Social Media for Small Businesses

As digital marketing students we understand the importance of using social media to create strong relationships with customers. However after doing the company report I realised how many small business owners don’t know how to use social media to their advantage. We consistently see examples of large companies running great social media campaigns such as Dove, Coke, Lorna Jane etc but what about the small businesses? I chose a small local restaurant for my company report so I set up a meeting with the owner to find out information on their marketing strategies. He informed me he knew the importance of social media, but he didn’t know where to start. He didn’t know what he could post to keep customers interested, so he decided to stay away from social media altogether. This is very common of small businesses as they don’t have as much content to share as large businesses (Investopedia). A common misconception small businesses have is that they can only post promotional messages (Moz). This is very limiting and largely unnecessary, marketing has changed so it is not all abut pushing the product, rather it is about building trusting, strong relationships (Moz).


                                                                                           Source: Markodat

Small businesses can post many different types of content in conjunction to promotional messages such as:

 Adjacent content- This is content which is relevant to your business or something which would be a common interest among your audience (jobsync). Eg The local restaurant I choose was a small Asian eatery. A common interest customers may have could be healthy eating. Therefore this restaurant could post recipes with a high nutritional content.

 Non promotional information- Small businesses can post photos which are “behind the scene” to the business has a more human quality to it (jobsync). The restaurant I chose engages in community service activities such as donating food. This can be promoted on social media to show how the business adds value to society.  Consumers will be more likely to view the business favourably as they are engaging in CSR.

 Responses- Customers may be posting similar messages on your social media page. These posts can be used as a basis for conversation. All posts don’t have to be unique, small businesses can look for trends occurring within their customers and post information relevant to that (Forbes).


                                                                                    Source: Forbidden Foods

A small business who has excellent social media use is Forbidden Foods. They post on their Facebook page on a daily basis with recipes their products can be used in, promotions on their products and restaurants that offer different culinary experiences (Forbidden Foods).

 Social media can benefit small and large businesses. Small businesses in particular need to understand the importance of posting varied content which will be of value to customers. It is important to realise that marketing is now about connecting with customers rather than pushing products on them.

 Do you agree that some small businesses stay away from social media because they don’t know what to post? What other content do you small businesses can post?


Forbes. (2013). Making social marketing make sense for small business. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from

Forbidden Foods. (2013). Forbidden Foods | Facebook. Retrieved May 19, 2015, from

Investopedia. (n.d.). Implementing A small business social media strategy. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from

Jobsync. (2014). Social media campaigns | A starter’s course! -. Retrieved May 19, 2015, from

Moz. (n.d.). Social media best practices – The free beginner’s guide from Moz. Retrieved from

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Viral Marketing : Viruses are great… well for marketing at least!

Internet usage has been rapidly growing worldwide. As of 2014 3,035,749,340 people were classified internet users which amounts to approximately 42.3% of the world’s population (Internet statistics). So what does that mean for marketers ? There are so many people using the internet that campaigns are now becoming viral. Viral marketing is a strategy that encourages people to pass on a marketing message (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011). Essentially viral marketing depends on a high pass rate from person to person therefore the growth pattern is exponential. Viral marketing typically uses social media to pass on a marketing message as it is convenient platform to spread messages to a large group of people.  Using relatively low budgets marketers are now able to design viral campaigns which reach the same awareness as high frequency TV advertising.


So how does a marketing campaign become viral (Berger & Milkman, 2012)? These 3 steps can be used to make a viral campaign.

  1. Finding the right people

To create a viral campaign you need to find the right people to spread the message. Research shows that 20% of people spread 80% of the marketing message. There are 3 groups of people who are required to spread a message.

  • Marketing mavens These are people who are seen to have a great deal of knowledge and connections, therefore their opinions are trusted. They have a large influence over other people. They are usually the first to receive information and they post it in their social network.
  • Social hubs– People who have an extremely large number of social connections so they can transmit the message to thousands of people. As example of this is Lauren Curtis who has a following of 1.6 million people.
  • Salespeople– People who receive the message from the marketing maven and spread the message by making it more convincing and relevant.
  1. The campaign has to be memorable and interesting

The campaign has to be highly engaging and unforgettable as people need to be intrinsically motivated to pass the marketing message to others. Strong viral messages usually promote a strong emotional response therefore people are more inclined to spread them.

  1. The environment has to be conducive

People will only spread a message if they think others don’t know about it. This means marketers should only tell an initial few groups of people who will spread the message to others. If marketing mavens/social hubs/ salespeople feel like everyone already knows the message, they will be less likely to pass on the message. Lastly some good luck is needed as all these elements have to combine at a particular time.


We have seen some amazing viral campaigns recently but one I love is the Dove real beauty campaign. Through a global report they found only 2% of women consider themselves beautiful. Due to these findings Dove released magazine advertisements, TV advertisements, Internet advertisements etc which promotes the message that everyone is beautiful and our differences should be celebrated. The online video “evolution” which was apart of this campaign was viewed 1.7 million times in the first month and reached over 200 million people worldwide. 26 million people participated in the campaign which resulted in high sales and brand awareness for Dove (The Inquisitive Mind). This campaign shows the power of viral marketing!

What campaigns do you all think are good examples of viral marketing? I would love to know your thoughts!  


Berger, J., & Milkman, K. L. (2012). What Makes Online Content Viral? Journal Of                         Marketing Researc JMR), 49(2), 192-205. doi:10.1509/jmr.10.0353

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2011). Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the             social media/viral marketing dance. Business Horizons, 54(2), 253?263.                                 doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2011.01.006

The inquisitive mind. (n.d.). The good, the bad, and the ugly of the Dove Campaign for                   Real Beauty | Magazine issue 2/2014 – Issue 19 | In-Mind. Retrieved from                                            campaign-for-real-beauty

World Internet Users Statistics and 2014 World PopulationStats. (n.d.). Retrieved from         

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Google Analytics: What can it be used for?

As marketing students we constantly hear the importance of understanding Google analytics. So what exactly is Google analytics? WhatIs defines Google analytics “as free service which provides statistics and basic analytical tools or search engine optimisation for marketing purposes.” It tracks and reports website traffic to allow marketers to analyse the successfulness of their digital marketing campaigns. It is now the most widely used web analytics service on the internet.


                                                                                    Source: Google analytics

So what can Google analytics be used for (Neil)?

  1. Improve visitor experience on your webpage

Bounce rate- Google analytics can shows marketers how many visitors are leaving your website without visiting another page. The reasons for this could be because your page takes to long to load, the content does not match what they are looking for or content needs to be changed to be more interesting to keep visitors on the site for longer. The bounce rate is more important for new vistitors as you want them to stay on your website.  Returning visitors have already made the effort to come back therefore it shows they most likely fin your website easy to use and your content interesting.

  1. Find out which campaigns bring the most traffic and conversions

Marketers need to know if their campaigns are successful and if they are generating sales. Google analytics allows marketers to determine which campaigns the audience responded the most strongly too. This can help in creating new campaigns which the audience will like and enjoy, which in turn will generate more sales.

  1. Allow marketers to find out where people click

Inpage analytics allows marketers to determine the percentage of people who click certain links within a webpage. This is important as it highlights which part of the website needs to be improved (as people are not clicking on it) and which part of the website consumers like (as it has a high percentage of people who have clicked on this part of the webpage)

  1. Find the location of your best visitors

Google analytics can show where the people who spend the most time on your website are located. Worldwide stats can be used such as the average time visitors spent on your site in a particular region. This allows marketers to determine where their strongest audience is located therefore advertisements can be targeted to those people in that particular region.

 Google analytics is being used by 51% of the fortune 500 companies (success stories). Nissan Motor Company stated “they gained deep insights into consumer preferences through Google analytics.” PBS said Google analytics helped increase their conversions and visits by 30%. This shows that this free software can provide a wealth of knowledge for small and large companies.

Want more information on what Google analytics can do? Click here (Cooper).

 Can anyone else think of ways Google analytics can help a business? How many of you would consider a free course to enhance your skills in this program? I would love to know your thoughts.



Cooper, B. (2013, December 19). The marketer’s guide to Google analytics: How to extract        numbers that drive action. Retrieved May 21, 2015, from                                                            extract-numbers-that-drive-action

Neil, P. (2015, March 5). How to improve your marketing with Google analytics data.                 Retrieved May 21, 2015, from                 improve-your-marketing-with-google-analytics-data/

Success stories ? Google Analytics. (n.d.). Retrieved from                                                         

WhatIs. (2014). What is Google Analytics? Retrieved May 21, 2015, from                             

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Big data= Better marketing

Big data. As marketing students we hear about it in pretty much every subject. But how many of us know what big data really is or how it helps us as marketers? Big data is used to describe a massive volume of both structured and unstructured data that is so large and complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate to sort through all the information (SAS) This amount of data poses many challenges, but also generates many opportunities. Companies can gather data by tracking what customers click on, what they like, what they search for, where they go etc.


                                                                                      Source: Forbes

So what does this mean for marketers? The relationship between the company and the customer starts a long time before the first sale (Spencer). Therefore big data allows organisations to engage potential customers when they are researching options, by personalising their products and services to match customer needs. Big data can deliver insights into who your customers are, what they need, where they are, how they want to be contacted etc. This allows marketers to know each customer as an individual so they can predict their needs and behaviours. These insights will allow organisations to deliver highly targeted messaged.  Big data can help increase customer loyalty and retention as the organisation knows the customer as an individual (IBM). Customers will feel more loyalty towards the brand as all messages will be personalised and targeted towards there needs. Big data allows for increases in marketing performance as it allows marketers to target the areas and channels that customers value. For example, many companies no longer focus on print advertising as customers no longer value this form of communication. Big data has shown people prefer to engage with companies through social media, apps, mobile marketing etc therefore marketers can focus on these channels to increase marketing performance.

While big data creates many opportunities, there are some challenges companies face when using these resources (Rieland). Organisations need to know which data to gather- more amounts of data is not better; it has to be a right data. Big data needs to be sorted and analysed therefore companies need to have the right tools to analyse the data. Once companies have the data, they need to know how to turn the data into insights which will impact customers.

So who uses big data? Nearly all large companies use some form of big data. Woolworths collects large amounts of information from their customers through Flybuys, Woolworths reward programs, their online stores and partnership companies such as Qantas.  The specials which are sent out to customers  are based on the data they have received through these channels. All the specials will be targeted based on what the customer usually buys as part of their weekly shopping (Psaros) 

Big data is definitely an area which is will grow in the future. So what are your thoughts? Do you think the tracking of customers is ethical? Do you think it allows for stronger marketing?


IBM. (2014). Big data and analytics. Retrieved May 28, 2015, from

Psaros, B. (2014, September 22). Coles, Woolworths, and Big Data: Could your choice of cereal affect your insurance premium? Retrieved May 28, 2015, from

Rieland, R. (2012, May). Big data or too much information? Retrieved May 28, 2015, from

SAS. (n.d.). What is big data?. Retrieved from

Spencer, J. (2014, November 19). 5 Ways Marketers Can Actually Use Big Data. Retrieved May 28, 2015, from

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The New Social Trend…. Social Seating!

We live in a time where everyone wants to connect. We want to be around people who share our interests, passions, ideas and goals. So get ready for the next big thing…. social seating! So what is social seating you ask ? Airline companies such as Virgin, KLM and Delta wanted to enhance the flying experience for their customers. So they decided to make the experience social, entertaining and exciting. Social seating allows you to link your Facebook or LinkedIn profile to your ticket when you check in (Durston). This allows you to connect with other customers who have checked in using their profiles. You can then choose to sit next to a person you find interesting or just send them a message to connect with them. This adds a social element when flying since so many people view flying as a boring experience. Many people who fly for business say they would love to connect with others who have similar careers, interests, passions etc. Imagine sitting next to someone who worked in your ideal role, and being able to talk and connect with them for a couple of hours (Fox)!


                                                                                        Source: Travel CNN

These airlines saw a large increase in customer satisfaction since they were adding more value for their customers. Through embracing digital marketing, these airlines have aimed to differentiate themselves from their competitors. A study undertaken by SimpliFlying revealed that 80% of passengers believed the person sitting next to them played a key role in their flight satisfaction. Consumers had the option to choose who they were sitting next too, therefore their satisfaction increased since there were interesting conversations and new friendships being formed. The idea of social seating proved to be popular for airlines, therefore it is now being rolled out in other areas such as trains, hotels, bars, sporting events etc.  While this new trend allows for greater communication and connection, it also causes problems of too much sharing. What happens if you are sitting next to someone who chose you, but you don’t really like them? Will this just become a glorified dating service when travelling? What happen to travel being a time where people can just relax and be left alone with their own thoughts?

So what do you think of social seating? Great new idea or too much communication? I would love to know your thoughts.


Durston, J. (2012, June 5). Social seating: First airlines, then everything else. Retrieved May 21, 2015, from

Fox, L. (2013, May 9). Social seating one year on: move over airlines – hotels, rail and events get a piece of the action. Retrieved May 21, 2015, from

SimpliFlying. (n.d.). Research SimpliFlying – The leading airline marketing consultancy. Retrieved May 21, 2015, from

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Calling all animal lovers

There is always a warm feeling inside of me when I see social media being used for charitable purposes. I think many of you would agree with me on this. It is so often that social media is used to promote a “perfect” life and a narcissistic culture, so it’s great when you see it making a difference in a positive way. WWF is an example of a NFP firm who has an excellent use of social media. They are committed to protecting animals and the environment. I chose to do my instructional video based upon them which you can see  below

A campaign which really struck a cord with me was their #lastselfie promotion. Selfies have become a prominent part of today’s social media culture. Everyone wants to prove they were at a certain event, a certain place, looked a paticualar way etc. WWF used this trend in social media to help generate interest and support for their causes (Castillo). They used Snapchat to randomly send users a unique picture of an endangered animal for 10 seconds. The message which is shown at the end of the 10 seconds reads “don’t let this be my #last selfie” or “will you let this be my #lastselfie?”



I think this was a brilliant use of social media to create awareness about the endangerment of animals. The use of Snapchat mirrors what is currently happening in the environment. These animals are so close to becoming extinct that if no action is taken these animals may really disappear. The line “will you let this be my #lastsefie?” induces sadness and guilt in users. It makes people think about these animals and the fact that future generations may never see them alive. Users would be expecting to see a funny photo of their friends but instead they are shown this confronting image. This campaign highlights the urgency of the situation so more people would donate to help support the cause. Within the first eight hours, there were 5,000 tweets being viewed on 6 million Twitter timelines (MMA). After just one week, 40,000 tweets hit 120 million twitter users. They reached their monthly funding target in 3 days. It had a strong effect on me and I have donated to the WWF campaign.

This campaign shows how social media marketing is especially useful for not for profit firms as social media platforms are less costly than traditional platforms such as radio and TV (Sprout Up). This allows them to pass on more donations towards their causes. When social media is used in a different way it can strike a chord with consumers which leads to the promotion going viral.

So what did all you think of this campaign? What are your thoughts of social media being used to promote charitable causes? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Castillo, M. (2014). WWF snaps #Lastselfie of endangered animals. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from

MMA. (2014). #lastselfie. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from,%20generating%20press%20and%20fundraising

Sprout Up. (2013). Social media marketing-why is it important for not for profit firms? Retrieved May 20, 2015, from

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Sleep, Sleep, Sleep!

“I would rather be sleeping right now”, “I wish could be sleeping right now”, “I just want to sleep!”

sleeping-in-class-level-brazillian_o_656459-sysr6i Sleeping-Man retunof kings

                        Source:  University of Ohio                                                      Source: Return of Kings

These are some of the most common phrases I hear around university. We all love to sleep! So what if while we were sleeping, our phones could help cure cancer? Samsung in collaboration with University of Vienna, have released an app called the PowerSleep (Robarts). Our phones don’t do much when they are charging overnight, so this app allows smart phones to run some scientific tests.  The app begins to process data from the Similarity Matrix of Proteins  database (Creativity online). The phone runs tests which decipher protein sequences in order to help with medical advancements in areas such as genetics, heredity and cancer. The results of these tests are sent back to cancer research centres where they are used as part of scientific research. When a user connects a power supply, connects to wifi and sets their alarm, their phone starts processing data to further medical advancements. This app allows android users to make a change, while they are sleeping.


                                                                                           Source: Gizmag

I think this was a very clever app for Samsung to release! It embodies their commitment to new technology and helps consumers view the company in a positive way. Everyone is aware of the ongoing battle between Samsung and Apple, therefore this app allows Samsung to differentiate themselves from Apple (Vanity Fair). Samsung operate in an environment which is consistently changing, therefore innovations like this app can help them maintain their strong market position. This app allows Samsung to market their brand in a positive way which may influence customers to purchase their products. When using this app no advertisements or self promotion of Samsung occurs. I think this is a great idea since it allows consumers to view Samsung as a company who really want to help make a difference in science, not just promote themselves. This app really shows how digital marketing is not always about pushing products, rather it can be about building stronger relationships with customers.

So what do all of you think? Would using this app help you view Samsung differently? What do you think about this idea? I would love to know your thoughts!


Creativity Online. (2014). Samsung app lets you donate to scientific research while you sleep. Retrieved from

Robarts, S. (2014, February 14). University of Vienna app uses your phone for research while you sleep. Gizmag.
Retrieved from

Vanity Fair. (2014). The great smartphone war: Apple vs. Samsung. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from

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