There are many things to consider when making the decision to move your business or brand to social media. Social media is an essential part of the modern advertising landscape and is an excellent tool for connecting with your audience, growing your reach, and giving your brand a voice. That being said, social media for business can require choosing the right social media platform for your company. This can immensely aid in reaching your marketing goals.
Although paid ads or promoted posts can boost your brand’s reach, almost all of the social sites are free to join and are a great place to create organic content while not cutting into your ad budget. There are thousands of articles, videos, and courses on how to strategize and create your content, but the first choice you must make is what platforms to use. Let’s take a look at some basics of each platform and why they might be the best option for your business.
Consider your goals for reach and what platforms make sense for your target audience to use, but don’t always put a particular social site into too much of a box.
For example Pinterest is inherently a more women centered website, where 72% of users are women, but there could be a myriad of reasons why a male centered brand’s strategy could align with Pinterest, or maybe not! Do your research on how your businesses or products in your category have performed on certain sites and go from there.
Just because a certain social site has a billion monthly users, doesn’t mean it’s the best option for your brand. Consider what aspects of your brand you’re looking to grow. Are you trying to boost customer service? Drive website visits? Generate leads? Gain exposure? Collaborate with an influencer? Always go back to your underlying marketing strategy and goals.
Consider if using the platform is worth the time and energy and what kind of content you can create for that particular platform.
It’s safe to assume that if you’re going to launch on a social website, Facebook is the number one contender for your business. Aside from the fact that it has the highest number of accounts and daily users, Facebook has a lot of great features that allow pages to post virtually anything you could think of. From posts about your business, event scheduling, photos, videos, links, and even job postings and discounts, Facebook has a lot of options to get creative with your content.
However, it’s worth considering that Facebook’s algorithm can interfere with your reach. How often and how many people are directly interacting with your content affects how many of your followers see it. It’s estimated that less than 10% of your followers or page likes (this article helps distinguish the difference), will see your content, but there are strategies for improving your page rank on Facebook organically or you could always boost a post through Facebook Ads to help with its reach.
Instagram is an inherently visual app, and therefore would make sense for a store or e-commerce business to share photos of their products here, but there are plenty of features that go beyond basic photo sharing. Their stories are a great way to show more casual visuals and words in a creative way. There are plenty of brands that utilize stories to interact with their followers with Q&As and casual chatty video updates or demos.
Although Instagram doesn’t allow link sharing in their captions, you could utilize third party link sharing apps such as Link Tree and simply add “link in bio” to your caption, as many users do. However, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter might be better for businesses that consistently share articles or other linked-based content because not only do they allow link sharing, but also have programmed in previews so it looks more visually appealing than a long wordy link.
Additionally, influencer culture has become a huge part of Instagram. Although partnering with an influencer usually comes with money or perks beside it, it can be a great way to grow your reach exponentially.
Twitter can be an excellent tool to use to drive website visits and ultimately leads if used properly. Although its character limit could be seen as a negative, you can use it to your strategic advantage by crafting quick, witty tweets and by tweeting more throughout the day or week. Twitter supports both photo and video and also has polls which are all great ways to improve your post interactions. Through mentions and hashtags, users can easily stumble upon your brand with a quick search so consider the advantages of using them in your tweets.
Additionally, Twitter is a great tool to engage with followers and can greatly boost customer service. Whether it’s an issue with your website, a question about a product or service, or a positive tweet at your brand, engaging with your audience is made easy through Twitter.
LinkedIn is an essential tool for any B2B marketer, but it shouldn’t always be counted out for small businesses or e-commerce sites too. For one, LinkedIn can be used to gain new employees through their job listing option and once hired, those employees can list your company as their employer which makes your company seem more legitimate and gain massive exposure to your employees network.
Consider using other platforms to post to others, especially when you’re first starting out.
There’s an option to share Instagram posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr as well as Instagram stories to Facebook stories. You can also share tweets and LinkedIn posts to several other platforms including Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. This can be an easy way to post to multiple important social media platforms and cut the work in half, while still growing your reach.
Finally, don’t always underestimate other platforms like Pinterest, Reddit and Snapchat. Depending on your target, strategy, and content, these could be just as important as other social media platforms.
After you’ve chosen the platforms to bring your brand or business to, utilize tools to help with content creation and management.
Social Media for Business Best Practices
Once you’ve decided what platforms you want to use, maximize your time dedicated to them with scheduling platforms, editing websites, and a social media calendar. There are several scheduling websites and programs– even some included within the platform like on Facebook– that can help you stay organized and consistent with your content. Planoly, Hootsuite, and Buffer are great resources to check out.
A simple social media calendar can go a long way for your business too. It helps map out exactly when and where your content is posted and helps streamline communication among the members of your social media team. Calendars don’t have to be complicated. A spreadsheet or Google Calendar can go a long way in helping prepare and schedule content across multiple platforms.
It has become exponentially easier to share video content across social platforms, and software such as iMovie and Vimeo’s video editing tools allow people with basic video skills to create professional looking videos in a breeze. The big four, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, all support video. Big Commerce cites several statistics that emphasize the growth of video consumption across social media.
With stats like these, your business or company should consider video content curation and the beauty in video is it can function across multiple platforms, not just traditional websites like YouTube.
The decision to launch a social media profile should go under great consideration before taking the plunge to make your first post. Remember your target, your strategy and goals, and how the benefits and features of each platform can aid in your goals, and finally you can get started!