Having a social media presence is becoming increasingly important for businesses. However, depending on your industry and client type, you don’t need to be on every social media platform. So, which platforms are right for you?
The most important factor to consider is your audience. You want to be on the social media platform that your ideal clients are on. You want to get in front of them and engage with them—and not waste your time interacting with people you don’t actually want to work with. So, before you pick your platform, study your clients. Who are they? How old are they? What are their goals, problems, questions? What type of career are they in? What is their living situation like? Knowing who your audience is will help you determine which platform they’re on, and which platform you should be on.
You also want to keep your own business in mind. Are you B2B or B2C? How much time do you have to put into social media? What type of content do you intend to share on social media? Is there a niche site that specifically fits your industry?
Ask yourself these questions to help determine which platform is most relevant to your business.
— Who is your audience? What is their demographic?
— Where is your audience present and active?
— Are you B2B or B2C?
— Is there a niche site that fits your industry?
Take a look at some facts and statistics on of the top social media sites to start evaluating which will be best for you!
Every business should be on Facebook. Why? Because 1.65 billion people are Facebook users. Chances are pretty high that some of the people you want to reach are there too. Facebook is like your business’ social front. Your potential or existing clients can connect, ask questions, and get to know your business more personally here than they can via your website. While Facebook often generates more leads for B2C business than it does for B2B, the massive quantity of people who are present and active on Facebook make it important for every business to have a Facebook page set up. Facebook also allows businesses to create specific adds that you can target for your unique audience, allowing you to get in front of only the people you want to get in front of and saving you money and time. Having a branded page on Facebook and being at least somewhat active on it will boost your validity and authority. Bottom line — use Facebook.
LinkedIn is the choice site for B2B companies. It’s ideal for networking, making and securing connections, and establishing yourself as an authority in your field. LinkedIn features several career related resources. If you have a lot of great content, take advantage of their platform for publishing articles! Re-post articles from your blog, or if you aren’t set up with a website you can use Linkedin as the main home for your content. LinkedIn is also the spot to be if you’re interested in hiring employees or posting resumees. Use LinkedIn if your client base is mostly other businesses and you want to establish yourself as a thought influencer in your industry.
Twitter is great for businesses that need to share updates, promote events, or post breaking news or special deals. Twitter can be a good place to start conversations, interact with your audience, and elicit interest in a product or event. Great content is the key to success on Twitter, which means it can become a bit of a time sink. Before choosing to set up a Twitter page for your business, make sure you have the time to update it thoughtfully and consistently. Use twitter if you have a large amount of bite-sized content to share (and time to write it), or if you want to engage with your audience on a personal level.
Google+ can be instrumental both for making relevent connections and for ranking well in Google searches. Unlike Facebook, which is best suited for connecting with family and friends, Google+ is designed specifically to help you reach people in your niche who have the same interests as you do. And with over 540 million active monthly users, you’re able to form a huge amount of significant connections. Google+ also has a variety of unique communication tools. Create a hangout and use the free live video conferencing to connect with companies, clients, and team members. Follow collections for updates and insights from thought leaders, or join communities to participate with others in your industry. On top of these features, Google+ still employs organic search for businesses, doesn’t have advertisements, and allows you to ‘hang out’ with anyone you want to. But aside from all this, what really makes Google+ important to get in on? The simple fact that it’s backed by the most prominent global search engine – Google. “Whether lots of people use Google+ or not, the truth is that Google loves it when you play in their sand box.” Alex Glusman, Business to Community. It’s that simple. Having a Google+ profile will give you a boost in Google searches. If your business is localized, being on Google+ will enable you to show up in Google’s ‘local results’ carousel and on Google maps. Having +1’s on your content or Google+ posts is great for social proof, and also helps you rank higher in Google searches. In short — use Google+ to connect with companies and individuals in your industry and to help your business rank higher in google searches.
Visual marketing is becoming a prominent industry, and Instagram is the best social media platform to use for it. Photos and visual media are the priority on instagram.Your followers get to see your visual content first and any descriptive text later — which means they can process your post more quickly and effectively. Because Instagram is so visual, it’s users are often more engaged than users on any other platform. Also, instagram doesn’t use any algorithms to determine what will show up in your feed. In other words— you’ll see every post from people you follow, and you’re followers will see every one of your posts. You can interact with your connections via comments and hashtags, use the search and explore options to expand your marketing approach, and even check analytics on Iconosquare. Instagram is also fundamentally a mobile app, and is intended to be used from a smartphone. This is ideal for today’s huge percentage of mobile users. Use instagram if you have a lot of visual media to share, and are looking to get in front of a younger and highly engaged demographic.
To sum it all that up, take a look at this list of the most practical uses for each of these five social media platforms!
Facebook — Set up a facebook page to use as your businesses social front! Every business should have a facebook page.
LinkedIn — Join LinkedIn for networking if you are B2B, or if you are looking for employees or posting a resumee.
Twitter — Use Twitter to start conversations or if you have a lot of bite-sized content such as news updates, special deals or events.
Google+ — Google+ helps you connect with people who have common interests with you. Having a profile on Google+ will also help you rank higher in google searches, and put you on google maps and localized search results.
Instagram — Use Instagram if you have a lot of visual content to share. Being set up with Instagram can help increase engagement with your brand.
The most important factor in choosing your platform is always your audience— know who they are and where they are and get in front of them! You can check out the user demographics for each of them at Sprout Social. If your target audience is present and active on any social media platform, defintely consider setting up a branded, professional profile and including social media as a fundamental part of your marketing strategy.