Social media provides you with a direct, authentic connection to your followers. It also provides you with a relatively cheap advertising channel to drive customers to your digital front door.

Social media 101
    <p>Businesses in New Zealand still don’t have a social media profile, so it’s a great opportunity to establish a presence, tell your stories and build a community.</p> <p>In the universe of social media there are a huge number of platforms to choose from, each with their own strengths. To be successful, it requires a significant investment of time, so it’s important for busy small business owners to pick the platform or platforms you feel are right for your business. If you’re new to the game, start experimenting with one format.</p> <p>To decide which social media platform to use and how to get the best results it’s important to consider:</p> <h3>1. Audience</h3> <p>To decide which social media platform to use and how to get the best results it’s important to consider:</p> <p>Where are your customers likely to be? If you sell to other businesses, then LinkedIn might be best for you. If you’re aiming for a younger audience, then Instagram might suit. Facebook has the largest number of users in New Zealand, so if you’re not sure, that’s a good place to start.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>2. Brand</h3> <p>While your audience may be on a certain platform, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s appropriate for your brand to be having a conversation with them on it. Does it feel right to be promoting your business in this environment?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>3. Story</h3> <p>Consider what you want to tell your audience and how you will tell it. What’s your point of difference? Is your founding story interesting? What’s special about your product or service? What do your customers love about you? If you’ve got a good angle, share it, and others might share it too. But there should be something in it for them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>4. Results</h3> <p>What are you trying to achieve? If you want to gain awareness, you’ll want to measure reach. If you want to drive action, you’ll want to measure things like clicks or enquiries. Fortunately, the platforms have made it easy for businesses to analyse the metrics themselves. But make sure you test, learn, experiment and try to find out why certain posts or formats have been more successful than others and then aim to replicate that.</p> <p>Consider what you want to tell your audience and how you will tell it. What’s your point of difference? Is your founding story interesting? What’s special about your product or service? What do your customers love about you? If you’ve got a good angle, share it, and others might share it too. But there should be something in it for them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With over 2.9 million Kiwi users - the most of all social platforms in New Zealand - Facebook is a natural place for businesses to start on their social media journey. While it is possible to maintain communication with your followers for free just by posting engaging content, the Facebook algorithm will only allow you to reach a small percentage of them, therefore it’s essential that you pay if you want to reach new audiences. Here’s how to make the most of Facebook ads:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Choose your objective&nbsp;</h3> <p>Like all ads, Facebook ads work best when you have a clear goal in mind. If you want to attract new customers, we recommend you start with 1-2 adverts and then build on these based on how they perform.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Select your audience</h3> <p>Next, you’ll be asked about your target audience such as their age, location, interests, occupation and other details. You can choose to target users who are similar to your existing followers but who may not be customers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Decide where to run your Facebook advert</h3> <p>Now you’ll need to choose if you want to run your advert on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or across them all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Select your budget</h3> <p>This is where you decide on your daily lifetime budget – and the length of time you want your adverts to run. These limits mean that you’ll never spend more than you’ve budgeted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Pick a format</h3> <p>This is where you get to choose from different advert formats that are all designed to work on every device. You can choose to show a single image or video in your advert or use a roomier, multi-image format (aim for 15 sec or less if you’re going for video). Ensure that your advert has a simple and powerful message, consistent tone of voice, and a clear call to action or your contact details. It also pays to keep your messages brief - Facebook will downgrade your post if more than 20% of your advert is text.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Submit</h3> <p>When you submit your advert, Facebook will choose the best time to show it to your target audience.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Measure and manage</h3> <p>Finally, to find out how your adverts are performing, you can track and edit your campaign in Facebook ads manager. If you’ve created different versions, you’ll get to see if one version is working better than another, which means you can make tweaks or adjustments if needed.</p> <p>Need help improving your use of digital technology and how you engage with customers online? Try the <a href="/content/asb/businesshub/en/businesshub/services/digitaljourney.html">digital assessment tool</a>, powered by Digital Journey.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>