Social media platforms are everywhere and there are more to choose from and engage with almost every day. We all have our favourites when it comes to personal engagement with the world online but choosing the right social media channel for your business can be a challenging task. This is especially true for small or start-up businesses who don’t have the budget to go big on marketing initiatives across every available platform. And that can be stressful and unproductive – especially when it comes to harnessing the power of digital marketing to increase brand awareness, build relationships, and boost sales.
But here’s the good news – your business doesn’t have to be on every available social media platform to conduct effective online marketing. The truth is that certain platforms are better suited to certain businesses and target markets. Spreading (the word about) your business presence too thin can be unnecessarily costly with little impact. If you’re looking to get the maximum results out of your marketing initiatives (and who isn’t?), then it’s best to carefully select the right social media platform for you – the platform that will help your business generate the best possible level of awareness, create opportunities for you to engage with your customers, be relatively easy to manage, and fit with your business offering.
Our advice? Before you waste energy, time, and money on the wrong platform, speak to an expert digital marketing team (like the one at Switch!) to figure what the options are and where you should be posting (or tweeting or sharing or snapping…). Investment in one or two key platforms is certain to yield much more positive results than trying to engage in all platforms. So, what’s out there? Here’s a quick guide of some of the most popular social media platforms to get you started.
Business-friendly social media platforms worth a look
1. Facebook for posts
While primarily a site for social sharing and connection, Facebook has become increasing business-oriented in the last few years, and research shows that users tend to check their Facebook pages multiple times a day so it’s worth investigating for business marketing. Users tend to be between 25 and 54 so you’re looking at a slightly older target market Facebook is definitely worth considering. Even if you are not consistently active, a company page is a good idea for establishing your online presence. Plus it’s free to set up and offers boosted (paid) advertising – useful for specific events or offers. Facebook also allows you to collect data on your followers and visitors, helping to streamline your online marketing initiatives.
2. Pinterest for the pretty and the practical
If your business involves creative products, art, design, DIY, fashion and food (anything from which you can create beautiful images), then Pinterest acts like a giant creative pin board for sharing ideas and inspiration. As 42% of its users are female, with 34% between the ages of 18 and 29, Pinterest is a good way to drive female consumers to your site for purchasing products. It’s worth noting that competition is stiff and your images need to be beautiful and strategic to make an impression.
3. LinkedIn for professional connections
LinkedIn is a professional business platform but it’s more about individuals than it is about the businesses themselves. Its aim is to connect professionals in different fields for reasons such as recruitment, networking, and professional project sharing. So, while your business can be on LinkedIn, to get the maximum benefit, you probably need to be as a professional individual as well. If Facebook is your social self, then LinkedIn is like an online CV for work purposes. This type of profile allows you to showcase your credentials and experience, and connect with clients and corporate partners.
4. Twitter for talking it up
Twitter is an online and information sharing site that allows members to post short messages (known as tweets) and to reply to and engage with each other. Twitter can help your business stay current and be boosted by followers – it’s instant, rapid and allows you to share information with followers as well as follow competitors and trending competitors. It does require consistent posting of interesting information, monitoring, and follow up.
5. Instagram for images that impact
With over 500 million users (more than Facebook), Instagram is one of the most popular platforms out there with a wide reach and varied user base. Instagram is a largely visual platform (think stunning pics and emotive video) so if your business is about imagery, style, design and has visual appeal, Instagram can be great for brand building. A caution – posts are not displayed chronologically but according to a formula and that can make content calendar management difficult. Also, getting customers to visit your site from the app can be a challenge.
The social media landscape is constantly evolving, and managing and using social media platforms for digital marketing purposes is best done in line with a focused strategy that takes into account resources, audiences, and the alignment of your marketing and business goals. If you can find out where your business best fits within this landscape and how to leverage that, the investment is definitely worth it. Need expert help? As digital marketing experts (we simply love it!), we are the team you need.