In the last 10 years social media has absolutely exploded- and with it, the unique opportunity to reach thousands (even hundreds of thousands) of possible new customers faster than ever before. Choosing the right social media network (aka platform) to market your business, however, can be a daunting process. With so many options to choose from- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIN, Pinterest, etc.- knowing which to use and which to steer clear of is half the battle. According to Social Media Examiner’s annual marketing industry report, “Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were the top three platforms used by marketers, with Facebook leading the pack by a long shot.”
Are you in the business of attracting Millennials? Does your business cater to professionals in their 30s, 40s and 50s? Or, perhaps you’re the COO of a cancer center. The demographics of your audience- such as age, sex, occupation, location, etc.- are major deciding factors. To help determine the best platform to invest your time, energy and marketing money into, it’s important to think about two things: 1) Who does your business serve? and 2) What do you want out of a marketing plan?
While it does seem that everyone has a penchant for Facebook- proven by the fact that there are more than 2 billion daily active users on the platform- its still necessary to ask yourself, “Can my business connect with potential customers and will it grow from being advertised there?” If you’re a retail business, then yes! Running ads or capturing potential customer information by using lead generation, is a great place to start connecting with current and potential customers. Facebook is also very effective when utilized as a networking hotspot where you can engage, connect and build relationships. In this instance, online coaches, medical practices, and financial institutions tend to do extremely well on this platform.
If you have a product to sell then Instagram will help you get the job done. As an image-centric platform Instagram- conveniently owned by Facebook- helps businesses grow one photo at a time. Now with their ability to insert prices and links inside of the product photos, it’s easier than ever to showcase your interior design business or items from your retail store for your followers to scoop up. Artists, makers and influencers do extremely well growing their businesses on Instagram.
For companies, entrepreneurs and thought leaders, LinkedIn is where you want to spend your time. While you won’t necessarily make a sale straight from the platform, the lead generation and networking will help you get new business indirectly. It’s also a great space to share articles to establish yourself as an expert in your field while building your brand.
Admittedly, Twitter is a monster all of its own and doesn’t play by the normal marketing rules. With only 280 characters to utilize at a time, Twitter is more about having your brand in on the action than it is selling. Twitter is your digital chalkboard. Have an idea or a thought, throw it out there on Twitter and see who catches it. How often to tweet? It’s suggested to post to other platforms every 2-3 days but for Twitter, your business will want to tweet 4-5 times a day- in between of commenting, liking, and following, of course. The real goal for Twitter - growing a healthy following. It’s those people that will become automatic brand ambassadors for your company and if we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that a single tweet can spread like wildfire in the blink of an eye.
Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest is actually less of a social network and more of a search engine. And it also happens to be incredibly underutilized by businesses. For those looking to drive traffic to their websites, blogs or online stores, Pinterest is a must. Additionally, you can get valuable insights into what your audience likes and wants to see/ use just by paying attention to what they’re pinning to their own boards.
So, if you’re all about the numbers, let’s break it down. Check out the most used social media platforms according to Social Media Examiner:
At the end of the day, it might take some trial and error to see where your business is getting the biggest value. While engagement is fantastic, it’s ultimately about converting leads, connections, interest and engagement into sales (aka money in the bank) that makes a social platform worth it. Understanding your target audience will go a long way towards narrowing down your platform and from there it’s all about consistency, visibility and authenticity.
Unsure which platform is right for your business, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you strategize and get started growing your business.