The heavy saturation of different social media sites makes it difficult for businesses to determine which ones will give them the best return for their time and money. Explore my breakdown of the top social media sites to gain insight on which tool will be best for your business.
Facebook is the most popular social media site for both personal and professional use. The all-encompassing nature of this platform makes it easy for businesses to share photos, updates, links, and news, and to connect with their customers in an instant. It also has specific features for businesses, such as advertising and boosting posts to reach new, potential customers.
Facebook is the best platform to use to reach a new audience and to direct them to your website. Typical posts should include new and exciting things happening at your business, photos of your products and services, and connections with other business pages by sharing their links and updates. Try and make your page as current and up-to-date as possible. It’s unusual for a business to not have a Facebook business page these days. I highly encourage any business owner to create one if they haven’t already. Interact on a personal level with your customers!
⇒ Tool: Advertising
Facebook ads are extremely effective. You can reach your target demographic based on location, age, interests, and friendships with a simple click of a button. Plus, a simple $20 can reach as many as 3,000+ people in your target market who you may not have reached originally.
Twitter is a social media platform that stresses short, simple and concise updates. It’s comparable to a Facebook status update, but reduced to 140 characters. Since information is shared and viewed so rapidly, businesses must have something interesting, funny or compelling for Twitter users to make them want to stop, read and click.
The best content for Twitter is shocking statistics, witty questions, interesting links and funny pictures. Twitter has become a haven for internet memes and original hashtags. One good tweet can produce re-tweets and shares and can boost your audience exponentially.
⇒ Tool: Hashtags
The easiest and most effective way to gain traction on Twitter is hashtags. Hashtags allow users to search a specific subject across the span of the site. If a hashtag is used enough, it becomes “trending.” If your post jumps on a hashtag trend, the reactions from new and potential customers can be astounding. Just make sure that you interact with those who follow and respond to you. Twitter thrives on personable relationships.
Instagram is a specific social media site dedicated to all things visual and pretty. This is not the site to post long, heartfelt messages and boring updates on your business. It’s a great platform to share beautiful photos or videos showcasing specific products, events, staff and a glimpse into your world.
The number one guideline to remember when posting on Instagram is quality. The quality of your photos and videos determines the number of your followers, views and interactions. Like Twitter, Instagram utilizes hashtags as a way of sharing content throughout the site. In addition, Instagram and Facebook can link to display the same advertisement to reach potential new followers.
⇒ Tool: Videos
Though there are many ways to make an impression on Instagram, it is the video capabilities which sets them apart from other platforms. Share a video of your staff deep in concentration. Make a funny boomerang video. Create a ‘story’ video and showcase how you create a product from start to finish. Be creative!
LinkedIn stands out in the crowd of social media because it was specifically designed for professionals and business networking. LinkedIn is a site to showcase your work experience, your skill set and connect with other professionals in your field.
LinkedIn is helpful for networking as it suggests professionals that are in your network who may be interested in forming a business relationship. It also has a nifty feature that shows you exactly who has viewed your profile, which is perfect for following up with potential clients, partners and collaborators. In addition, LinkedIn is great for those who are either searching for a job or looking for the perfect new hire. Based on your profile and your connections, the site suggests local jobs you may be interested in, and also gives you the ability to post positions you need to fill.
⇒ Tool: Groups
LinkedIn doesn’t have a constant stream of conversation that you would find on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. However, it does have Groups as a feature. This feature is great for finding others that work in a similar field to you, share interests in the same ideas, and can ultimately begin a conversation with a new business connection.
Honorable Mention: Pinterest
Though I won’t go into the ins and outs of Pinterest, it’s important to highlight the benefits of this site for businesses that sell products. Pinterest is a photo-based social media site, allowing businesses to share their products, services, tips and tricks with the entire Pinterest community in one simple pin. The best thing about this site? Every post you create can link back to your website and Pinterest recently added advertising features to tap into potential customers your original pin may not have reached at first.
I’ve only just scratched the surface of the plethora of platforms that social media has to offer. If you want to know about other sites that may increase traffic and sales at your business, or you’re not sure how to create a profile on any of the sites I’ve mentioned, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-426-9193.