Social media networks are a great resource for businesses of every size looking to promote their company online. They are free to use, and also have paid advertising options specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences. However you don’t need your business to be on every network and it’s important that you choose and the social platforms that work best for your business so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.
To create a successful social media strategy, you need to familiarize yourself with how each network runs, the kinds of audiences you can reach and how your business can best use each one. We have profiled the top four social media platforms so you can learn more about them and in turn market your business better.
Facebook is the biggest social network on the Web. It has the most users and is the most recognised of the social media platforms. With more than 1.55 billion active users, Facebook is great for connecting people from all over the world, and locally, with your business. Facebook is not just the biggest network, but it’s arguably the most versatile one and easy to use.
It was launched 12 years ago and was used by students to keep in touch. In that time it is has grown into a web and social media platform where anyone can connect with their friends, family, organisations, businesses, celebrities and more.
Considering that Facebook has a wealth of options for any type of organisation, it’s a great starting point for your business, regardless of your industry. You can use it to share news, photos, videos, promotions, important company updates and more.
Twitter is another social network where you can post to your audience. With Twitter, you can share short (140 or fewer characters) text updates, along with videos, images, links and more. It is easy to interact with other users by mentioning their usernames in your posts, so Twitter is a great way to quickly connect with people all around the world. With its vast reach, Twitter is not only a great way to market your business but also an effective channel for handling customer service. For example, if you maintain an active Twitter presence, customers who are also active on the platform will seek you out to ask questions, express concerns or most importantly share their praise.
If you have interesting content, Twitter is also a great tool for quickly spreading the word. Retweeting and sharing other users’ content is incredibly simple, hashtags help boost posts, and if a user with a lot of followers retweets you, your content has the potential to go viral.
With Twitter it is also very important to find a balance in your communication, and not only share your own links and media, but also share interesting and relevant content from other Twitter users, so your audience don’t think you only care about what your business is doing.
This social media platform uses digital bulletin boards where users can save and display information they like in the form of pins. Users create and organise their boards by their chosen category. So, for example, as a personal user, you might have a board dedicated to ‘food’ where they pin recipes; another board dedicated to ‘house’ on decorating; ‘ and so on. It is also very useful for planning events such as weddings, parties etc. Pinterest is very visually oriented and every post has to be an image or video and like Facebook, it is also fairly low-maintenance in terms of post frequency. However, it can be time consuming keeping your boards organized and search-friendly.
Pinterest is also more of a niche network than Facebook or Twitter, so it may not work for everyone. Pinterest’s users are mainly women, and popular categories on the site are DIY projects, fashion, exercise, beauty, photography and food. That’s doesn’t mean that businesses outside of these areas can’t use the platform successfully, but it especially good for businesses within those areas.
Like Pinterest, Instagram is very visual and based entirely on photo and video posts. The network, which Facebook owns, has more than 400 million active users, mostly posting about food, art, travel, fashion and similar subjects. Instagram is unique with its own filters and photo and video editing options. This platform is almost entirely mobile (there is a Web version, but you can’t take photos or create new posts on it, and other functions are limited as well).
Instagram is another platform where more creative topics excel, so again, it may not be the best fit for your business, depending on your industry. If you want to succeed with Instagram, it’s important that the person running your account has a good eye for detail and has at least basic photography skills, so that the photos and videos posted to your account are high-quality. Even if your industry is underrepresented on Instagram; if you can find the right hashtags to link with and can post intriguing and captivating photos, you will most likely make it work.
For more information, help or advice on any aspect of social media, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Sinclaire Knight Marketing. To read more about what we offer regarding social media for business please click here