The use of social media platform channels is ever-increasing and is expected to grow even further.
The business world is moving fast and digital marketing is an important way to keep pace. From the smallest company to the biggest, determining the right social media platform is an effective way to engage with customers and generate new sales.
Of course, there are many platforms out there and it is hard to know where to start. You don’t necessarily need all of them so really consider which ones are relevant and how they will ultimately help you achieve your business objective.
Depending on size, industry and target audience, the social channel that works for your neighbour may not work for you.
For example, a funeral director or accountancy firm may find the informal tone of Twitter and Instagram inappropriate for their industry and audience. So think long and hard about what you want social media to do for you and how it can elevate your business.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the customer. Social media is a key tool in increasing engagement, but first, you need the right platform.
If your target audience is a younger demographic then this must be reflected by the platforms you sign up to. Instagram and Pinterest are typically aimed at younger demographics, whereas Linkedin is for more mature professionals.
Facebook is a great platform for raising awareness. For those companies that are fairly unknown within their industry, Facebook could provide vital exposure.
Creating a Facebook business page is a great way to communicate with your audience, not only showcasing what you're selling; but, why you're selling it. Posting team pictures, Facebook Live videos and hosting events are great ways to jumpstart introductions.
Facebook is also a useful platform for its integrated marketing tools. From Facebook analytics to Facebook Ads, you will stay in control of your page’s performance. Testimonials and online reviews are also a great way to enhance your company's reputation. Use your page to showcase your good reviews as well as the way you handle the bad ones.
Twitter is not for the lighthearted. It is fast and exposing, and companies have to be prepared to hear the best as well as the worst. It is particularly useful for starting conversations, with its customer support channels essential for retailers and hospitality businesses.
While it is important to be noticed, the platform’s wide audience means attaching hashtags to your posts ensures you are noticed by the relevant people.
Initially a platform for posting vacation photos, Instagram has evolved dramatically. For those with a product to show off, such as fashion or cookery, this platform will help you be creative. Interactive tools such as polls, quizzes and ‘stories’, will help you promote your fun tone of voice.
The platform’s biggest pull is User Generated Content, where users repost customers’ photos, videos and create custom hashtags to showcase the customer experience. Instagram is, after all, a visual-based platform, and it is the perfect place to put a face to your brand.
No matter who your audience is, they (probably) already use Youtube. It is the home of many a meme, and it is now a major player in the game of social media marketing. It is particularly useful for companies with a service to offer. For example, if you are a plumber, and you upload an instructional video about how to fix a cistern, you will get plenty of views from people searching for that very thing. Your name will then become associated with the expert help you provided, potentially leading to further engagement.
The key to Youtube is community. Sharing your Youtube videos on your Facebook and Linkedin pages, as well as your own website, will help its reach and greater exposure for your business.
Think networking. LinkedIn is perfect for engaging fellow professionals as well as finding new talent.
A recent survey reported that only half of small business owners use LinkedIn, perhaps due to general unfamiliarity with what the platform can offer. Nonetheless, LinkedIn remains a powerful tool for any business looking to grow; helping business owners build new relationships, stay up-to-date with industry trends and join new conversations.
For those intimidated by the fast-pace of Twitter and Instagram, Linkedin moves at a far more glacial pace. With the predominantly professional pool being decidedly smaller, there is less of a grapple for attention.
While seen as the ‘little sister’ of social networking giants, Pinterest remains an important tool for anyone with a product to sell. Check out our eCommerce website package, and link your Pinterest to an online store for a bigger sales boost.
Pinterest inspires interest in those looking for a new product to buy, so users are already active and engaged and will need less convincing.
When it comes to your social media platforms, it can take time to get it right. Social media involves a lot of trial and error, and you may realise what you don't want, before you realise what you do want.
Once you find your winning formula, however, it will be worth it. Building a social media marketing strategy on the right platform will help you implement your business objective and better support your customers.
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