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Social Media Marketing Tips from 20 Small Businesses (Part 1)

Sep 06 2017

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At PACK & SEND, we know how important social media is for businesses. We reached out to 20 small business owners and asked them the following questions:

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

 

We will be posting their responses in 2 parts. Watch this space - the next 10 will be published very soon!

If you find this article useful, please share it with your network so they can gain insights from these eCommerce professionals.

 

homeclearance

homeclearance.com.au

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

For many businesses, social media is not just an acquisition channel, it's also a customer service and customer retention channel. We're relying more and more on social media for all three of these.

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

Larger companies usually share two distinct disadvantages - the inability to focus and move quickly. Smaller businesses have these things on their side, and if you can work to your strengths by finding a niche, and being quicker than the competition, then I think you're in business. Of course, finding product market fit and having excellent customer service has to be a given.

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

Persistence! Running a business is really damn hard. Cash flow is a constant battle for most, good staff leave, and problems seem to arise when you need them the least. It's why persistence pays off... most people eventually put their business in the "too hard" basket, whereas those that win are often the ones who stick it out the longest.

 

getblys

getblys.com.au

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

As a consumer lifestyle brand, social media is an important marketing and communication platform for Blys. In addition to being an effective customer acquisition channel, social media plays a key role in our efforts to share our brand voice and visual style with our audience, helping us build the Blys brand into a household name in Australia.

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

The main advantage of startups or small businesses against larger companies is our ability to move fast and innovate and iterate at speed. Compared to bigger organisations, we're much closer to the problem we're solving, and can quickly optimise our service to better accommodate each individual. As an early stage startup, we know we can't outspend our larger competitors, but we can outrun and outsmart them by focusing on our strengths.

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

I'm a firm believer of the customer-centric approach when it comes to building a strong business. This involves focusing on customer concerns and their requirements, optimising the product/service to those needs, and continuously delivering more value to customers. I think sustainable growth can only be achieved if the business and the entire team focuses on these principles. Your true north must be customer satisfaction; the growth will follow.

 

EasyShed

easyshed.com.au

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

It is important for a brand to be present in all channels that their customers engage in. For a small business such as EasyShed we need to be active in the social media space, not only from a marketing point of view, but from a customer service stand point as well. A small business needs to be promoting their products and services to potential customers as often as possible, so that your brand is top of mind when they are ready to make a purchase. You also need to be available to your customers to provide answers and service through any communication channel they choose – social media is one of them, and is increasingly becoming the preferred channel of communication.

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

Smart digital marketing strategy, focus on fulfilling the customers’ needs and exceeding their expectations. Product innovation is also critical, with a constant focus on continually improving the product and service for the end user. Larger companies tend to become complacent with their position in the industry, and hence provide an opportunity for a small business to secure greater market share through providing the customer what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

Keep the customer and product/service innovation front of mind and focus. The customer is your king, and if you excel in the customer’s eyes, you will organically gain market share.

 

SoulArcher

traditional-archery.com.au

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

Very important for me! I feel that most of my business comes from Social Media.

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

There are not many businesses in archery, so I tried to build a niche in the market with Traditional.

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

Learn how to plan and execute. Being able to plan your tasks really helps you motivate yourself and not be overwhelmed with the day to day!

 

thevolte

thevolte.com

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

In the fashion business, Instagram is the Number One way we connect with new and existing customers. We actually had a big following before we launched as we started a fashion blog. We also love Twitter for engaging with the Australian start-up community.

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

We are very lean. We try to compete by being different and unique. While we respect and admire what the larger companies do, we try to march to our own beat. We constantly brainstorm out of the box ideas about how improve our service. We also offer very personal customer service. Because The Volte is like a child for us, we care deeply for all our customers. If a dress doesn’t fit, we do everything we can to ensure no one has a dress emergency. Not many companies can say they have an Australian-based 24-hour customer service team.

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

Being on a smaller budget, it pays to shop around and get recommendations. All our advisers came highly recommended and we really feel like they are a part of our team. While budget is important, it is more important to get quality advice.

 

Spacer

Spacer.com.au

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

Social media is an important channel for small businesses to engage with their existing and prospective customers. Consumers expect to be able to have a conversation with their favourite businesses, and social media is often the medium of choice today. It can be a very powerful way of driving your advocates to spread the word with their friends, and also acts as a pulse that allows you to adjust your business based on feedback from your customers.

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

Service is the key way that small business can compete with larger companies. Providing a more intimate and personalised level of service builds trust, loyalty & advocacy. The ability to more actively listen and tap into the needs and wants of your customers and act on these in a nimble manner means that you can get the jump on larger companies who often take much longer to make decisions and react to consumer demands and trends.

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

Always focus on the customer, customer is king/queen. Long live the king/queen!

 

Yoko

yoko.com.au

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

Social media is extremely important for small product-based businesses as it's a cost-efficient yet scalable channel that can grow together with the business.

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

Large companies typically have more processes and therefore longer lead times. Small businesses can leverage excellent customer service through fast response times, personalised assistance and detailed product knowledge.

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

Do what you do best and outsource the rest!

 

disruptsports

branded.disruptsports.com

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

It all depends on what the business is, I don’t think every small business needs to be on social and equally I don’t think all companies need all channels. It’s about keeping it simple and real.

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

I like to show off our custom branded equipment and customers. It gives people reassurance that there are real people desiring and using our sports equipment and that it is of high quality.

Having a strong point of view, be polarising and own it. It’s like a party, you’ll meet lots of people but the ones you remember are those that did or said something important. Love or hate them, you remember them!

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

For us, we focus on a niche. Designing your own sports equipment isn’t for everyone and we’re happy for that. You’re either up with tech, design and sports and want to be with us… or you're not.

Work out why you want to be social and what success looks like, are you trying to direct sell or build the brand? Have an authentic tone of voice.

In the words of Nike... “Just do it.” Don’t be scared, give it a go and learn by doing.

 

 

Kuduscc

Kudoscc.com.au

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

Extremely important as I don't have a large budget for advertising. I prefer to keep my pricing realistic without having to load it with advertising costs.

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

Competitively priced products and quality of personalised service!

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

Give 110% and clients will appreciate it. Discount 50% and they'll forget who you are the next week.

 

Mrcyclingworld

mrcyclingworld.com.au

1. How important is a social media presence for small businesses?

A social media presence is important for a small business but not necessarily critical. Plenty of small businesses out there are kicking goals without spending any resources on social media, while for many other businesses social media is their primary source of customers. It's easy to get caught up spending too much time on social media and writing it off as "work", for many small businesses it can actually be a poor use of time. For others it's everything.

2. How can a small business like yours compete with larger companies?

Small businesses such as Mr. Cycling World can compete with larger companies - and especially the large foreign competitors - by doing things differently. Need some bicycle tyres, tubes and lights express delivered out in time for the weekend's big ride? We can do that, while the bigger competition often can't. Price checking an item that most online and local bike shops sell? Don't bother asking us - we probably don't stock it and instead invest in products no-one else has thought about yet. It sometimes makes us look a bit odd or unusual, but I'm ok with that. Small businesses need to think differently and act differently in order to achieve results. There's no point trying to copy that slow-moving huge ship if you're in a speed boat - use your small size and fast moving agility to your advantage, customers will love you for it....and in turn so will your bottom line.

3. What's your Number One tip for small business owners?

Keep your eyes and ears open. Opportunities are everywhere, but often you need to be fast moving to make the most of them. Being flexible and ready to adjust is not only an advantage of being a small business, it's often also the most fun part. People involved in small business can enjoy the thrill of the never-ending 'bumpy ride'. The moment that the ride doesn't seem too bumpy is actually a concern - there's probably a big problem coming your way real fast. Keep your eyes and ears open!

 

Marketing small business social media

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