Smart tips for social media success

Published on 14 February 2019

Liam from LAD Social with Elize Hattin

With roughly three out of every five Australians using Facebook every day, using social media to promote your business makes sense. In a recent Hub Live hosted by the Rockhampton SmartHub, Business Manager Elize Hattin sat down with LAD Social Social Media Expert Liam Fahey to learn the tips and tricks that every business owner needs to know about using social media when you are in business.

Liam Fahey started his company, LAD Social, back in 2012. At the time he was working as a tradie, but he enjoyed taking photos and got his start by taking photos of patrons at local nightclubs. Liam and his team then sold these images to the nightclub owners so that they could use them on their social media channels to promote their club. Since then, LAD Social has grown in leaps and bounds, and now works closely with local and international clients to improve their social media.

 Liam says the SmartHub quickly became a great asset for LAD Social. The co-working space allowed an affordable opportunity for LAD Social’s creative team to work away from the administrative side of their business.

 “At the SmartHub there is a lot of people that you can rely on and that you can ask questions to. Sometimes in business you get a bit stressed out, so it’s nice just being able to talk to another person who’s been through the same thing.

 “The atmosphere at the SmartHub is exciting, and for LAD Social the fun, friendly environment with other business owners makes it an ideal place to work,” he said.

 Why is marketing so important?

 Liam thinks that in simple terms, marketing is just separating customers from their money

 “It’s the way you showcase your products and then you get a customer to buy that product or that service from you, rather than buying it from a competitor.

 “For example, everyone has a car, and a car needs to be serviced, but who do you choose? Marketing is the process of getting the right people’s attention and getting those people to engage with your business and not your competition,” he said.

 According to Liam, there can only be three issues with businesses; the people in the business, cashflow of the business, or the marketing for the business. Proper marketing is the solution to all three problems – good marketing can increase cashflow, and with healthy cashflow the business can grow and hire more employees. Marketing can make or break your business, and it all starts by deciding who to market to.

 LAD Social recommends looking at the following seven steps when considering how to integrate social media marketing into a business plan.

  1.  Find your audience - The key to successful marketing is ensuring your marketing is reaching the people who need your products and services. Start by thinking about who your customers are at a very basic level – are they male or female? How old are they? Keep expanding, considering things such as their family, if they’re married, what they do on the weekends or what they do for a living. Start observing your customer and learn what they’re doing. Having a clear vision of what your customer wants or needs makes you able to provide exactly what they’re after.
  2.  Set up a Facebook page - Facebook is a data collector. In exchange for allowing users to connect and share on their platform, Facebook collects the data of its users in order to allow advertisers to target specific demographics. If you have a personal profile, you’re then able to create a free page for your business. The process is straightforward, though you will need images for your profile picture and cover photo that convey what it is you do – using your logo or a photo of your face is good for a profile picture, and a photo of your staff or your physical location is good for your cover photo. Once your page is all set up with all your business’s information, you’ll need to start creating engaging content for your followers.
  3.  Keep it personal - A key technique to marketing on any social media is personality, namely creating a cult of personality around yourself, a staff member or the whole team. People go on social media to see people, not products, so including people in your pictures of products can lead to an increase in sales. A local butcher here in Rocky saw a significant increase in business when they started including images of the people selling the products. People love seeing the people behind the products because they can relate more easily to a person than to a picture of a product.
  4. Organic posts - On Facebook, there are two ways you can share your content. You can either create lots of organic posts, which are unpaid, or you can pay a little bit of money to Facebook to ensure your audience gets to see your posts. Organic marketing is about building your brand, showcasing your business and your capability as well as offering to calls to action for customers to actually purchase your products or services.One of the first things you want to do is showcase your staff – not by posting a picture of everyone in a row, but just a picture and blurb about a staff member each week. These blurbs shouldn’t just be, “Hey, this is Liam, he’s the Director,” But they should be a more personal story about them. Say something like, “He’s been in business for many years. He used to be a refrigeration mechanic. He’s very passionate about this work. When he’s not working, he likes to go spear fishing.” You need to tell a story, describe their history, discuss their role in the business and what they do outside of work. Other kinds of posts you should do are showcases of your products or services. For example, a local mechanic was getting a lot of work on family cars, however he wanted to work on four-wheel drives instead. So, he got his own four-wheel drive up on the hoist, took some photos and posted about how he was working on this four-wheel drive. After that, we saw people coming in with the same vehicle, because as customers related to the post. They saw their car being worked on and knew they could trust this mechanic with their car. The time you post is also important. You should be aiming to post every single day, because the more you post, the more chance you have of reaching your audience. A great way to ensure you post every single day is to use Facebook’s built-in post publishing tools. Perhaps on a Monday you can go around and take photos for the week, write the captions and then schedule them for the week, the next three weeks, even as far as months and months into the future. It’s also important to consider what time of day is best to post at to reach your audience. Consider the customer’s schedule. For example, if you’re trying to appeal to tradies, you wouldn’t post at 6am when they’re arriving on site. If he’s having his lunch at 11, you’d post around then.

  5.   Paid ads - When you get into the ad creation, you’ll be presented with a number of objectives for what you want the ad to do. Are you trying to get people into a physical location, or do you want them to check out your online store, or do you want more likes on your Facebook page? Pick the option that best suits what you’re aiming to do. Next, you will be able to pick your target audience and budget. The audience demographic feature Facebook has is very, very detailed. You can select an audience based on their location, sex, age, interests and behaviours. It’s very easy to target your exact audience, regardless if you’re marketing towards families in Rockhampton or young people internationally. Once you’ve selected your audience and budget, you get to add the creatives – the images, video or text shown to your audience. Just as with creating organic content, consider your audience and what they want and relate to. After that, you can post your ad and wait for the results.

  6.  Insights - A key part of marketing is collecting data from the people who actually buy your products or services, to learn what marketing they respond to and how to better target your audience. If you’re running an ad on Facebook as well as having an ad in a local newspaper, you need to know which ad works better.  Measure where you’re getting clicks and results from and if some form of marketing isn’t performing, adjust your strategy accordingly. Everything you do in marketing, you should get a return from, and you should be continually perfecting your marketing with the data you collect. Facebook has an incredible analysis tool that gives you detailed insights into how well your ads have worked. If your goal was to get people to visit your website, you can see how many people clicked on your ad, and how much that click cost you. Spending as little as a dollar on an ad and having it reach the right person could mean finding a lifetime customer that spends hundreds of dollars on your products or service.

  7. Beyond Facebook - While Facebook is the main social media platform used by people in the Rockhampton Region, you may want to spread your brand further, engaging other social media sites such as Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. These platforms can expand the age range of consumers and get them interested in your products in a way that Facebook doesn’t accommodate. Snapchat is an image-sharing platform where photos and messages delete themselves after a set amount of time, and it’s very popular with teenagers. While the main userbase of Snapchat is 13-17, a group that might not have access to money to buy your products, they’re going to be buyers in five years’ time. Getting them interested in your brand is a long-term strategy, but it could be worth it for your business to develop a space for future audiences. Instagram is another image-sharing platform, though it works differently to Snapchat. A great feature Instagram has is the stories feature, where you can upload images or videos that last for just 24 hours. It can be useful to tell short stories about what’s actually happening in the business. Just doing a few stories a day of what you’re working on, what your plans are, what you’re doing, all of which adds to your business’s personality. Not everyone sees YouTube as a social media platform, but it’s the second largest social media in the world after Facebook. On Facebook and Instagram people may not be watching videos longer than a minute, but on YouTube people are willing to watch videos that are anywhere from ten minutes to an hour if they’re engaging. So long as you have the skills to operate cameras and produce video you can find success on YouTube using content marketing.

As social media continues to be a part of the everyday lives of Australians, businesses will continue to use these powerful marketing tools in order to get customers in the door.

 If you’d like to work alongside Liam Fahey’s LAD Social Team and become a part of the supportive SmartHub Community, simply contact the SmartHub or feel free to pop into Customs House at 208 Quay Street for a tour. The SmartHub offers a variety of membership packages from monthly membership to corporate packages. More information can also be found on their Facebook Page, website or by emailing smarthub@rrc.qld.gov.au. The SmartHub is an initiative of Rockhampton Regional Council.