Nowadays, you can’t really have a business without being expected to use at least one form of social media. But how do you know which one is going to benefit your company the most? You’re about to enter the social media battle–are you ready?
One of the greatest benefits of Facebook is that it reaches a huge amount of people and is the most popular social media site worldwide. As of the third quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.79 billion users—and that’s just counting the ones who are consistently active monthly. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find some of your client base on Facebook.
Facebook also lets you specifically target ads to reach people that are on your email list. You can also target people that are similar to the people that “like” your Facebook page. Targeting a lookalike audience can give you a lot of exposure. The Audience Insights tool lets you see the demographics of those that follow your page.
Facebook is also a great customer service tool. You can respond more quickly to questions that customers have than you could over email. Facebook also lets you set up tabs on your page to drive traffic to your other social media sites or your online store. From excellent user experience to a large scale of users, it’s definitely a strong contender in the great social media battle.
Twitter is a great place to give your brand some personality. You can have a little fun and joke around on Twitter while still providing customer service and user engagement. If you hit the right tone, you might gain more followers with humorous tweets than you ever would by keeping things super serious.
Twitter is also great for getting in on the latest trends. If there’s a certain hashtag that everyone is using, your brand can get in on the trend and get people noticing you that way. You can learn more about what people are looking for and what their feelings are about your company in real time. Their poll feature is a great way to get feedback. For example, if you’re a restaurant, have users vote on what the specials should be next week or what new dish you should serve.
Like Facebook, this is great for customer service, but it’s expected that you’ll have an even quicker response. Twitter users are used to real time, instant gratification, so you’ll have to someone working on the Twitter feed frequently to respond to users.
LinkedIn is known as the social media network for professionals. Having a LinkedIn company page gives you access to top talent to fill open jobs. You can always publish job postings, but you also have the opportunity to reach out to candidates you find using their search engine who have exactly what you want. Colleges are encouraging their students to create a profile to help them get a job—and to help you find ideal employees for your business.
LinkedIn is also extremely valuable for networking. You can connect with people you work with, people you meet, vendors and all sorts of other connections. Utilizing these connections helps you build relationships to grow your company. Joining LinkedIn Groups that pertain to your field helps you extend your networking reach even further.
Encourage your employees to interact with the company page as well. Have them write posts about their experiences in the professional world and with your company. This lets your company page have a bit of a personal touch, while still remaining professional.
Instagram drives more engagement than any other form of social media, which is extremely beneficial for returning customers. Returning shoppers spend more money than just one-time shoppers. You can set up an Instagram online shop and shoppable Instagram photos. This allows people to go right from Instagram to your online shop. If you post a photo of something they’re interested in, they can instantly click to go buy it.
Customers are already constantly sharing their own pictures, so utilize that for user-generated content. Get their permission to use their photos on your website or your own Instagram. Create a campaign for them to send you their photos to be featured on your website. It gives you a great photo element to make your website pop, and customers are excited to be featured and feel like a part of your brand.
While it might not seem like Snapchat is ideal for business purposes, but it still has its benefits. Snapchat is great for giving users a view behind the scenes of the company. With its story feature, you can take little videos and upload them so all your followers can see. This gives them a bit more of a personal look at your company and the people that work for you. Magazines frequently upload stories at events, such as a concert or red carpet premiere.
Sponsoring Snapchat takeovers by popular figures, like social media personalities, helps you boost your followers. Fans of that personality are going to follow you because they want to see that exclusive content from the takeover. You can also use this to demo your product and show people how it works. Amazon recently used this to promote the Echo, a product people were confused about, to give them clarity on its functions.
Pinterest is unique because people are especially open to marketing. They go to Pinterest for inspiration for home decorating, makeup and all sorts of other things. When surveyed Pinners were asked if they would rather follow their favorite brand/store or their favorite celebrity, 83% chose the store. 87% of Pinners have bought something because of Pinterest and 93% have used it to plan a future purchase.
Pinterest is great for market research as well. You can see what people are pinning to their boards to see what’s popular and what isn’t. Pinterest users are all about inspiration and creativity, so cater your posts to fit into their lives. Help them understand why they need your product in their lives. Create actionable content, too. If you’re a food company, post recipes involving your product that they can make and share with their friends.
Google+ obviously has an advantage because Google runs it. You have a better chance of getting targeted visitors from Google search results if you have a Google+ account. And Google search results are pretty important considering it’s the biggest search engine out there. When you share content, it creates a link back to your site so that people are more likely to see your page and add you to their circle.
Google+ also gives you the ability to format your post and draw attention to the important sections you want people looking at. The circles organization of contacts can allow you to target specific groups that would be interested in a specific post you create, and not clog up the feeds of people that wouldn’t be interested. Google+ posts tend to be more visible and less likely to get lost in a multitude of posts, unlike other social networks.
Of course, the best social media strategy is a combination of outlets. Which ones are the best for your business? Pick ones that you think will be beneficial to your particular brand, and start posting!
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dog, Bear.