I was talking with a business owner this week and was asked which social media platforms were best for marketing. It's a question I'm often asked, so I thought I would give you all some tips.
Building a presence on social media can be a huge benefit to your business. But with so many platforms available, and so little time, how do you make it work for you?
First and foremost, you must have a plan. There is no point just doing something for the sake of doing it. You must have clear objectives, and work towards delivering a good outcome.
Followers and likes don't bring in sales by themselves, and investing money solely to increase these metrics could be a huge money pit.
You need to make sure that everything you do in marketing - every dollar and minute you spend – needs to be working towards a result that will put dollars into your bank. Sales are the only thing that puts money in. Everything else takes money out.
While social media marketing can seem quite daunting with all the different platforms, the best thing is to just start. Here’s my guide to the basics of social media marketing.
Picking the right social media platform
Should you choose one platform, or should you be on all of them?
It’s important to be most active on the platform that best suits your brand – and this largely depends on where your audience is.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my business objectives (improving brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic, conversions, etc.)?
- Will I be able to meet my business objectives on the platform?
- How much will I have to spend to meet my goals?
- Will I generate positive ROI on the platform? Will it justify the cost?
- Is my target audience present and active on the platform? Will I be able to reach them effectively? How?
- Is my direct competition present on the platform? How are they doing? Will I be able to outperform them?
While you should focus most of your resources on just a couple of key platforms, you should not put all your eggs in one basket. Use automation tools to manage your profiles across more platforms and extend your reach.
Each platform has its advantages.
Reach specific audience segments and turn leads into customers
Showcase your business in a creative way, spark engagement, and build brand awareness
Stir up buzz around your campaigns with designated hashtags and joining trending conversations
Build stronger customer relationships and show the “human face" of your business '
Spark interest in your products and drive sales
Manage your social media in one place
Managing more than one profile can quickly become confusing and time-consuming. So here are some tools you can use to help you manage everything in one place:
Free Plan Available
Free plan available
Starts at $15/month
No Free Plan
Starts at $29 per month
Starts at $3/month
Starts at $25/month
Should you be using Instagram?
Instagram has so many fun, creative and brand-building uses, it has a big influence on building character and relatability for you and your brand.
Instagram is also said to have the largest engagement on posts, with 2-7% of users interacting with each post.
In today’s ever-expanding consumer culture, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd when it comes down to your business, so having an engaging and aesthetically pleasing Instagram can certainly have a big impact on your sales.
With the way Instagram was built for use, it really allows businesses to get creative with the content they are posting, with elements such as Instagram story you can really utilise showcasing your work in a real-time setting.
Facebook for Business, does it work?
Facebook is the 2nd largest social media platform (just behind YouTube). Facebook is a vital part of creating an online presence for your brand.
It’s a great way to generate leads and form solid relationships with your clients or prospective clients.
Facebook is a great platform for two-way communication. Facebook allows for feedback to be given, received and responded to, this having a great impact on customer experience.
Facebook is a great space to share articles, photos, news and events. It’s pretty much a one stop shop in terms of having all the information about your brand in one spot, without the hassle of limited characters or having an aesthetically pleasing photo to accompany it.
Facebook also has the option to join and create Facebook groups. Facebook groups can be great advertising platforms directly to your ideal target market, you skip the step of searching for people who may be interested, and you find a group that is relevant to your industry or location.
To Tweet or not To Tweet, that is the question!
If what your posting is time-sensitive information that is needed immediately, such as news, announcements and trending topics, then Twitter is the platform for you.
Twitter is largely based around what is trending and really utilises short, quick posts through limiting you to 280 characters.
Twitter has a news feed that filters information at a quicker rate than other social media platforms. Twitter is great for retweeting, sharing news and sharing articles, as twitter is largely based around what is trending.
Twitter has a lower usage percentage compared to other platforms, especially for users 50+.
Is it worth having LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is known as the business social account. LinkedIn profiles are built around their career history and business aspirations, especially if you are a B2B company then LinkedIn will reap rewards for you.
LinkedIn is predominantly based around building networks and connections.
It’s the top-rated social network for lead generation and has multiple features that allow for finding clients, expanding your network and building professional relationships.
LinkedIn is a great way to create a professional image for you and your brand.
Whilst the daily usage is less frequent than Instagram and Facebook, LinkedIn is a platform tailored to business, therefore there is definite advantages to utilising its features.
Should you have an interest in Pinterest?
Pinterest might be the next major strategy you’ll want to invest in.
Pinterest often gets forgotten about when it comes to social media marketing, however, if your business has a visual appeal (such as restaurants, fashion, art, travel and weddings) then Pinterest is worth looking into.
A lot of users go on Pinterest to plan a purchase, therefore if you are in the business of selling something, you can link to your site from Pinterest, this then creating a sale.
YouTube for business?
YouTube can be quite daunting to a lot of businesses as this is a video-based application, however YouTube is the largest social media platform, in fact, it’s the 2nd largest used website, only falling behind Google.
73% of adults use the video streaming service. So, if you can figure out a way to fit YouTube into your marketing plan, then it may become your favourite business tool quite quickly.
The downfall is, YouTube algorithms work in a way so if you don’t have subscribers, your content is unlikely to be viewed, so if you want to play the YouTube game, you have to play it well!
So, how do you market on YouTube? It pretty much involves being active, interactive and interesting on the platform. Hootsuite summed it up perfectly so to master YouTube, Read Here.
Whilst social media is certainly not a one size fits all kind of circumstance, it is always beneficial to utilise as many platforms as you can so you can speak to a wider audience.
Each platform serves a purpose and each platform can be beneficial.
Quite clearly, there are different industries more suited to different social media platforms, but I challenge you to delve into each of them, see what works for you and your brand, see what doesn’t.
Each site offers a free sign up, so what have you got to lose?
Stefan Kazakis on 5 May 2018
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