What Are The Best Social Media Platforms For Your Business?
No one wants to waste time and energy. And while we know the power of social media it is easy to either become overwhelmed and give up or jump excitedly into the next hot thing not really understanding the viability of specific digital marketing platforms to your brand. Social Media is THE new age of marketing. This is not a myth, but just as in anything strategy is the key.
Many hear Social Media Marketing and think just Facebook and Instagram when really these things can only be used to their fullest potential if the proper foundation is set. By foundation I mean your Website, Professional Images, Email Marketing, Logo, and Branding. All social media sites are visually based, as visual is the preferred method of ingesting content more and more. So much is driven by image, to be on the level it is important to have graphic design, images, and branding. Your website should be clean, easy to read and navigate, and should contain all information to properly relay what you do and how to contact you. Your Social Media sites should be satellites of your site reflecting back to it with consistent branding and vibe but with a dialogue created to the audience of that channel.
Another important element that DIYers sometimes overlook is SEO, Search Engine Optimisation. This is the strategic keyword usage and link building to increase your search ranking, which is growing more and more important. More than half of people only look through the first page of a google search, so even if they are looking for your service or trade, if you are not there they probably won’t find you.
Time to talk Social.
One mistake many people make is going into Social Media Marketing blindly, without any kind of strategy, and expecting to get results. Social Media is such a massive and transparent canvas that you need to map your way and understand what you want and how to get there. To better understand, here is a behind the scenes look at 6 of the most useful and popular social sites. The strategy really varies so greatly by business type, size, brand culture, development. The art and excitement of Social Marketing are that each strategy is different and much individualization goes into it.
The king of the channels, for now. There is no denying that Facebook is a powerhouse when it comes to engagement, flexibility, and advertising power. Facebook is a medium that encompasses being both visually and content-driven. Instagram and Pinterest are strictly visual, whereas Twitter and LinkedIn are content-driven. I cannot actually think of any brand that should not be on Facebook. Unless of course, it is some kind of underground Anti-Zuckerberg faction. Nevermind, because that page would probably get a ton of likes. From the view here and now, it does not appear Facebook is going anywhere. While it is alienating certain people due to the changes and aggressive ads, as well as losing some younger demographics due to their parents being on it that demonstrates its value. Facebook has become such a household name that now grandma and grandpa are signing up.
- Everyone is on it, basically
- Strong Business Profile
- Custom Graphics & Images
- Robust Ad Platform
- Visual & Content Driven
- Poor Graphic Design/Photos
- Over Promoting
- Under Posting
- Wrong Posting Style
Twitter marketing can be weird, at first. If you stick with it long enough it starts to grow on you. It made me a bit agitated in the beginning, you get to type about as much as you would get to speak before a rude person would interrupt you. I suppose that is kind of the point. Regardless, Twitter is a great medium for finding and connecting with people whether regionally or by interest. Whether you like it or not, Twitter people are TWITTER people. It is a very powerful channel of engagement when used correctly. Twitter is not a medium to simply auto-post from your Facebook page and never check it. There is a whole culture of retweeting, favoriting, Twitter chats, lists, and hashtagging. The people on Twitter know when someone is trying to fake engagement, there are so many people that do it. To really make the most of it get in there and find a rhythm. I can tell you it is worth the effort.
- Hashtag search of topics
- Customized Branding of Page
- Search People by Region & Interest
- Finding New Customers
- Powerful Customer Service Platform
- Twitter Advertising
- Auto Posting
- Not Engaging
- Being Inactive
- Over Promoting
LinkedIn is Facebook for professionals. Instead of a wall, we have our resumes. While it may sound bleak, LinkedIn is a growing giant when it comes to networking and business leads. On our personal page, we have our resume, the ability to connect with those we know, and connections of those we know in a pattern of “degrees”. There are plenty of options in the free account, the paid is more so if you want to get “introduced” to others. Although if you weave a strategic pattern you can eventually connect with someone initially out of your network. A great feature on LinkedIn is that your connection can endorse you for skills as well as write recommendations. This makes this channel a must-have for any creative pro, artist, or musician. LinkedIn also allows you to create business listing pages for your company. This is a great asset, as business pages like these are another boon to your online credibility and search ranking.
- Essential for Creative Pro’s, Freelancers and
- Great Company Pages
- Strategic Networking
- Content Driven & Visually Driven
- Unprofessional profile writing
- No Image or Poor Profile Image
Instagram is very simple, nothing profound just a photo app with some cool vintage filters and a whole hashtag culture. Simple and brilliant. Add to that seamless Facebook, Twitter and even website integration and Instagram becomes the essential visual content delivery medium. The secret to Instagram is properly tagging your images so they are searchable by others. Instagram is used by many to find products to buy. Food also serves as a massive trend on Instagram, visually appealing products will find a profitable ally with Instagram. It is owned by Facebook, letting us know it is not going anywhere. It is the best platform to reach younger demographics. A demo that is typically tricky to market to.
- Hashtag driven
- Visual Content
- Most Users 18-29
- Improper or Not Tagging
Pinterest is a growing giant and the go-to when it comes to visual content. There is no messaging, status updates, or any of that on Pinterest. It is the best medium for any creative visual service-based business and for selling visually appealing products. One of the most interesting aspects of Pinterest is its demographics. 97% of Pinterest’s Facebook followers are women. Women rule Pinterest, so needless to say if you are a fashion/Clothing Company, Health, and Beauty, etc this is a great medium for you. Users also tend towards a higher income bracket, making it a great medium to sell and promote high-end good. No lie, I recently saw a $550,000 Mercedes SUV for sale. For businesses, a board is created, you “pin” the images of your product to the appropriate board. The image will link back to your website, no matter who repins it. Making it very easy for your products to meet new customers and make an easy purchase scenario.
- Visually content-driven
- Popularity based on the power of content not followers
- Fast purchasing cycle
- Ability to target through Topics
- Powerful Search Abilities
- Ad Platform
- Poor images
- Improper Board Pinning
- Completely Visual Based.
Youtube is the most popular medium that people go to for great video content but also to look up products and services. If your videos are tagged properly, which is an art form itself, you will draw the attention you seek. A creative Youtube video has made many brands pop. It is important to really understand your audience with Youtube and speak to that. Youtube has now integrated its own insights so you can really see how your video is being seen. The ideal for most brands is a short attention-grabbing video that highlights your products, services, or company culture in a humorous, educational, or emotionally prompting way.
- Very popular
- 2nd largest search engine
- Visually AND content-driven
- Features Insights
- Potentiality to go Viral
- Easily and Commonly Shared
- Long videos
- Weak videos
- Poor editing and video quality
- Not tagging and/or not optimizing tags
- So much content on Youtube, you must work to stand out.
I do hope this breakdown of the different social media channels has led you a little more knowledgeable as to which channels would be best suited for your brand. You want to clearly define your goals and understand a strategy that will achieve them in the easiest, most cost-effective way. What Social Media sites have been the most beneficial for your business?