Value Chain
When creating a marketing strategy based on one or several social media platforms, make sure your efforts do not just focus on marketing. Consider all parts of the SME’s value chain, such as sales, open innovation, sourcing and customer service.
“I believe when using LinkedIn to approach SME companies, choosing who you interact with is essential,” shared Grace. “With larger corporations it’s easier to hit a number of people across and organisation and gain traction, but in SMEs approaching the top leadership is the key in gaining success and credibility.”
By providing a company with support, ideas, and resources for several facets of their business, you will enrich the entire customer experience.
Facilitate Open Dialogue to Increase Credibility
Not so surprisingly, the best way to reach out to these SMEs is through social media. Using LinkedIn will allow companies to see your credentials and what projects you’ve worked on before you strike up an official conversation about their marketing needs. Establish immediate credibility and position yourself as the go-to expert.
Your understanding of social media and ability to apply your knowledge to a specific company’s needs can result in successful marketing campaigns for SMEs; the lifeblood of Australian business.
Rainmaking + ESG Launch Supply Chain Resilience Accelerator
Rainmaking, one of the world’s leading corporate innovation and venture development firms that create, accelerate and scale new business, has partnered with Enterprise Singapore (ESG), a government agency that champions enterprise development, to launch Singapore’s first ‘Supply Chain Resilience Accelerator’.
The new programme will unite startups and enterprises to boost scalable technology solutions that help fuel supply chain resilience by addressing pain points in transport and logistics.
Over the last 13 years, Rainmaking has launched 30 ventures totalling US$2bn, including Startupbootcamp. Having invested in over 900 startups that have raised more than US$1bn, Startupbootcamp is one of the world’s most active global investors and accelerators.
The new programme looks to help build more resilient supply chains for Singapore’s burgeoning network of startups by leveraging its advantageous position as a global trade and connectivity hub. As part of the Supply Chain Resilience Accelerator programme, no less than 20 startups with high-growth potential will have the opportunity to become a part of Singapore’s vibrant ecosystem of startups.
Calling Supply Chain Solution Startups!
The programme will kick off with an open call for startups who specialise in supply chain solutions for end-to-end visibility, analytics, automation and sustainability.
Applicants will then be shortlisted and receive nurturing from Rainmaking, fostering valuable engagements with corporates to drive scalable pilots with the aim to stimulate investment opportunities.
“Covid-19 exposed the fragility of global trade, and the Supply Chain Resilience Accelerator is our opportunity to spot weak links and build back better. Piloting outside tech can be an incredibly efficient way to test viable solutions to big problems, provided you de-risk and design for scale. Our programme does precisely this by helping corporate decision-makers and startups to work on compelling business opportunities, anticipate operational risks, and ultimately co-create solutions fit for wider industry adoption,” said Angela Noronha, Director for Open Innovation at Rainmaking.
Pilots will run from Singapore, with the objective that relevant organisations may adopt successful solutions globally. To that end, Rainmaking is currently engaging with enterprises specialising in varying industry verticals and have expressed interest in partnering.
“Even as we continue to work with startups and corporations all over the globe, we are so pleased to be anchoring this program out of Singapore. With a perfect storm of tech talent, corporate innovators, and robust institutional support, it’s the ideal launchpad for testing new solutions that have the potential to change entire industries. We look forward to driving the transformation with the ecosystem,” added Angela Noronha.
One of the first selected corporate partners is Cargill, a leader in innovating and decarbonising food supply chains.
"Cargill is constantly exploring ways to improve the way we work and service our customers. Sustainability, smart manufacturing and supply chain optimisation are key areas of focus for us; exploring these from Singapore, where so many key players are already innovating, will help us form valuable partnerships from day one. We look forward to joining Rainmaking and ESG on this journey to work with, support, and grow the startup community by keeping them connected to industry needs,” said Dirk Robers, Cargill Digital Labs.
In order to raise awareness on the importance of building resilience and how technology can be leveraged to mitigate risks of disruption, industry outreach efforts will include fireside chats, discussions and demo days.
In July, Rainmaking will host a virtual insight sharing event for innovation partners as well as a ‘Deal Friday’ session that connects businesses, investors, and selected startups with investment and partnership opportunities.
Programme events will also benefit Institutes of Higher Learning by offering exposure to how advanced practitioners leverage new technologies to transform traditional supply chain management and share real-world case studies and lessons learned, better equipping next-gen supply chain leaders.
“As an advocate of market-oriented open innovation, we welcome programmes like the Supply Chain Resilience Accelerator, which aims to help companies resolve operational pain points, strengthen supply chain resilience and spur growth in a post-pandemic world. With a strong track record in driving open innovation initiatives for the transport and supply chain industry, we believe that Rainmaking’s in-depth knowledge of the ecosystem and network of global partners can complement Singapore’s efforts in accelerating our business community’s adoption of tech-enabled tools, to better manage future disruptions and capture opportunities arising from shifts in global supply chains. This will in turn help to strengthen our local ecosystem and Singapore’s status as a global hub for trade and connectivity,” said Law Chung Ming, Executive Director for Transport and Logistics, Enterprise Singapore.