What comes to mind when you think of social media? Do you think of keeping up-to-date with Aunt Carol’s travel photos, or even stalking your gym crush? Well Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and even TikTok are INCREDIBLY effective tools when it comes to marketing your business. Initially, the variety of available platforms can be overwhelming, so think of this as a helpful guide in getting you started.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Population Clock estimates that there are approximately 16 million active Facebook users in Australia alone. This equates to 64% of the total population. In just one platform, it’s possible to share stories, upload photos and videos, check in at your favourite places, message, tag, comment, like, shop, and more. In addition to providing businesses with a 24/7 page that customers can access, it also allows customers the opportunity to leave a review of a product or service.

In my experience, Facebook is generally the best platform for researching a business. Here, customers can see recent posts and explore how a business communicate. Remember, people may leave an undesired comment or review, from the outside we only know a business’ attitude from their response. The information in this response is extremely telling about the ethics and practices of a business.

Facebook features associated “Advice Groups”. Just search for your local area and you will find a “Questions and Answers” type page. On these pages, people from all walks of life share their experiences with total strangers. It’s possible that people are enquiring about your industry. By regularly checking these groups, you can effectively promote yourself and, in turn, lead to sales.

While Instagram shares many similarities with Facebook, it functions differently. Instagram is more of a “highlight reel” of photos and videos. For those searching for an overview of a business, Instagram is a good way to find something that resonates. Typically, this prevents you from having to scroll through excessive advertising, and you can generally find exactly what you are looking for.

…And, introducing TikTok. With a flair of creativity, you can turn a fun dance-number into an informative video. Next time you watch a TikTok, pay attention to all the subliminal messages and advertising that is being displayed. The options are endless, and imagination is the key.

When starting out, my advice is simple. Do your research! Simply review similar business or services and see what works for them. From here you can use your findings as inspiration for your own page. Consider how you want to represent yourself and just go for it. Develop your brand by finding the right platform/s for you and your business. You will discover that this may change over time, but you will also learn quickly what works and what doesn’t.

With the right use of social media, you can develop your online presence, build trust in your market, communicate with your clients, and advertise your services. Remember, as in real life consistency is key when building and maintaining relationships. Social media is no different.