Social Media Explained
With new platforms coming online all of the time, the world of social media can be a very intimidating place. Just because there are hundreds of platforms available does not mean you need to have a presence in each of them. Here is a little breakdown of what each of the most popular platforms are used for. Once you have determined your business goals and understand your customer personas you will have a better idea as to where you can set your focus. The fun part about Digital Marketing is that it is okay to test different ideas, trends and platforms until you find what is best for you.
Pinterest – (Future Renovations for my home) – This site is all about discovery and creating boards with specific interests in mind. This is very popular for recipes, babies, home decoration, fashion, trends, and ideas that you would like to keep bookmarked. The majority of people on Pinterest are women and there are well over 70 million active users. People can be browsing the web, find a page they want to remember and if the Pinterest button is on the site, they can pin it to one of their boards for reference needed down the road.
Twitter – (I am renovating my house right now) – Microblogging that limits each post to a maximum of 280 characters. You are able to include links to sites which will work (unlike Instagram). This platform has the largest following in the United States, but is slowly making it’s way around the world. An average of 5,700 tweets happen per second and hashtags (#) are used to search and find trending items. Twitter also has customer service attributes as you can tag someone (using @username) and start a conversation. Twitter users typically expect an immediate response, so be sure if you have a Twitter account, someone monitors it regularly. Twitter live (similar to Facebook live) is a game changer if you are okay broadcasting to a live audience!
Facebook – (I love my house) – Social sharing site that has well over 1 Billon users worldwide. Facebook is typically the first social media platform many businesses choose to use as it offers the largest number of opportunities to communicate with customers in a not so pushy way. Users can share content and this happens over 2.5 million times a day. Facebook is very user friendly, and allows interaction through tagging similar to Twitter (@username). They also offer their own business training courses, and advertising possibilities. You are able to customize who you would like to advertise to and how. With Facebook and Instagram joining forces, you can advertise on both with the same campaign. Boosting posts is also an option. There are so many ways to use Facebook, just be sure to remain on brand, consistent and that you have someone monitoring for customer service purposes. With the ability to post live updates via video, Facebook is taking the bull by the horns, thinking outside the box and giving business owners every tool possible to connect with their customers. April the Giraffe is a prime example of a Social Media Manager taking advantage of a brand new feature and giving the customers what they want, live video footage from the Chicago Zoo of her pregnancy and birth of the baby.
Instagram – (Look at this photo of my #newhardwoodfloors) – Do you love to take and share photos or videos? If your business is based around showing your work or building a culture around experiences, Instagram might be for you. With over 150 million active users, Instagram is the place to go if you are looking to see what celebrities and brands are doing. Similar to Twitter, the usage of hashtags (#), tagging (@username) and posting pictures that your customers can relate to is what most businesses use this platform for. I have seen some use Instagram to showcase 15 second videos of “life at” their business or get a strong visual message across. The nice thing about Instagram is that if you have a Facebook account, you can post to Instagram at the same time. Instagram Stories just got released a short time ago, and this is similar to a Facebook album, allowing you to upload your photos at once and have a story show. Facebook also has a similar feature called “My Day”.
YouTube – (Watch me install my new hardwood floors) – Do you take videos, make short movies, like the idea of showing your story by way of video? If so, then YouTube is for you. It is an online public communications site. The site allows for registered users to upload and have available for the public their videos. Musicians, actors, television networks, businesses and anyone you can possibly think of can upload a video to YouTube, share it on their Facebook and hope it will go viral making them the next Justin Bieber. Social posts which include video have a higher click rate than other posts. If there are aspects of your business you are able to record a video about do it! It doesn’t always have to be professionally done and there are SmartPhone apps available to help as well. “Director” is a great one that will walk you step by step through your video and angles to use. Give it a shot.
LinkedIn – (My skills include installing hardwood floors) – Used mainly for business oriented networking, LinkedIn typically has brands which represent corporate brands allowing employees a place to network and connect. About 80% of the users are 35 years of age or older and with over 240 million active users, many people use LinkedIn not only to connect with their past and present professional contacts, but also showcase their skills by way of an online resume. Businesses may utilize LinkedIn as a possible recruitment tool by way of posting positions, showcasing what they are up to professionally and why they may be a good place for people to work. When using LinkedIn, be aware that this is a PROFESSIONAL site. This is not a platform to post like you would on Facebook or Twitter. Think of LinkedIn as an interview before the interview. It is an online resume of sorts for not only potential employers, but employees as well.
If you need assistance in finding out what platforms might be best for your business, please reach out!