Does it feel like a new social network pops up almost daily?
Feeling the pressure to be “everywhere” and running to keep up?
If you’ve wondered which social media site is right for your business, it’s no surprise.
With a variety of platforms to choose from, knowing where to spend your time can be difficult.
So, what social media platform matters most to your business?
That depends on your answers to a few questions.
- What’s your business focus? (industry, niche, vertical)
- Who is your target market? (geographic area, age, income, race, gender)
- What’s their social media engagement and conversational style?
Once you’ve defined who you’re speaking with and marketing to, the rest will feel like a breeze.
Not convinced? Let me show you how to peel back the layers of obscurity from today’s top social networks. Then one by one, you can determine where to spend your time.
After all, more people than ever before are using social media to make connections.
Still don’t believe in the power of social media to connect your business with the right people?
Here’s everything you need to know about the top 7 social networks.
Where to begin, what to analyze, and what the value (and true ROI) is – no matter your industry.
How to Choose the Best Social Media Site for Your Business
There’s no denying it. Facebook is the reigning social media King.
With a billion users logging in to Facebook daily, overlooking it is a mistake.
And while it might have been the network you connected with your family and friends on,
Compared to the other social networks, Facebook’s role lies in helping companies build strong brand loyalty, a solid reputation, and better relationships.
In that, businesses establish themselves as an authority in their specific niche through quality (and engaging) content.
Want to attract the right people to your Page? Start by building out your “About.”
Tips to Help You Craft Your “About”
- Add your mission, vision and values along with any founding details that would matter to potential clients.
- You have a short amount of time to gain the attention of potential fans. Put the most relevant details at the top of your “About.”
- Answer questions any customer or fan would have.
- Provide success stories and examples of how you’ve helped others. Was there a difficult situation you were able to work through? Highlight that story!
- Strike industry jargon from your messaging and talk to your audience in a conversational way.
- Add keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business and would be used by any consumer looking for your business.
Once you’ve done this, it’s time to get the conversation started. Share content that encourages dialogue and interaction.
Red Bull is a great example of a brand that’s established a personal connection with their customer base.
They don’t simply push energy drinks, but instead create an experience around the drink itself.
The brand’s adrenaline-filled images and videos capture people’s attention, imagination, and inspiration.
Twitter is another social media site that’s appropriate for any business or vertical.
With over 300 million users, Twitter offers a unique opportunity to engage in real-time. No matter what type of content you’re looking to share, Twitter has an audience for you.
And its brief 140 character format makes it simple and straightforward. Yet, many businesses still feel stumped at where to begin.
Here’s a Few Easy Ways You Can Use Twitter
- Interact and engage with your customers building deeper, more meaningful relationships.
- Offer a solution to your potential clients top questions.
- Share your story and give a sneak peek into what makes your company tick.
- Highlight your employees by sharing a behind-the-scenes look at your day-to-day operations.
- Take your customer service to a whole new level by actively listening.
They don’t simply push out basketball content. They add context to their timely tweets, making every one interactive and engaging.
— NBA (@NBA) April 11, 2016
Compared to many B2C customer oriented social platforms, LinkedIn focuses on cultivating B2B relationships.
Whether you want to make industry or vendor connections, LinkedIn is the place to be.
Far from the “static resume” many thought it to be back when it first launched, LinkedIn has evolved. Maintaining a presence on LinkedIn allows you to:
- Form a list of valuable business connections (network, network, network!)
- Raise awareness and visibility around your business.
- Stay top of mind and on top of trends in your industry.
- Share knowledge and expertise.
- Find skilled employees.
Mashable has made great use of their LinkedIn Company Page by understanding who their audience is. Rather than wildly sharing content, they’ve narrowed down their offerings.
Their mix includes content focused on business sales, productivity, work/life balance and social media.
3 Ways You Can Use LinkedIn
1. Publish long-form content to LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Not a blogger? No problem! LinkedIn makes it easy to write content designed with your connections in mind.
And just look at the benefits! When you publish a long-form post on LinkedIn:
- Your original content becomes part of your professional profile. It displays on the Posts section of your LinkedIn profile.
- It’s shared with your connections and followers.
- Members not in your network can follow you to receive updates when you publish next.
- Your long-form post is searchable both on and off of LinkedIn.
2. Join a LinkedIn Group relevant to your business or niche. It’s a great way to establish rapport and build credibility.
Share great content, get involved in the conversation, become a part of the community. Connecting with like-minded individuals will help grow your sphere of influence.
3. Enhance your LinkedIn profile to make the right connections.
- Complete your profile. Add past and current employer information, special skills, education all contact details. Don’t forget to add your website and social profiles.
- Do your research and use keyword phrases that align with your industry or niche.
- Add your presentations (tap into the power of Slideshare), upload documents and share client testimonials.
- Use the same professional headshot you use across all online properties. Create a consistent look and feel.
- Use your LinkedIn Background Photo to express who you are, what you do and who your business helps.
Want to connect with your target market through the power of visual marketing? Pinterest is your answer.
Just take a look at the statistics and you’ll see that no matter the age, demographic or industry – your audience is spending time on Pinterest.
Sure, you might think Pinterest is just an online scrapbook, but you’d be wrong. Pinterest is an inspiration station – showcasing products and passions through appealing imagery.
The biggest difference between Pinterest and other visual networks is its lead and traffic generating opportunities. While Facebook is great for building relationships, Pinterest is the network to grow traffic, leads and sales.
Sephora is an example of a brand that has mastered Pinterest marketing. Sephora uses Pinterest to share beauty tips, tutorials, and inspirational looks. Plus, they involve their followers in a way many businesses haven’t figured out how to do through user-generated content.
They’ve built a loyal and highly engaged following through creative and consistent pinning.
And while engagement is great, the challenge for many businesses is knowing how to use platform to get found.
Want to create and pin content that helps you stand out on Pinterest?
- Know your content focus and make it easy to find.
- When people are searching within Pinterest, what keywords would align with your business?
- Understand what those phrases are and use them within your content description. Give exact details about the content, but use keywords sparingly. You don’t want to appear spammy.
- Create images that speak the language of your audience. Help them self select into your product or service.
Visual marketing has taken the world by storm. And with that has come the massive popularity of Instagram.
Like Pinterest, Instagram centers around visual content. Users and brands alike post photo and video that inspires, delights and encourages interaction.
Instagram allows for a more personal connection. Rather than company marketing speak, Instagram shares the human side of business.
And in a short amount of time.
Because after all, people are busy and no longer have the desire to read long messages and texts. What they do have is a quick second to glance at an attractive image, read a quick tip or inspirational quote.
Showcase your business, service and product through snackable and shareable content.
GoPro is by far one of my most favorite brands on Instagram. The versatile camera company has taken complete advantage of our visual appetite.
Their page is full of awe-inspiring photographs of real people doing amazing things. Moreover, most of the content GoPro posts is user-generated.
This has created an audience that’s involved and engaged, building brand loyalty through eye-catching content.
The Facebook killer. That was the initial positioning of Google Plus (and thoughts by many haters).
There’s no denying the amount of change that’s taken place within Google Plus since it’s launch in 2011. Unfortunately, bad press and poor planning did more to hinder its popularity than help.
Where it stands today looks significantly different than even 2 years ago. In an article written by Forbes back in 2105, the stark reality of a veritable wasteland was exposed. (90% of the people with profiles on Google+ had never posted publicly)
And that debate still rages on. But for those that have maintained a presence or are looking to get started, there are still a few key benefits.
Business both large and small use Google Plus for search engine optimization. This has shifted somewhat as features within Local Business Pages got stripped away.
But for many (me included), Google Plus has been a relationship building platform.
It has been the single best place to connect with people across the world. No matter the industry, interest or topic, Google Plus can open the door into new markets.
And don’t forget Communities and their ability to help you connect with like-minded individuals. Communities (similar to Facebook Groups) give you the chance to target and interact with those who have shown interest in your field.
That can make the platform an ideal place for getting pre-qualified leads.
Toyota is an example of a brand taking advantage of everything Google Plus has to offer. From insights at the Motor Show to behind-the-scenes videos, Toyota showcases their brand personality.
Looking to make better connections with your potential clients? Video and live streaming is where it’s at.
But the daddy of all video is still YouTube.
Just take a look at the statistics and it’s easy to see, YouTube is a must for anyone generating video content.
- YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.
- YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
- The number of hours people spend watching videos (aka watch time) on YouTube is up 60% y/y, the fastest growth we’ve seen in 2 years.
- The number of people watching YouTube per day is up 40% y/y since March 2014.
- The number of users coming to YouTube who start at the YouTube homepage, similar to the way they might turn on their TV, is up more than 3x y/y.
And while I haven’t mentioned Live Streaming – Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Live, Blab and many others – there is power in each platform. The key is identifying where your target marketing is hanging out and your time is best spent.
At Post Planner, we use live streaming every week to connect, engage and interact with our audience.
If you want to succeed at social media, you need to plan for it.
Stop wasting countless hours trying to be everything to everybody. Focus on the process and strategy for each social network that matters most to your business.
What social networks will you incorporate into your marketing? Take the opportunity to use each one to magnify and expand your online presence.