How can you be sure what social media channels are best for your business?
Social media marketing has grown rapidly over the past several years and offers an array of options and is still one of the most affordable and effective ways to build your brand, connect with customers and increase revenue. Navigating the ins and outs can be very time consuming and overwhelming. The good ole’ saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” can certainly apply when you are just getting into building your social media presence for your business. Jump in and try and do them all, and you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed and most likely unsuccessful at them all. Plan ahead and really focus on a few platforms and you will find yourself moving towards mastery.
Things to consider before jumping in…
- Social Media can be a time suck! The more social media profiles you have the more time you will need to devout to your plan and its execution. You will want to think realistically about your availability and your willingness to post and plan for each of your platforms. If you can’t continue to focus on each of your platforms and abandon them, this can actually potentially do damage to your business presence.
- What kind of business are you (B2B, B2C, E-Commerce)? Each platform will want to be approached with this consideration in mind. For example, if you are a B2B focusing on higher level business clients you will most certainly want to be on LinkedIn.
- Do you really know your customer? Consider, are they male/female and what age, education level, interests and buying behaviors do they have. Different platforms have different types of people engaging with them. You want to be where your customers are.
- What kind of presence are you going for? Will it be formal or informal and think about the type of content you will want to post to build your presence.
- Do you have the time and ability to manage your social media presence? Social media may be free, but think about the value of your time! If you do not have the time or the ability, do you have someone that can help you? An employee or a social media professional? BEWARE, A solid social media plan takes time to plan and execute. It’s more than just randomly posting. A good presence takes planning, dedication, diligence, and creativity. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, consider hiring someone to help you do it right.
Which social media platform should your business be on?
If you own a business you should be on Facebook. It is the largest and most diverse platform out there and has more active users than any other social media network. This is the place where the majority of potential customers are active. Facebook also offers the best data on its users making it easier to gain insights on your audience. This will help later when you want to run ad campaigns. In a way, Facebook also serves as a secondary website for your business. Many consumers will venture over to Facebook to learn more about your business and see what kind of presence you have. Facebook work best for businesses that are B2C and E-Commerce. If you are a B2B business, you still want to have a presence on Facebook. The reason, is simply your customers will most likely have a personal account and will want to research you. You will also want to build your presence in order to host events, run ads, accept reviews. Being active on this platform also helps your SEO (Search Engine Optimization.)
Important to know about Facebook – Because Facebook is the largest social platform out there, this means that more businesses are vying for exactly the same goal as you. This equals more competition. Due to more accounts being active, expect to only get an average of 4%-10% organic reach with each of your posts. That means if your Facebook account has 5,000 Likes, a post may only be seen by 200-500 people. If you want more visibility you will need to pay to play by “boosting” or running ads.
If your business has a highly visual component to it and you own an e-commerce business, this is the platform for you. This is a great space to show off your products, behind the scenes images, and be creative. In order to post to Instagram, you will want to be sure that you have a smart phone. In case you were not aware, Facebook now owns Instagram. This means that if you run any ads on Instagram, you get to take advantage of the fantastic data that Facebook collects to run your ad campaigns. All ads and boosts are run through Facebook Ads Manager. Getting good authentic followers is a bit of a challenge. There is a lot of automation on Instagram and it’s tough to get any solid conversion on sales. The main reason for having a presence is to help build your brand and showcase your products. Just know that the purpose of this platform is showcasing visual content, so you will want to be sure you have a great visual strategy in place to make this platform work for your business.
If your business is a B2B business (ex. business consultant, sales rep, Realtor, finance professional, company that serves business professionals etc.), this space is for you. You will want to be both personally active on your own account as well as create a separate Company Page. With your personal account, you will want to take time several times a week to engage with your personal connections’ posts. Share, comment and like their posts. The best way to build your personal presence is to connect with everyone you meet at networking events and others that could possibly be potential clients. You will want to take advantage of the “article” option and compose long form articles showcasing your expertise and consider joining a group in your industry. As for your actual business, create a Company Page. You will want to post to this regularly and share your posts on your own personal profile to help promote your business. Having a company page will also give you the opportunity to fund sponsored posts about your company.
If you own a business you should consider being on Twitter. The important thing to know is that Twitter takes a solid commitment. You will want to be sure you have the time for Twitter. The only way you will be successful on Twitter is if you spend time curating content, posting several times a day, retweeting others posts, commenting on posts and following others. Other people like connecting with active and engaged users. If you tweet every now and then, you will find yourself struggling to grow your followers. Twitter can be a fantastic tool to help network with others in your industry and can help you steer people to your website to learn more about your products and services.
If you own an e-commerce or very visual business and your demographic is female then you will want to be on Pinterest. The types of businesses that do well on Pinterest include Photographers, Food-related businesses, the wedding industry, fashion-related businesses, design and/or décor businesses, home and garden-related businesses, travel-related businesses, beauty-related businesses and professional bloggers. If you have great pictures and can create wonderful images/infographics you can do well on Pinterest.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
If you own a business you should have a Google My Business account. It’s no secret that the majority of people do their searching on Google. Have you ever noticed the information box that shows up when you are searching for a business on Google? The box also known as a “knowledge box” helps to guide potential customers to find your website, review you and contact you? If you have a Google My Business account and post to it frequently, you will have a greater chance of improving your search ranking. Google likes to support those who support it by being active. Yes, it’s another platform and more of a time commitment but this one is worth it to help your business be found online.
There are several other platforms to consider for your business that were not discussed in this post. Some include YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit, and Yelp. The ones that have been discussed are ones that the majority of businesses use to build their presence. For a complete list check out the Top 52 Social Media Platforms Every Marketer Should Know. You may find that your business is geared towards teenagers and Snapchat is where you need to be. The point here is to include the top platforms, and help you to get started in the right direction.
About the Author: Shannon Loy (The Social Ginger) is a Social Media Specialist/Consultant who is passionate about helping small business owners with their social media presence. To learn more about what services she offers visit her website at http://www.thesocialginger.com