Reaching the right social media audience is vital to your online marketing campaign, but when you look at all the choices, making a decision on which social media platform to use can be overwhelming. Not only are these platforms very different, and require extremely varied techniques, but they are often very time and resource consuming which can be a problem for a small business.
But social media really does matter, and while it may feel like social media isn’t for your business, understanding which platforms to use that will be relevant to your particular business will allow you to narrow down the amount of time and manpower that really should be spent on this important aspect of online marketing.
The top 5 social media platforms for building your online presence are these:
- Facebook (1+ billion users)
- LinkedIn (300 million users)
- Google+ (540 million users)
- Twitter (241 million active users)
- YouTube (Over 1 billion unique users each month)
The social media platform that you choose, depends on your goals, which can include:
- Improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Increasing traffic to your site
- Increasing brand exposure
- Improving customer engagement
- Driving sales
Remember, a larger social media audience doesn’t necessarily translate to an engaged community. Ultimately, the goal is to convert an engaged community into customers and to establish brand loyalty.
Facebook is a great tool to increase traffic to your website, increase brand exposure, drive sales, and improve customer engagement. According to the State of Inbound Marketing, 80% of US social network users prefer to connect with brands through Facebook.
If you’re a B2C business it is vitally important to have a Facebook presence. These users want a simple way to be in contact with you and your business, and Facebook does the trick.
Facebook primarily consists of news and links information to relevant blogs. It may provide promotional discounts for people who “like” your business, or a platform for contests.
Facebook has no character limitations, which allows for larger amounts of information to be shared. It also allows you to create photo albums and events, as well as conduct quizzes that can engage your customers.
Facebook, of course, also gives you the option to “boost” your Facebook post which allows you to be more visible to your following and your followers friends. Direct response Facebook advertising is also an option to consider if you want to reach a larger audience.
LinkedIn is good at increasing brand exposure through text, articles, and even videos. It is a great platform for sharing business-specific news about new hires, new programs, new products, and anything else relevant. For B2B companies, LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful tool, and one that should be utilized.
With LinkedIn, people engage with your business through professional and customer connections. The point with LinkedIn is you are engaging with clients and other professionals in your field on a business to business level.
It gives you a platform to connect and share with others interested in similar topics. One example is LinkedIn’s blogging capabilities that allow you to post your own, original content directly to LinkedIn and can spark conversations about the hot topics in your field of expertise with others.
With Google being the ultimate search engine, it is not surprising that Google+ is an essential tool when using social media to connect with clients.
Google+ can lead the way in improving SEO, customer engagement, and brand exposure.
With this platform, photos, videos, articles, and text enhance the customer experience. Really, this platform can be used in whatever manner you choose to connect with customers. It also allows for customers to find your company easily through the integration with Google maps. For physical B2C companies, Google+ is a must.
Because Twitter consists of Tweets, it isn’t the best at improving SEO. But with its short blasts of information (140 characters or less), it is great at increasing traffic, brand exposure, and customer engagement.
This platform reaches social media regulars and people on the go. These people sometimes have the FOMO syndrome and are constantly checking their Twitter feed for the latest happenings. This audience is highly engaged in what is going on in the Twitterverse, so prepare to spend a lot of time and energy on Twitter if it is one of the platforms you choose to focus on.
Your business can use Twitter to send out information on time-sensitive sales, daily specials, promotional discounts, and exclusive free samples. And with the new Twitter analytics you can track more accurately how engaging your tweets are, and how many people are actually viewing them.
Yes, YouTube is great for watching videos, but it is even better at improving SEO, customer engagement, and brand exposure.
With YouTube, you can provide customers with case studies, teasers, and possibly a video tour of your business. This can be proper or flashy. And who knows? Your video may go viral.
Clients love behind-the-scenes footage of companies because they can put an actual face to the brand, and then doing business with your company becomes more like a friendship than a business partnership.
These videos also do very well when shared to other platforms. Surprisingly, LinkedIn, despite a poor visual display of videos, usually garners the most impressions and clicks from YouTube videos.
As you can see, there are different social media platforms from which to choose. Your decision is deciding what you want to achieve and which platform works best with your business goals. Don’t be afraid to test a few platforms, and don’t become discouraged if your having trouble gaining a following. Social media takes time and dedication, but it can be well worth the resources once you gain momentum and find your voice.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, here are some other topics you might like: