Social media is important for businesses wanting to promote their online exposure, and especially for creative businesses, as it can be expressed visually through social media channels. Not all social media platforms are relevant to every business, so it is important to know which ones to use for yours, as there is a lot of time and energy into marketing strategies and you want to make sure you are putting them into the relevant ones.
For creative businesses, it is suggested to use Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. They are free platforms, however further marketing and exposure can be achieved through paid advertisements. If you want to create a successful social media strategy, you should consider who uses each platform to see which ones would engage your target market.
Facebook is the biggest and oldest social network online, with the most users from all over the world. It can be used to connect people with your business through the Pages option. Facebook for Business has several options to engage your market. Our most commonly used options are:
Page Post Engagement Ads: These ads are to get more people to see and interact with (like, comment, share, etc.) your content. It is available under each post as a Boost to get more viewers who already like or follow your Business Page
Page Like Ads: These ads help more people find your page so you can get more page likes to generate a larger pool within your target market
Clicks to Website Ads: These ads send visitors directly to your website, and you can choose a specific page of your site to advertise. For example, on Valentine’s day many businesses send people to love related products
Offer Claim Ads: If you want to offer a special deal or discount, you can use these ads to spread the word to new customers. Many small businesses use this for Sales and promotions.
Facebook ads allow you to target the right audience for your brand based on selecting people at a selected location, with certain interests or demographics. Facebook is also a great way to promote an event and invite people and keep them updated and interested.
This form of social media is only capable of short (140 characters or fewer) text, as well as videos and images. It is great for interacting and a quick way to spread news. Creative businesses don’t use Twitter, as it isn’t their primary market and it isn’t the most visual and creative network.
If you are a creative business, or you want to appeal to creative people, Pinterest is essential. This platform allows users to save and categorise content by “pinning” digital bulletin boards. It is quite a niche network and is not for every business, but as creative businesses sell visual products, it is perfect to share as it links directly to the online shop. Many businesses make boards including Valentine’s Day and pin a mixture of their products and other brands.
The market using Pinterest is primarily female and interests include DIY, fashion, food, and photography. Businesses in these areas would benefit from using Pinterest and it doesn’t need frequent upkeep.
Instagram is a great social tool for creative businesses as it is based purely on photos and video media. This platform is different to the other in the way it is used mostly for mobile phone or app use. It is important to take good photos or post well designed visual content, so make sure the person using it is a creative or visual person. Hashtags link different images so people can search by a hashtag, such as #fashiontrend is tagged by many interested people and businesses in this industry. The images then make a collection and can be searched easily. Advertisements can be run through Facebook and Instagram simultaneously for your campaign as they are owned by the same company which has its benefits. You can easily see the results on these platforms through the Insights feature or analytics to see which campaigns are working.
Snapchat is set apart from the other media channels in the way it only stores the content for a short amount of time. You can create stories which are public using photos and videos that can only be taken on the app in the moment it happens, not using old media. The video then deletes itself after a short amount of time. The content is rough and unpolished, as it is temporary and it can be used for behind the scenes creating a real life authentic story of the people behind the business. Many small creative businesses who target the older demographic doesn’t use Snapchat, as Instagram has introduced the same video and photo temporary story option. Snapchat demographic is mostly young teenagers, so if your business is targeting this age group then Snapchat is for you.
Newsletters and a mailing list of contacts is very important for selling products, as well as keeping your interested active market engaged and up to date on your small business. The design of these newsletters is crucial, as people’s inboxes are bombarded with sales and new products, so it needs to look attractive and engaging. Small creative businesses usually make sure the photography is professional and the design is considered and unique. You can outsource this if you don’t have the resources in-house. One great free newsletter email marketing platform a lot of small creative businesses use is MailChimp and there are many others. They have basic templates which you can easily create a design to best suit your images. Make sure the email description title creates interest, includes an attractive benefit and it doesn’t need to include your company name as that appears in the email address.
Have a clear header on the top and include links to your other social media channels, as each strategy should apply to all. Make sure there are lots of graphical components and not too much text, as people want to know information in a fast and captive way.
Blogs are another great marketing media to create content, which is not directly selling something. It also helps with SEO, making your website more searchable on the internet.
Social media and digital marketing, including newsletters, are a cheap easy and fun way to generate interest and exposure to any creative small business. Each creative business needs to assess their target market and which social media platforms that these individuals would be using, to choose the most relevant for each business. Facebook is the most used and least niche, so it is recommended starting with that one. Making strategies are important and these campaigns will be modified across each platform to maximise the exposure. It would be seen visually with images through Pinterest, written in text on Twitter or as a temporary video on Snapchat. Setting budgets would be ideal and using the Insights available to see if your application is successful. Social media and marketing is essential to engage with your market and keep them updated and interested.
About the author
Milenka Osen works at La La Land shop, an Australia-based online greeting card shop. She specialises in design and marketing for La La Land and runs the online store. She formerly was the creative behind TMOD, which is now one of La La Land’s unique stationery brands.