The biggest question I am asked from business owners is...."What social media platforms should I use for my business?" It is a great question and one that is not easily answered as not all social media platforms are created equally. As I am unable to speak to specifics, I will give a few guidelines for various platforms to assist in your social media efforts.
Just as this quote states, the key to picking a social media platform is choosing the ones that the majority of your customers are on. Some companies have the resources to be on all social media platforms, but for most businesses social media is time-consuming which is why you must pick the platforms that will give you the best reach and engagement with your customer base.
Now for social media platform overviews:
For the time being Facebook is still one of the most widely used social media platforms for businesses today. One of the things I like about Facebook is the customization control you have on Pages and this allows you to direct people to the areas of your page using 3rd applications. Since such a large majority of the population is on Facebook it is likely that your customers are on this platform. Of all the social media platforms, Facebook is the one that has the best and most strategic advertising options as well. This means if you want to invest in advertising on social media, this is the platform that will allow you to target more narrowly than the competing social platforms. So as a general rule, I normally recommend the majority of businesses to have a business page.
Twitter in my opinion is a platform that has a lot of functionality to create conversation with customers and it is far easier to gain a following on Twitter more quickly than other platforms (granted there are strategies to do this). The problem with Twitter is that this platform can feel hit or miss if you are not using it properly and do not understand how to use it...such as the use of hashtags. As a general rule I always encourage brick and mortar businesses for have a Twitter account since it is far easier for a customer to tweet at you at your location than searching for your other social media platforms. Also if you are planning on hosting events I recommend Twitter as it can be used for easily tracking conversations using hashtags.
LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B businesses. This platform features your professional self and is great to connect with other businesses. Do not expect to be pushing much B2C business, but for those of you wanting to get your foot in the door and network, it is the platform for you. The key to LinkedIn is being consistent and sharing content that is valuable and not continually self-promoting. People want to grow professionally on LinkedIn and if you add to their growth through sharing knowledge they are more likely to do business with you.
If you have a website that is very media and photo heavy, Pinterest may be for you. The main goal of Pinterest is to be a source of website traffic, which is done through "pinning" images from your website. But be careful, promoting too much of your own content and not engaging on other content on Pinterest is social etiquette faux pas. For general industries that are popular on Pinterest, simply take a look at the large search categories, such as Weddings and Food & Drink.
Nor for a platform that is even more photo friendly...we have Instagram. This platform has gained a lot of exposure lately and will continue to see growth in the years to come. This platform is becoming popular because it seems to be a quieter space as compared to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Businesses that will see success on Instagram are those that produce quality photos. Typically businesses that are B2C tend to have better success on this platform. If you are unsure if you should engage on Instagram, think through the eyes of your customers and whether they would likely engage in photos of your business and its culture.
Vine is a relatively new platform and many brands are getting on the Vine bandwagon. In my opinion Vine is great if you have creative video concepts. If you struggle with creating lots of creative content Vine might not be for your business. This platform is a large form of entertainment so if you are going to engage, be entertaining as those are the videos that will be more likely to spread.
Now YouTube may not seem like a social platform, but it is. Honestly I wish that most businesses were on YouTube as it is a HUGE driver of SEO for your website and online traffic. YouTube is owned by Google and if done properly will get your better results than blogging alone. Most businesses think that in order to see success as a brand on YouTube that you must have professional videos, which as we all know can be extremely costly. In reality the key to YouTube is adding value to people and that is more important than spending tons of money with professional videographers. I always recommend having a few professional videos for your website, but simply using your computer camera is enough to get your point across on a daily basis.
If you would like help figuring out which social media platforms you should invest your time and energy on, email or contact me today.
If this post struck a chord with you and you are ready to increase your exposure online, then look no further. I am here to help you be able to get back to what you do best and I can handle the rest.
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