Social Media Platforms: Which Ones Should You Use?
So, you’ve decided to start using social media to promote your business? Great! Where do you go from there? There are so many platforms these days, and they all have their own interaction forums and areas of expertise. How do you know where to concentrate your efforts for the best return on investment? We’ve put together a basic primer on four of the most prominent platforms and when and how to use them.
In social networking, Facebook has become king. They have rapidly added application after application over the last few years in order to capture as much of your online time as possible, creating rivals for Slack (Workplace), Craigslist (Marketplace) and investing heavily natively to make Snapchat obsolete. By some estimates, one in six minutes spent online (in total) is spent on Facebook.
Facebook serves three basic functions for businesses. First of all, it acts as an online yellow pages. Increasingly, people expect to be able to find local businesses on Facebook, the way they have expected to find them on Yelp and Google Maps for years. Even if you don’t plan to update frequently, having an up-to-date business page there is increasingly a must. Secondly, Facebook functions as an arena for social marketing, which uses social tools to connect, engage and build your brand’s following online. Finally, Facebook is useful for driving conversions, sending high-quality traffic to your website.
Facebook is best utilized sparingly, updating 3-10 times per week. Posting too much devalues each individual post, tires your followers and signals to Facebook that you might be a spammer. Focus on creating rich, quality content for this platform, over making many individual posts very frequently.
Also, if you plan to actively market on Facebook, expect to have spend money there. Organic followings take a very long time to build, and the bulk of your followers still won’t see most of your content. Boosting posts that are performing well already, and either directing people to your site or supporting your branding is becoming the standard for businesses. Facebook also has an easy-to-use Ads Manager that allows you to define and set campaign parameters and objectives for maximum impact.
This has worked out incredibly well with companies who have made an art out of tweeted responses. Substance and speed are key elements here, just like with any negative review. Businesses who are quick to respond, come across as genuine and actually address the problem can get a huge bump in brand awareness and respect. Also, humor can both assist you in addressing the issue and put a more human face on your company. However, Twitter is an incredibly active, fast-paced and high-volume medium. If you cannot invest the resources to do it properly, it is best to stay off entirely.
The social network specifically for businesses, LinkedIn, has seen a boost in popularity and utility since being acquired by Microsoft. Always a recruitment tool for white-collar industries, it has expanded into a business-focused content platform whose reach should not be ignored. Most popular for high-tech, marketing and administrative work, LinkedIn has become a bastion of peer-to-peer influence, where industry up-and-comers and established movers and shakers share and shape ideas about the current state and future of business.
A highly visual platform, Pinterest’s strengths lie with helping create brand awareness and discovery. If you have physical products, Pinterest can serve as a catalog of them. If you blog regularly, you can use it to collect posts on boards sorted by topic. Not all businesses will benefit from its specialized niche, so assess yours properly before sinking effort into it. Lifestyle brand categories, such as health & wellness, food & cooking and beauty & fitness tend to do very well. You can also link your pins to a Shopify account to allow people to buy from you within Pinterest, which can help heighten conversions by removing an extra step.
Now that you have this information, choose which platforms best complement both your industry and your management style. If you intend to use them more actively, create a social media marketing plan and a content style guide to direct posts for consistency and effectiveness. If this sounds exciting, but overwhelming, contact us today for a consult on how we can help you sell yourself on social.