Want to boost your business’s social media presence but don’t know where to start? With so many options available, it can feel like an overwhelming task. But by narrowing down the options and concentrating your efforts on just a few social media platforms, you can reap great rewards. Our guide to social media networks will help you to get on the right track to online success.
Every business should at least have some social media presence. As well as providing a channel for your customers to interact with your business, it can also drive traffic to your website, turn online haters into lovers and help you engage with the top social media influencers.
Developing a social media strategy
So, you’re aware of the importance of social media for business; now what? Before you decide which social media platforms your business should be on, you need a clear social media strategy.
- Determine your goals - Be it to reach new demographics, or to learn more about your consumer needs and online behaviour, be sure to have a clear understanding of your reasons for maintaining an active social media account.
- Determine your audience – Find out which social networking sites that your audience is active on. This will vary depending on the nature of your business and whether you are B2B or B2C. We’ll further break down which networks suit different audiences below.
- Prioritise networks – Once you know your objectives and audience, it’s time to choose which social media networks you should be on. The key here is quality, rather than quantity; you only want to invest in resources for the platforms that will be of value to you.
Social media networking sites overview
To help with your decision in prioritising social media networks, here is a list of some of the most popular sites with guidance on which ones may be right for you and your audience.
With 1.32 billion daily active users, Facebook is by some distance the most widely used social media platform. Given its size alone, it is one your business should almost certainly be on regardless of your audience, especially as a linked profile will improve your website’s SEO. Facebook is the most influential network on consumer shopping decisions and particular focus should be placed on it if you are a B2C company.
LinkedIn is an essential site for all B2B businesses but should be used by B2C companies also, especially for employer branding purposes. It has half a billion users, targets professionals and has an older average age group than many other sites. LinkedIn is an ideal platform for sharing original content and elevating your business as a thought leader.
Twitter has 330 million monthly active users and is another platform that all businesses should consider joining. It is a fast-moving place that customers are quick to turn to with feedback or issues concerning your business. If customer service is an important element of your business, maintaining an active and responsive account makes absolute sense. It’s also a great platform to build customer loyalty, so keep followers up-to-date on company news and share enjoyable posts that resonate.
Instagram is a platform suited for B2C companies much more than B2B. It has recently surpassed the 1 billion monthly active users landmark a younger audience and industries like travel, food, health and fashion perform particularly well. By its nature, Instagram is an app about beautiful images. If your company has visually appealing products, or can present its services in a visually appealing way, then Instagram can be a great platform to engage your target audience. If not, then you should probably consider investing your resources elsewhere.
Again, Pinterest is a B2C-focused platform with an audience of more than 200 million monthly users. It is another great option if your company has eye-catching products or can showcase its services using striking images, such as wedding planning. Pinterest, popular with millennials, has a predominantly female audience and it is growing. It should be considered by companies with a female customer base, or who want to sell to more women.
YouTube is often the forgotten platform for marketers, yet it is now pulling in more than a billion users. It can in fact be a very beneficial platform for your business. It is the second-largest search engine on the web and can open up new audiences and ways of engagement. If your business or brand lends itself to video content, be it customer case studies, instructional service videos or more humorous potentially viral videos, then YouTube offers the best opportunity to share that content.
A 360 degree approach
In addition to the above, there may be further niche sites suited to your business that will allow for deep engagement with your customer base. Constantly be on the lookout for places where your audience meets and interacts online. A simple way to do so is to ask them directly.
Working in conjunction with public relations and a digital marketing strategy, social media can effectively raise brand awareness, generate new leads and enhance your company’s reputation.
If you’re a technology-orientated company who would like some guidance on managing your digital communications, contact Comit today and see how we can help!