What can I do to make more people Like my page? Does social media affect my sales? Is Snapchat as big as everyone says?
The 2016 Australian Sensis Social Media report, released this month, gives us a peek behind the curtain of how Aussies think, behave and relate to social media.
Surveying 800 Australians and 1,100 Aussie businesses, we’ve got a heap of great insights we can apply day-to-day on our social media channels and answer the big questions. The report is huge and covers a lot of ground – so here is my summary of the key things I found which we can really apply every day.
Let’s get into it.
Why do people Like business pages?
According to the Sensis Social Media Report, most people follow brands on social media because they want discounts, exclusives, and giveaways.
However, a significant portion of respondents – 34% in total – Like brands for other reasons. Although these “others reasons” are not specified in the report, it’s reasonable to assume that many people Like a business page because they like the content the brand is posting. Whether it’s Buzzfeed making you lol or business advice from Westpac, how brands engage (and entertain) their audiences over social media is an intangible but important factor in their popularity.
This can be true even of brands that emphasise discounts and giveaways, which can be presented in an exciting, playful way to give your audience a thrill.
Key takeaway: Make people feel a little bit special on social media (or give away perks!)
Do people use social media when purchasing?
Does social media affect the sales path? According to the Social Media Report, it sure does.
When people investigate a new brand before purchasing, they don’t just look at the website. They look at the brand’s social media page. 41% of people will inspect a social media page before purchasing.
What are people looking for? Well, it’s not just discounts. People are looking for how well a brand behaves on social media before purchasing (more on that next).
Key takeaway: Your social media pages aren’t just for your existing community, but prospective customers checking you out to see if you’re reputable.
What gives a business street cred?
We often hear execs crying for bigger numbers on social media, but let’s face it: this is kind of a vanity metric. What do consumers really look for when they’re thinking of buying from a brand?
For 49% of consumers, how many followers or Likes a brand has isn’t important. Numbers aren’t the issue. What really matters is relevant content, community interaction, and regular updates.
Key takeaway: Numbers aren’t everything. What matters is content and engagement. Post consistently and connect with the people in your community.
Does anyone even look at reviews?
Another interesting finding in the report is that 51% of small businesses invite ratings, reviews or comments – leaving a little under half who don’t actively encourage or use ratings (see Page 60 of the report for more). This is a huge number, especially considering that 60% of consumers read online reviews before purchase. For the 49% of businesses that don’t seek customer feedback, this is a wasted opportunity.
Key takeaway: Get on top of your customer reviews. If a customer is unhappy, reach out to the customer and try to rectify the situation – you’ve got a 75% chance of swaying people!
Which social media platforms should I use?
We’ve known for a few years which audiences use which social networks:
- Facebook is used by over 90% of all demographics, who use it to catch up with friends
- Pinterest is huge with women in the 30 – 40 age bracket who use it for inspiration and planning
- Twitter has high usage with males 30 + who are keen for news
- Linked In has higher usage with business-savvy folk aged 40 +.
The Sensis report supports this take on social demographics, but also gives us great insight into the two hot new social media platforms: Instagram and Snapchat.
While Instagram and Snapchat are still predominantly used by young people, we can see an uptake in the figures by those also in the 30 – 39 age group. This means that we’re likely to see businesses jumping on to Snapchat in increasing numbers.
Key takeaway: What demographic are you targeting? What social networks are they using? Is your business on the right social platform for it’s demographic?
When should I post to social media?
Over 60% of every demographic checks social media in the evening or after work, which means this is a key time for social media activity.
On top of that, different demographics have a different relationship with social media. Those below the age of 30 are more than happy to check their social networks all throughout the day, including during work. Those above 30 – 39 will sneak social media in their lunch breaks, while those 40+ use it far more in their personal time at the very start or end of the day.
Key takeaway: Consider serving your content very early in the day or later in the evening and see if that has an impact on your social media engagement.
Do devices matter?
We can see from the report that those aged under 30 heavily use smartphones, but as the demographics get older, the usage is higher in tablets, and desktops.
This will inform not only when you post social content (desktop computers can’t be dragged into bed, after all) but also whether you need to ensure your content is mobile optimised.
Does your audience want smartphone-friendly vertical videos, tablet-friendly articles or big-screen photos on a computer?
Key takeaway: Consider what device your audience is using and use this to inform the kind of content you send out.
Based on the Social Media Report, there are quite a few things we can do to optimise our social media for the world of 2016. Here’s the rundown:
- Use the social platforms you want to target with your business. Keep an eye out for Instagram and Snapchat, as they are rapidly getting more interest from the 30+ demos.
- Who is your audience and when are they on social media? Are they on a smartphone or a computer? This will help guide what time of day to post your content, and if you need to ensure it’s mobile optimised. On top of that, after work is the key time that all demographics hit up social.
- People are wanting special offers from their social channels. If you can’t do that in your business, then make your users feel special.
- Create engaging, relevant content, and do it on a schedule: this is how consumers trust brands. Numbers are less important.
- Ensure your two-way communication is spot on as future customers review your social channels to see if they will buy from you. As an extension to this, make sure you’re on top of your reviews on social media because consumers use those to decide if they want to buy from you.
Want to know more?
Read the full report or get involved in the Twitter Q&A on Thursday, June 2nd from 10:30am – 11:30am. Get involved by tweeting @Sensis using #SensisSocial.
About Rachel Beaney
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.
Also published on Medium.