The 2013 Yellow Social Media Report reveals more online Australians are using social media, and they’re using it more frequently.

Compared to 2012, the proportion of online Australians who use social media has increased 3 per cent to 65 per cent, while the number of online Aussies who use social media daily has increased 9 per cent to 45 per cent.

A further 74 per cent of social media users read an online review before they purchase, with 58 per cent of social media research resulting in a purchase – an increase of 18 per cent!

These statistics tell an important story – the proportion of more Australian consumers who rely on social media to inform their purchase decisions is increasing. More importantly, if you’re a small business owner, they’re statistics you can’t afford to ignore.

Having been a small business owner myself, I know how hard it is to juggle all the things that need to be done to run a successful small business. You are the merchandiser, the finance director, the marketing director and the IT expert, every day.

“But, I don’t have the time!”

For each of you too busy running your business to consider Facebook or Twitter, some of the findings of this year’s report suggest that you can’t afford not to.

It’s not the case that social media requires a lot of time, or requires you to be an expert.

Social media should be viewed as an opportunity to attract customers and grow your business, because that’s where more and more consumers are looking.

Here’s are my six tips to begin planning your social media strategy:

  1. Talk to customers as if they are in your store or place of business. Social media is the perfect opportunity to start a two way conversation.
  2. Keep it fun. Sometimes it’s as easy as reposting something humorous that you find on your own wall – as long as it fits your brand.
  3. Get started by following a few pages in your industry to see what you like, or don’t like, about what they do. This will ensure you’re ready if you seek expert help in creating a strategy
  4. Think about which posts by businesses catch your eye the most and ask yourself why?
  5. Post a few photos around your business – of employees, of products on the shelves, of an office pet or quirk – people enjoy getting an insider view.
  6. Most of all, just try some things to see what works for you and your business.

Ready to get started, but want a little help? Check out Social Partner where we can help you put together a strategy and start managing your social media presence.