When running a small business, your time is probably taken up with myriad tasks that compete for attention. That could be why you’ve been putting off properly investing in social media, even though you know it can make a difference to your marketing campaigns.
Feeling overwhelmed by the whole concept of utilizing social media networks for your business? If so, you don’t have to use each one. In fact, different sites have different advantages, and can be beneficial for different types of businesses, content, and goals. To help you decide which platform(s) you should spend time on, read on.
Benefits of Popular Sites and How They’re Best Used
Facebook is currently the largest option, with over 2 billion monthly active users. With so many users, it’s likely consumers will head straight to the site if they want to investigate your business. Demographics wise, Facebook is fairly evenly split between male and female users, and its largest market is people aged between 25 and 34 years of age.
It’s great for businesses wanting to use targeted digital advertising, connect with a wide variety of people and prospects, utilize live-streaming and e-commerce integration capabilities, post long-form content, or use Facebook-hosted videos.
Instagram has always been about sharing beautiful images, but now allows users to submit and share videos, stories and direct messages too. It skews to a younger demographic, with its biggest demographic being 18 to 29 year-olds. If you sell physical products or have a visual-based business, Instagram is a good choice as it provides a platform for showcasing wares in a visually-appealing way.
You can use the Stories feature now too, which allows you to document and take people behind the scene of your organization for a more immersive experience. Apart from high-quality photographs, the site is also great for sharing quotes and motivational images, and using hashtags to increase searchability and engagement.
Twitter is seen as a “water cooler” kind of platform; it’s the place to go to discover trending topics and the latest news. It has many users in the younger age range (particularly 18 to 29), and is perfect for sharing short updates, staying in touch with others, and searching for answers to questions or potential leads.
As a real-time communication channel that constantly updates its feed, the site is great if you want to be able to showcase your expertise as a trendsetter, engage on popular topics, and provide quick customer service. Regular Tweets throughout each day are recommended, plus updates with images or video tend to perform better.
Snapchat started out as a disappearing-photo app only popular with teenagers, but has grown rapidly. If you’re keen to target a young but highly-engaged audience, this is the platform for you. The majority of users are under 25 years of age, and the largest demographic is 18 to 24-year-olds. Content only stays live for 24 hours before disappearing, which creates a sense of urgency.
This is helpful for sales, limited-time product releases, and for quickly creating content that doesn’t need to be too produced. Consistent, authentic, transparent content works best, particularly “behind the scenes” messages.
YouTube is the second-biggest search engine after Google, so it is another popular choice for many businesses due to the search-engine benefits that can come with using it. It attracts users of all ages, but especially 25 to 44 year olds, and it is seen as one of the best places to house and share video content if you want lots of eyeballs on your productions. Video length doesn’t tend to matter on YouTube, but you should add thumbnails which catch people’s eyes.
LinkedIn is often seen as the “professional” version of Facebook and most users are between 30 and 64 years of age. People on LinkedIn tend to have a business mindset; and a range of content, including e-books, videos, blogs, white papers, and case studies can be posted on the site, on top of personal or company profiles.
The site is a good place to share job vacancies, build brand awareness, and showcase your expertise on a topic. Consider posting regularly and joining groups and engaging with other people’s content to get the most benefits out of LinkedIn.
Tips for Deciding Which Platform(s) to Use for Your Business
When it comes to deciding which social network your business should use most, or first, there are three main things to consider. For starters, know your audience. Be clear on the age of your target demographic, their browsing and buying habits, lifestyle and family circumstances, socioeconomic level, and more.
Next, set yourself some goals so you can determine which site will suit best. For example, you might want to use social-media platforms to build awareness around a newly launched business or a brand-new product, or to increase leads or conversions; boost repeat business or referrals; or another goal.
You also should work out what your preferred type of content is. There’s no point using a video- or image-based site like YouTube or Instagram, for example, if you’re more interested in creating long blog posts. Consider what you’ll likely be able to produce before you commit to a site.