Social media has an important role to play in every business marketing strategy today, so if you haven’t already, you need to start setting up your profiles! But with so many different social media platforms to choose from it can be difficult knowing which you will get the most out of using.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve shared an overview of some of the top social media platforms and provided tips on how brands can use them effectively.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service that launched back in May 2003. Today it has over two hundred and fifty nine million users across two hundred countries and territories. LinkedIn is great for finding and sharing job listings, as well as networking with other industry professionals, which is why mainly businesses, recruiters and job seekers use it.
If you are looking to network with others, find new employees and share industry-related content, it’s a great platform to use. Just remember to keep things professional.
Facebook is an online social networking service that was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates at Harvard. As of June 2014, the social networking site had over 1.3 billion active users. Whilst Facebook is used by individuals to connect with their friends, share updates and post photos, it is also used by businesses of all sizes to engage with customers and promote their websites. If you want to use Facebook, it is recommended that you set up a business page, also known as a ‘fan’ page. You will be able to use this page to engage with your target audience and promote your website.
However try not to make it all about your products. Instead, share interesting and exciting content that will inspire conversations and shares. The more you interact with your customers, the more likely they are to trust your brand and buy your products. You can also create paid advertisements on Facebook, which can be targeted at a wider audience to help you drive more traffic through to your business page or website.
Twitter was launched in July 2006 and rapidly gained worldwide popularity with both individuals and businesses using it. Today it is one of the ten most-visited websites and as of July 2014 had over five hundred million users. Using Twitter can be incredibly beneficial for businesses as it is great for engaging with your target audience and driving traffic to your website.
Like we said with Facebook, it’s not all about sharing product links. Instead you should be looking to share content that your followers will find interesting. The better your content is, the more likely people are to‘re-tweet’ it and help it find a larger audience.
You should also use relevant hash tags in your tweets, as this will ensure people actively looking for tweets on a particular subject see them.
Google+ is a social networking and identification service owned and operated by Google. It was designed to be a rival for Facebook and has over five hundred and forty million active users. Google+ allows you to build up a following by adding people into your circles. You can also use it to share content like blog posts, articles, images and videos, which you can submit with relevant hash tags to reach a wider audience.
Like with the other social media websites we have mentioned, you need to find a healthy balance between posting self-promotional content and other relevant content that your target audience will find interesting and engaging.
YouTube is a video-sharing website that was created by three former PayPal employees in 2005 and sold to Google in 2006. It is a great platform to use if you want to share unique and interesting video content about your brand. For example behind the scenes videos that show your products being made, interviews with your employees and Q&A videos where you answer your customers’ questions.
Sharing engaging video content will help to build customers’ trust in your company, as they will be able to see that it is more than just a website. One of the great things about creating YouTube videos is that they are very SEO-friendly.
YouTube videos feature prominently in Google search results, so keep this in mind when it comes to naming and describing your brand videos.
Pinterest is a social media platform that launched back in March 2010. Unlike the other platforms we have mentioned, it focuses on visual discovery, allowing its users to collect, share, store and distribute images.
The images they collect are added to their own Pinterest boards, which can be viewed by their followers and (if permitted) other Pinterest users. Brands can use Pinterest to drive traffic through to their website by pinning their own product listings. However they should also create Pinterest boards that relate to what their target audience may be interested in, to help increase engagement.
For example, if they sell baking products, they could pin interesting and innovative recipes on their Pinterest boards. Pinterest can also be used by brands to discover new things about their target audience.
By simply looking at some of their customers’ Pinterest boards, they can get an idea of the things they are interested and therefore build a better profile of them. The same goes for all of the social media pages we have mentioned.
If you are looking for the best way to engage with potential customers, promote your products and learn more about your target audience, social media is the answer. To ensure you choose the right sites for your business to focus on, think about which social media platforms your target audience are likely to use and what type of content they are likely to engage with the most.
Once you’ve got this figured out, get your profiles set up and you’ll be building up a great social media following in no time.