“We want 5,000 followers on Twitter and 10,000 likes on Facebook in 3 months” says a brand when jumping into social media. In a recent post titled ‘10 Common Mistakes on Facebook and How to Fix Them’ I failed to mention (on purpose I might add) one other key mistake that companies make and that is simply failing to ask themselves the 4Ws – who, where, why and what?
- WHO are your customers and WHERE are they on social media?
- WHY and WHAT are you going to use a particular social media platform for?
It is important to ask these questions because if you based your decision on the look, feel and comfort of a particular platform, then you’re business is not going to be very successful on social media.
If you decide to read on or not, this social media comparison infographic will give you the basic information and overview you need.
You can even take a look at this infographic on social business by Hiscox for some more analytic on the comparison.
So what is the best social media platform for your business given that you have limited resources and time? It all comes to one thing – your audience and where they are.
Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest
If you work in a travel, hospitality, restaurant or food business then Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest is generally where your customers would be. Pinterest, however, is more dominated by women so quite obviously it would be useful for you if you cater your business to women.
Basically, if you have a very product-intensive business with high-value imagery, then be sure to leverage Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to its potential. Similarly, if you like to share behind-the-scene footage, then these three platforms really work wonders.
Twitter is a special social media platform and many brands shy away from it mainly because they don’t see the value in it but if your customers are there, there is no reason for you to not be. In fact it is imperative! Chances are they are already on it and actually talking about your brand. How to know for sure? Just do a search for your brand name or product/service in the search bar.
If they left a tweet about you (good or bad) you should be responding to them. It’s a great, fast and viral way to connect with customers.
If you have a company blog, Twitter and LinkedIn are very useful channels to leverage to drive traffic to it.
For B2B companies, Facebook or Instagram might not be the best choice, although more and more B2B brands are becoming active on Facebook and are becoming successful at it. LinkedIn would be best for building and nurturing lead generation. The way to go about is as it is to build relationships with experts and influencers by joining groups within your industry.
The trick is (much like any other social network) is not to simply promote your business. When joining groups, become part of a discussion and offer your insights and be helpful to others. Once they see you as an expert or thought leader, they will trust and want to do business with you.
Google + is probably the best when it comes to optimizing your brand in search engines and building B2B relationships. Everyone is part of Google already, whether by using Gmail, the search engine or even YouTube. So why not take a few more seconds to set up your Google+ business or personal page. A high-value feature of this social network is the community and circles, which is a great opportunity for brands and professionals to actively participate in discussions and groups.
I must admit that I haven’t been using Google+ much because of its uninteresting layout as Facebook does but after reading ‘Marketers are crazy not to be on Google Plus’, I’m definitely game for it.
If pictures are worth a 1000 words, then videos must be worth 10,000. Videos are a great way to showcase your brand, product or service as they keep people engaged and can illustrate huge amount of information in a few minutes. YouTube and Vimeo are the two most popular social video platforms where you can really showcase and outshine your brand. What’s more is that you can get your content out to a large audience and unlike Facebook where reach is ever decreasing, anyone who subscribes to you on YouTube WILL see your newest posts.
Let’s also not forget that since YouTube was taken over by Google, there is plenty of SEO perks for being on this platform. So whether you have a retail shop, run a restaurant, offer marketing services or just about anything, videos can really improve your business.
Don’t just take my advice. Remember to do your own research and find out where your target market is. If you own a little bakery that focuses on selling to locals then try Foursquare Ads to target them and provide offers based on the user’s location, usage history or search patterns. If you are a large conglomerate food chain, bigger platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram help build a large fan base. Also don’t forget to ask these 6 questions before starting social media.
Do you want to be a jack of all trades or a master of few? It really depends on you and if you still aren’t sure, contact me for a consultation.