Social media has emerged as a powerful marketing tool and in today’s digital driven world, your business needs to be in the social space. However, social media for business is not a “one size fits all” approach. Your customers go to social media for different things at different times and it is critical that you navigate through these waters to identify which is the right space for your business.
Every day it feels as if a new social media platform is being introduced to the market but that is not to say that each of these is the right fit for your brand. Understanding what each platform has to offer and what audience they attract is key to identifying the right platform for your brand.
Let’s take a look at what each has to offer for your business:
Facebook: The most popular of the bunch, Facebook is a great tool for engaging with customers through posts, stories, photos and articles. Building a Fan page is a great forum for conversation but this tool is no longer simply a “free” option. Facebook offers many advertising options to acquire fans, reach and engage them and these options are necessary in having an effective fan page that will grow over time.
Twitter: The very premise of Twitter is based on bite size conversations. With only 140 characters to say your peace. Twitter provides a forum for real conversation. Used correctly and consistently you can connect with your audience and your customers and build true engagement.
Instagram: One of the fastest growing platforms with over 400 million monthly users, the once trendy IOS only app is now a mainstream staple in the social media world. Based on photos, editing and filters, Instagram is an incredibly popular visual tool that allows you to connect with your customers through photos, product images, behind the scenes and more. Its users expect creativity and quality photos so try to avoid stock photography and standard product images.
Pinterest: Classically known for its array of recipes, crafts and outfits, Pinterest has emerged on the scene as one of the most powerful Social Media platforms. For businesses in retail, fashion and service industries Pinterest provides a “scrapbook” approach that allows you to show off your product lines and entice your customers through beautiful images that link back to your site where they can purchase those picture perfect products.
LinkedIn: As the only truly B2B platform LinkedIn has created an online networking event that you can join as often as you please. LinkedIn allows you to connect with your customers, colleagues and associates while generating new leads through posts, ads and sponsored updates.
Periscope: The newest player in the social media game is Periscope. It’s “in the moment” approach offers users a chance to engage with your business in real time. The very essence of social media is about connection and Periscope has created a space where your brand can share live updates, Q&A’s, behind the scenes and more simply by logging in and hitting “start broadcast”. There is no need for a fancy video production or a rehearsed performance. You can be yourself and interact with your customers in real time.
Your business model and consumer base should dictate which social media channels your business chooses to appear on. It is more important that you are consistent and authentic with your online voice, than it is to be on all channels and only somewhat engaged. Do your homework, feel out the various platforms and create a strategy that you can successfully stick to.