In my recent blog post, 5 tips to nail your social media marketing, I suggested assessing appropriate social media platforms for your business, but I thought you might want to dig a little deeper into that topic and learn just how to go about assessing the right platforms for your business.
The list of social media channels is endless, you have the top three: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but growing in popularity is Instagram and Snapchat, among many others. Here I am just going to focus on these five.
Major social media platforms to consider:
Facebook has an enormous power because 2 BILLION each MONTH – yes, I said 2 Billion – just to emphasize, that is inching toward half of the world’s population, on Facebook! Even if the person you are trying to reach isn’t responsible for, or pays little attention to the company’s social media site, they are there engaging with friends and family. Let’s focus on using Facebook as a platform:
- Do you offer a service or product?
- Are you business-to-business (B2B), or business-to-consumer (B2C)
- Are you local, regional, national, or international?
- Can you reach the people you need to on Facebook (or xyz social platform)?
- Does your content (value-added material) resonate with the folks on the platform?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself, but let’s hypothetically walk through this and answer some of these items:
Yes, I offer a service to other businesses and individuals for computer repairs. I focus on local customers because getting the product to me can be difficult otherwise. Many businesses and individuals are on Facebook. Therefore, I would have access to customers on this platform. I can write material for easy self-service needs helping my audience do self-repairs if that they are so inclined.
It looks like Facebook is a great place to get started!
LinkedIn is the king, or queen, your preference – of the professional networks. This platform is where you are going to reach your c-suite executives, your business coaches, mentors to help you succeed. Yes, you should be here as a professional, but is it right for your business? In most cases, yes, but LinkedIn may not be the best platform for you. Apply the same questions used to determine your eligibility on Facebook to LinkedIn. If your primary target audience is using LinkedIn and looking for the information you offer there, then that is where you want to be. It is all in the content you deliver.
It may surprise you what will work on each platform. For example, I was talking with a former colleague the other day, and she is using social media marketing to develop her health coaching business, which of course is excellent! I had noticed her posts on LinkedIn, and given the more “social” nature of her business and personal touch required, I asked her how that was working. She surprised me by saying that she’s gotten more leads from LinkedIn than other platforms. SHOCKED! I was shocked – generally speaking, her content seemed more driven towards less professional networks. I’m looking into this further, but it makes me wonder if the content is so unexpectedly there, that your professional network is more likely to click on it than your “friends” network. We’ll keep an eye, and do more research on this – so look for that in the future, but it’s important to note who is in your network and whether your works resonate with them.
Yes, LinkedIn could work for you!
Twitter is not the platform for everyone, and for some reason, the mere thought of tweeting scares people! I get it though; it did me too at first. However, this an excellent platform for demonstrating your authentic self and developing your core brand. Here is where you want to talk about your interests, what you are passionate about, and provide bits of information to help others. It’s easy to blend your personal brand with your company brand on this platform.
For example, because my name and company are synonymous I talk about my favorite things – food and football, but I also love to tweet a little bit of marketing awesomeness – especially when I am at a conference.
So, ask yourself how comfortable are you with this platform, can you tell your story and give people a glimpse into the real you, all while providing your followers 140 characters or less? If so, get out there and start tweeting!
If your audience is on Twitter, then it’s a great place for your business to be.
Photograph / Video-Based Platforms
Instagram and Snapchat
These are two rapidly growing social media platforms popular with various age groups. If you can find a way to implement at least one of these platforms, then I recommend you do. Just check out the stats!
Instagram is fantastic because you can post about places your business visits, how it operates, the products and services you offer, and you can use influencers, or even your customers in your marketing efforts on this platform. All you need to do is think about your brand and how you want to portray it visually. Again, you’ll want to consider your audience, and whether or not they are looking at this platform, it may not be right for you to be here right now, but keep it on your radar – it’s only a matter of time.
Did you know the audience age on Snapchat is moving up? It’s not just a fun place to take filtered pictures and short videos with your kids or friends, albeit, that is a ton of FUN! Brands are taking to Snapchat for again, brand authenticity, targeted advertising, and customer engagement. Some big name brands have even developed filters to use for a specified period by Snapchat users – what does this do? It beefs up brand awareness! A certain taco fast food chain created a filter that turned you into a taco – go ahead – Google it.
Now it’s up to you
Ultimately, sticking to the plan to provide value-added information and develop your brand as a trusted and reliable resource, and doing so in the least disruptive way possible will make you a thought-leader and a reliable resource.
Image and video content are growing exponentially year over year. It would be worthwhile spending some time on at least one of these platforms if you have the time to invest and can consistently post to the platform. If not now, then definitely in the near future.
When selecting your social platforms remember these things:
- Be on at least one social channel – the one that is best for you and your business.
- Stay true to your brand voice.
- Provide value-added information to your audience.
- Interact with and engage your audience.
By the way, in an upcoming post will discuss organic reach and how utilizing your employees and current networks to maximize your efforts at little cost.
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