As a business owner you are probably well aware of the overall concept regarding the benefits of social media marketing, but what social media platforms for business will help you the most? Smart marketers and business owners use social media to reach a wider audience than traditional marketing. This article will help you decide which social media platforms will be most effective for your business.
Digital marketing through social media platforms for business can be tricky to navigate. Before considering which sites to create a presence on, you should do these three things:
Identify Your Audience
Pinpointing your audience can make this decision a lot simpler. Being as specific as possible consider the following things:
- Assemble data on your existing clients (age, gender, location, income, and education level)
- Use social listening to find conversations related to your brand
- Find which sites your target audience uses the most
- Research your competition based on these preliminary findings
Define Your Overall Goals
After defining your target audience, you must define your goals for that audience. As a business owner, your primary goal will most likely include the increase of sales. Another goal might be to not only attract new customers, but keep existing ones. Other goals on social media are to drive brand recognition and build relationships with your followers.
Though, there are some brands that use their social presence for different advantages. For example, you can also use social media to address customer service needs. An example of that would be the gaming company, Xbox. With over 1.5 million followers, Xbox created a separate Twitter account called @XboxSupport to address any customer service concerns using efficient response times.
Find Your Target Audience On Social Media Platforms
Now comes the fun part: finding your target audience on social media sites. To do so, you have to analyze your market’s demographics and compare it to those of the platforms you are considering utilizing. Also, consider how active this audience is on that specific platform. This means even though a social media platform may have many users, it does not mean that those users are as active on there as they are on other sites.
Social Media Platforms for Business
You may be aware of the names and general use of certain social media platforms for business, but remember to consider each site has a different type of audience and content style. Below we are providing a brief description to help guide you in reaching your audience and ultimate goal within each major site.
From a business perspective, Twitter is a great way to build brand awareness. By utilizing hashtags and instant replies that build into a digital conversation, the use of the right words or phrases can offer you an insight on trending topics through other tweets. Doing so in regard to your own brand, you will find that the value of Twitter will fall into the updates provided to your customers. Like many other companies, you can even combine this social media engagement with offline contacts, such as events.
Instagram has more than 500 million users, with 59% of those users checking into the site daily. There are some recent changes to the algorithm that can affect Instagram advertising. The posts are no longer displayed in chronological order, but through an algorithm that is determined by the type of content a user likes. There are also no clickable links available to be included in captions. Clickable links are only available on a user’s bio or Instagram story, but only if they have over 10,000 followers. So, this app can aid in brand building with an already settled customer base and decent following. But if it is intended for marketing uses, strategic planning and capitalization will be needed.
The majority of Snapchat users in the United States are under the age of 24. About 229 million people use Snapchat daily and that user pool consumes a minimum of 30 minutes of content every day. Social media content creation on Snapchat is a bit different from other sites, as the majority of it is only up and available for 24 hours. However, there are Snapchat Ads for every business. According to the app, Snapchatters are 20% more likely to make a purchase on their mobile device from advertisements they see on Snapchat. More than one trillion dollars comes from the direct spending power of millennials and Gen Z. So, if your target market is aimed towards a younger crowd, Snapchat is an excellent option for your business to utilize.
Active users on Facebook on a monthly basis have reached up to 2.6 billion users worldwide. This gives its advertising platform the ability to be highly customized to specific target audiences. Yet, even though the platform has a massive user base, only nine percent of those active users are between the ages of 18 and 24.
So, the most effective use for the platform would be to create a company page for the sole purpose of establishing that online presence. Doing so while providing important information without investing so much effort into posting more regularly. Unless you are marketing to an older user base, who use the platform more consistently, Facebook’s main value is just to maintain client loyalty and stay in touch with consumers.
How To Use Facebook for Business
Facebook is an entertaining way of staying connected with your friends and sharing status updates with your followers, but how do you use Facebook for business?
The first step in doing so is creating a Facebook Business page, not a personal account. In the process of creating a Facebook business page, you will be asked a couple of categorical questions to describe your page. Things such as a business name, address, phone number, and media uploads.
The primary way to utilize Facebook as a means of staying connected to your clients is responding to messages. In regard to Facebook content creation, you should use the Facebook Insights analytics tool (which is free to use) to view your page views and engagements. This tool is free and included once you create your business page on the platform.
There are some outside tools that you can use to schedule and publish future posts, but Facebook also offers a publishing gadget to schedule your posts and events. It is essential that you know your target audience. You can do every other statistical thing required, but if you don’t personalize your business to fit their needs you will never grow. This brings us to our next point, don’t just talk about sales and advertising. Once your target audience is reached, get to know them and connect with that user market. Engaging with your audience will not only result in an increase in sales, but it will make advertising come that much easier.
Another thing you can do to bring more excitement into product engagement is by having giveaways and contests. This will increase page traffic, since the majority of the time contests require reposts, hashtags, and sharing. Facebook for Business also requires you to relate to your audience, not just in conversation but in the sharing of relevant content from other sources. This is due to the change in Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm which prioritizes personal connections and engagement.
Finally, don’t forget to publish your business’ milestones!
What do I Post on Social Media for my Business?
The understanding of the type of audience and service these different platforms offer can lead you to the next question. What exactly should you post on social media for your business? As simple as posting content may be, you need to have a plan for it.
Use a Calendar
Our first tip is to create a social media calendar. Using certain days of the week to post makes it easier to plan ahead. As an added bonus, your followers will know on which days they can expect new content from you.
Share Your Blog Posts
You should also post your company’s blog posts on social media. This will give your followers an opportunity to get to know you and your brand.
Another type of content that helps your audience get to know you is by posting AMA’s, or Ask Me Anything. This not only gives them the chance to get questions about your brand answered but it gives you the ability to become aware of what your audience is interested in knowing and how to more efficiently target them.
Showcase Your Company Culture
Another idea for content is posts showcasing your company’s culture. For example, you can showcase your company’s community service work or celebrate your employees and their accomplishments. You should also try conducting social media takeovers with your employees. Let them “take over” the company page for a day to show a day in the life of your business. This will personalize the way you interact with your followers.
Think Beyond Just Text
Finally, remember to post more photos, videos, infographics, and even GIFS. Media is much more appealing to click on than a long paragraph talking about how great your product is.