Social media is everywhere and tempts every business owner with mouthwatering possibilities of extreme brand exposure, potential lead generation, and viral content. However, is your business putting their efforts into the best social media channels or are you spinning your wheels on platforms that are not ideal for your industry?
Here's a breakdown of a few major social media platforms so you can decide where your business should be focused.
Facebook: Oh, Facebook, how we love thee! Started by Mark Zuckerberg just over 13 years ago in a Harvard college dorm room, this platform has lead the way in what we know social media as today. It still dominates the social media world, and with a demographic of almost anyone (teens-65 years old and more), almost every business should have a presence on Facebook with a Facebook business page. Facebook is small business' paradise since it has such a local feel. Sidenote: Businesses should not be run off of personal Facebook accounts for many reasons, but…that's a whole different blog for a whole different time.
Twitter: This is probably the social media channel that the most business owners waste their time trying to have a presence. Twitter is extremely fast moving and should be used by businesses that are constantly moving and pushing content out during the day. Companies that are news-related, are big brands, or are of celebrity status find that Twitter is a great fit, but outside of those, most companies are wasting their time trying to get their content to fit into 140 characters or less.
Instagram: First just thought of as a place to post cute photos of pets and plates, Instagram has become the social media platform that many businesses are seeing explosive results. Used by a much younger demographic (the average user is 35 years old or younger), businesses are finding that they are earning loyal followers who are all about the photos and small videos they post. Instagram is all about using the right hashtags and since it is owned by Facebook, ads can be run on both platforms simultaneously which is a huge plus.
Pinterest: If your business targets fashion, home décor, cooking, weddings, photography, or just women in general, you could be missing out on low hanging fruit by not having a business account on Pinterest. Your company can create "pins" with its products and can create "boards" that users will see, click, and "repin" or share with others which can all be sourced back to your brand.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is where professionals can put their best professional foot forward and it should stay that way: professional. LinkedIn is a way to connect with other professionals inside and outside of your industry. LinkedIn allows for companies to have company pages, but also allows for individuals to generate social media noise with their personal profiles as well. If you are trying to connect with other professionals in order to increase your sales, recruit the best talent or meet others in your industry, LinkedIn has quite a bit to offer, especially when you join in LinkedIn groups.
Alignable: Alignable may be seen by some as the "new kid on the block," but don't doubt their power in the B2B world. Just like LinkedIn, Alignable allows business owners to connect to one another, but on a much more local level. Connecting with potential clients and like-minded professionals in your backyard without having to go to an early-morning, boring networking meeting? Yes, please! With other businesses able to recommend your business and write glowing reviews about your business, your creditability is immediately established, making potential clients trust your brand right from the start.
Snapchat: Snapchat has come roaring up from what seems like out of nowhere and is quickly gaining traction in the social media world. However, with Snapchat having to be an "in the moment" source of social media, it makes it more difficult for business owners, plus with only 10 seconds to get your message out in, you better be fast. Snapchat appeals to a very young crowd so if that's your target demographic, Snapchat could be a win for your business.
YouTube: YouTube has been around for years and it is because people love video content. From watching stupid pranks to learning how to fix a flat tire, YouTube can serve as a strong outlet for many different industries. Social media is all about being a resource to your audience, and YouTube is a great place to share your brand's expertise with the world.
Social media is quickly becoming a part of every business' marketing plan, but don't forget, it is just that: a part of the marketing plan. Finding the right fit for your company on social media is imperative, but it can be a huge time suck for companies, so make sure your company is spending its time in the right places.
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