If you haven’t already considered the benefits of using social media as part of your retail marketing campaign, now is the time to revise that choice.

The fourth annual Sensis snapshot of social media use has shown that while more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of Australian consumers are using social media, just 36 per cent of small businesses have adopted these platforms.

Those retailers that have started connecting with consumers via social media are significantly more likely to report better business performance, increased sales and boosted profitability. Interestingly, a presence on social media sites is also expected to improve recruitment outcomes, according to the 2014 Yellow Social Media Report.

Sensis Chief Digital Officer Kelly Brough explained that as well as creating a Facebook or Twitter profile, it is important for small to medium retailers in Australia to make sufficient plans regarding their online presence.

“Without a plan in place, and a way to track the success or otherwise of activity, their investment is at risk. The risk is also increasing as the proportion of marketing budgets spent on social media has increased in the past year,” she said.

Understanding your social media retail marketing campaign

There are many benefits available for retailers that embrace social media, including the ability to connect with and advertise to particular customer demographics.

For instance, while 95 per cent of Australia’s social media users have created Facebook profiles, retailers specifically targeting customers within the 14-19 years age ground could have significant success using Instagram as 53 per cent of internet users of this age are active on this platform.

Comparatively, older demographics are less likely to be using Instagram but can be found on sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn. In particular, while 0 per cent of 14-19 year olds are on LinkedIn, around one-third of adults aged 30-39 and 40-49 are active on the site (30 per cent and 33 per cent respectively).

It is therefore important for retailers in Australia to undertake do sufficient research into the sites available to make sure their retail marketing campaign is targeting the right consumers.

Author Pippa Kulmar

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