Interacting with Social Media

Social media is a fast paced set of communications platforms that is quickly becoming one of a marketers most used tools. With 15 million Australians using Facebook alone (or 2.27 billion world wide1), Australians and our international friends alike are very ‘social’ people.

What does this mean for the Angus world?

Social media gives you access to an online community, to learn from and market to.

It can help Angus breeders with goals such as increasing brand awareness, increasing sales and web traffic and enabling community engagement with their brand / stud or business. To do this you need to establish yourself as a business somebody wants to engage with.

The key is finding the difference between being a brand people engage with on social media and being one they scroll past in their feeds. Some things to consider would be:

  • Let them know who you are: Your personality needs to show through and not be a cookie cutter image of your competition
  • Make your profiles cohesive, this means planning how all your social channels can have an integrated image and represent your brand or any current promotion or sale you want to promote. People should be able to ascertain who you are and what you do at a glance
  • Be creative with your posts – you want people to notice you, and follow you to create further engagement
  • Interact with others – tag away where appropriate, that way you are accessing your tagged business or persons audience as well as yours, think of it as double exposure with one mention
  • Get onboard with hashtags – appropriate hashtags can help promote your message, the more people use your hashtags the more traction you get and the more your message will travel with minimal effort
  • Experiment with content wording – there is no perfect template for your content, some weeks you will hit the nail on the head perfectly, some weeks you will wonder why no one is engaging with you. Trial and error is a great way to find out what works and what doesn’t for different types of content for you individually
  • You can have an opinion, however it should reflect your brands values and not leave followers unsettled, victimised or questioning your brands principles, there is a difference between being bold and rocking the boat

One of the biggest perks for Angus breeders is that social media gives you a free or cheap advertising platform. This allows those with limited budgets the opportunity to level the marketing field with bigger budget businesses and target a younger or more internet driven audience. It is important to research your target demographic and find out as much about their social media habits as possible to take full advantage of this though.

Things to consider are:

  • When do they look at social media
  • Which platforms are they looking at
  • What are they searching for and why?

It is also important to realise, if you are looking to target different demographics, you need to research each one and be prepared to devise a different approach for each depending on your desired outcomes.

The fact most platforms boast scheduling capabilities is also helpful, as you can plan your weeks ahead and set it on auto pilot.

As an Angus breeder it is imperative that you take a positive approach to new and existing technologies as they emerge, and fortunately or unfortunately – depending who you ask – the social media revolution is here to stay, so it pays to do your research and see how it can benefit you and your business, and shape the way you use it to fit in with your lifestyle and ambitions.

Differentiating between a business and personal account

For the sake of your business being taken seriously and not losing both current and potential customers, learn to differentiate between you – you as a person on social media and your business – your bread and butter.

These two personas on social media are different, but both should reflect your business values.

The ‘you’ that is there for a good time can post what they want, like what they want and interact with whatever pages you want. However, it should be noted that you and your actions are a direct reflection of your business in most peoples eyes.

The ‘you’ that is your business page or account does not have the above liberties, think of it as an extension of your job. You are there to market your brand, remain relevant and provide up to date information about your stud or business. This means keeping everything ‘above the board’ and most importantly, on brand. If your branding has a fun and witty personality then make sure this comes across on your social channels, the same goes if you are a statistics and fact driven brand, this needs to transpire to your followers.

Not differentiating between personal and business accounts can cast a very dark shadow over your business depending on your behaviour on social media, so it is important to remember that you are searchable by anyone at any time, and bad behaviour on your business account especially can negatively impact your business.

Word of mouth is still relevant on social media, and it travels much quicker across the internet than between people in a town.

‘Social’ decorum

Whilst you have more freedom with your personal account, there is still a sense of social decorum that should be upheld, some main points including:

  • Don’t swear, post anything threatening or abusive
  • Think twice about sharing racist ‘memes’ or images
  • As a general rule, if you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying it to ones face, you shouldn’t post it
  • Try not to make negative comments about a person / businesses work or achievements – if you have strong opinions that you feel you need to share, messaging them directly is a much more dignified and respectful approach. You wouldn’t want to be treated in this manner, and neither do they
  • Be polite and present yourself in the best possible way
  • Remember that once its written on a public forum, it’s very hard to cover your tracks

If there is one take away from this article it is that while there are social and behavioural expectations with social media, it is not an overall negative space and can be used to broadcast a positive image of your business.

In order to harness the positive aspects you need to decide what your goals are and create a plan for how to achieve them through this marketing medium, as you would when considering any other sort of advertising or business venture.

Quick note:

Social Media Statistics Australia – January 2018

  1. Facebook – 15,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (steady)
    2. YouTube – 15,000,000 Unique Australian Visitors per month (UAVs)
    3. Instagram – 9,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (FB/ Instagram data)
    4. – 5,700,000
    5. WhatsApp – 5,000,000 Active Australian Users
    6. LinkedIn – 4,200,000 Monthly Active Australian Users approx
    7. Snapchat – 4,000,000 DAILY Active Australian Users (Snapchat data)
    9. Twitter – 3,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users approx
    16. Pinterest – 290,000

Stats Source: Vivid Social – Social Media Agency.

(All figures represent the number of Unique Australian Visitors [UAVs] to that website over the monthly period – unless otherwise stated above. Facebook Data includes users of desktop, mobile, application and messenger services). Statistics from Statista: The Statistics Portal (Monthly users), as at 12/12/18