While social media has the ability to connect a wide net of people worldwide, it can also be used by companies to effectively hone in on your target market. Having a strong presence on the right social media channels can be highly beneficial for your brand. From a business perspective, it’s better to commit to 2-3 social media accounts and do them really well (eg. post frequency), rather than taking on five accounts that don’t retain their value. Keep in mind that you may have to change your messaging and create new content for each platform.
In an earlier blog post, we discussed social media channels based on user profiles. Now, we explore their purpose and benefits to help you decide where to invest your time, as each social media platform offers a unique user experience.
Facebook is one of the original social networking platforms. It is predominantly used to connect with family, friends and favourite businesses. Facebook users have the ability to opt in to see updates from the brands they care about by ‘liking’ or ‘following’ their page. Users can also share ‘status’ updates using text, images and videos within their network, and join shared interest groups.
Creating a Facebook business page is a great place to start with social media. All details, such as your location and website, are front and centre so customers can find what they are looking for almost immediately. Facebook also has the capacity for instant messaging to connect you with customer enquiries. Users can interact with your page by commenting on, ‘reacting’ to or sharing your posts. But as a business, it’s essential to be active on this platform, reply to comments and respond to messages relatively quickly.
LinkedIn is a social networking site tailored for professionals, designed to build industry connections and assist with career development. Users are able to promote their professional experience in a CV-style profile and share professional status updates with the wider LinkedIn community. Oftentimes, business professionals will follow companies they’re interested in to keep on top of the latest news and industry trends.
Businesses have the ability to create a business page, where they can identify their industry, and share company updates and relevant links (eg. to a blog post). Having a business account gives your team the opportunity to identify themselves as employees and be listed on your page. A LinkedIn business profile can be particularly helpful when recruiting new employees or if you rely on business-to-business (B2B) marketing. It’s important to encourage your employees to share the posts to their network. This will help to increase your organization’s reach on LinkedIn.
Twitter opens up a world of fast-paced instant updates, mostly from influential people. These short and punchy ‘tweets’ from individuals and businesses show up in a live feed. Tweets will show up from the accounts you follow or by searching for particular hashtags or topics. This is another social networking platform that enables you to list and link your contact details and share information about your business in your profile. Twitter can be used to post company updates, ‘tag’ companies or customers and ‘retweet’ positive reviews. Users also have the ability to use direct messaging.
As a business on Twitter, it’s important to post frequently, in our blog about social media posting frequency our experience and research suggests that 15 – 20 tweets per day is ideal. However, if you don’t want to post that frequently, you can start with 1-3 posts using targeted hashtags, then join in the conversations lead by industry leaders.
Instagram is entirely made up of photos, images and videos of anything and everything. The ‘feed’ itself is completely visual. Each post is typically accompanied by a caption and a number of hashtags, which can provide context or additional information. The image itself may also have text overlaid to provide more context and entice the viewer to read more below. Users can also post live videos and images on their ‘stories’. They then interact through comments, ‘likes’ and direct messages.
Brands are able to create a business profile, which can be linked to a Facebook business account for cross-promotion. Products are able to be showcased visually, and although you can’t provide a link on individual posts, users are able to provide a link in their page’s bio. Notably, verified users, or accounts with over 10,000 followers, have the ability to add links to their ‘stories’, which only last 24 hours. Having said that, “highlights” can be used to store the account’s “stories” for longer than 24-hours. The platform recently introduced the capability for ‘shoppable’ posts that can link directly to the product on your website. This is great news if you sell goods. If you don’t, Instagram still works wonders for brand awareness and engagement.
Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is a collection of images and ideas. These images are called ‘pins’ and are grouped together to create ‘boards’. Conveniently, each post has the ability to include a link. Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration and is an asset for e-commerce companies.
Businesses can create an account to promote their products on boards based on different themes (eg. Decks or wedding inspiration). And many companies see Pinterest as the leading source for website traffic, above all other social media platforms. It therefore pays to know what your customers are interested in and tailor the content accordingly.
Targeted towards a younger audience and available on mobile only, TikTok is considered interactive media. On this platform, users share short repetitive bursts of information using video (1-3 minutes long). Content ranges from beauty tutorials and health and wellness tips to news and trends. It can be used by businesses to share “behind the scenes” content such as “how to paint a wall in 10 seconds” or “how to create a chatbot”.
If creating a TikTok account for your business, keep in mind that it will take up more of your time than other platforms, since you will need to plan, record and potentially edit your content. However, if your brand appeals to those aged 34 and younger (particularly Gen Z – those born after 1996), TikTok is the place to be.
With the rising popularity and value of video, YouTube can be an excellent addition to your marketing strategy. YouTube users (unlike other social platforms) prefer high-quality videos with perfect sound, video and editing quality. However, creating high-quality engaging videos can be an expensive process. YouTube videos can be any length and much longer than those on other social media platforms.
Even if you don’t create much video content, it is a good space to store all of your professional videos in one place. These videos can also be embedded into websites. YouTube channels can also display important business information and link to your company website.
Sims Advertising can help you develop a successful social media strategy with different levels of involvement. Contact our team today to find out more.