Social media for personal use is all about fun – posting photos of your weekend adventures and catching up with friends. For business, social media is a powerful tool that you can leverage to become an industry authority, connect with users, create meaningful content, source talent, gain customers, and ultimately increase revenue. With all these attractive benefits, it’s not surprising that businesses are eager to get on board with social media or to optimize their presence if they’re already using it. Whether you have a social media team in place or are working the different channels through your marketing department, the key to any business establishing a solid social media presence is to use the right platforms. With all the options, which are the best platforms for your business?
Instagram is a no-brainer social media match for creative businesses who want to share images of their work and develop their brand. Retailers can showcase their wares, connect with customers, and announce promotions. Restaurant groups can entice customers with photos of their dishes and promote special events. But the images, which must be of exceptional quality, are only part of the equation. The hashtags are equally important. Instagram hashtags make your images discoverable to users who do not directly follow your business, and they provide an opportunity to speak out about topics your business is passionate about (#sustainableliving) or to inject humor into your posts (#donttellmom).
If your business targets millennials in any way, Snapchat should be an essential part of your social media strategy. With more than 150 million users, primarily in the 18–34 age demographic, Snapchat is ideal for brands who cater to a younger target audience. Businesses can use Snapchat to interact with their audience in several key ways, including advertising through brand-sponsored geofilters and lenses, or by using your marketing and media team to amplify your social presence by creating your business’s own series of snaps that bring your brand’s message to life. Snapchat is a platform for fun visual content, making it ideal for sharing video and images rather than written content.
Facebook is everyone’s oldest and dearest social media friend. Its staggeringly large user base makes it a reliable platform for businesses to use as an educational tool for their customers to learn about their products and services. It’s also a great tool for encouraging customer participation and data collection through contests, surveys, and comments. Businesses have options for how they use Facebook, whether it’s through advertising, interacting with customers through their own branded page, or both. Having a strong Facebook presence takes skill and time for businesses to establish, update, and navigate but the customer engagement can make for an excellent ROI when executed right. Businesses of any size can enjoy success through Facebook exposure, but companies with larger marketing or social media teams will reap the greatest rewards if they have experts to interpret analytics and carry out a carefully crafted Facebook strategy.
Twitter is a great social media platform for businesses across all sectors, particularly for sharing your latest content such as articles or blog posts. Tweeting links to relevant content that adds meaning to your followers’ lives will result in re-tweets to their entire network, and to their network’s network. Twitter is also a great way to engage one-on-one with customers and show off your organization’s customer service skills–with many eyes watching. Twitter also lets you share other relevant news stories or articles with your followers, which makes your own content come across as more authentic and less like a pushy sales pitch. The more you use Twitter, the more current you’ll stay, so it’s best for businesses with the resources to update it regularly.
Great content uses several channels to get a business’s message across, including photography, infographics, and video. Video posts are a great way to shake up traditional text-only blog posts and stimulate your audience in a different way. You can choose to shoot a high-quality video segment on your products, or businesses with larger marketing and social media departments can create a dedicated channel that is full of your video content. Whether you’re using it as a once-in-a-while tool or as a significant segment of your marketing plan, YouTube is a flexible platform that produces a highly engaging experience for your target audience.
Social media has transcended the realm of young people having fun with their friends and has taken its rightful place at the forefront of modern businesses’ core marketing strategies.
Companies who want to build multifaceted, influential brands need to approach social media with a tight game plan, get on board with the right platforms, and create high-quality social content that will engage your customers, get people talking, and position your business as a vital part of the larger conversation about your industry.
Contact us to learn how we can help your business navigate the high seas of social media.