Many business owners often wonder if social media is worth the time and effort, and it is, but only if you’re using the correct social media platforms. Start by identifying your target market and business goals, then read on to find out which social media platforms will be the most effective resource:
Facebook, once one of the most popular and still widely used forms of social media, is always changing. When it first made its debut its target audience was young adults, however that quickly changed once the Facebook executives realized how much potential the site wielded.
Today, Facebook has many different users, including the elderly who often use this as a tool to stay in touch with family, friends, and the younger generation.
As a new business, Facebook is definitely one of the must-have social media accounts as it is incredibly versatile and easy to set up and maintain.
For those business owners just getting the hang of social media, make sure that you’re including as much information about your business as possible on your Facebook page. Be sure to include a link to your website, your business hours, contact information, location, products/services, and your mission statement as well as at least one description. For those slightly more Facebook savvy, you can also include a newsletter sign-up tab and a CTA (call-to-action) button.
By updating your page with business accomplishments, relevant information, and connecting with your audience you should see a good return on your time and effort. However, if you’re not getting the reach or likes you quite imagined, you should consider Facebook advertising. This could include directing traffic to your website, increasing your page likes, and or your reach likes.
Twitter is similar to Facebook in that it is another good option for most business, as long as you’re able to keep things short and sweet. With a limit of 140 characters it can seem quite difficult to get your message out there, but if you get creative you would be surprised how much you can say.
A good example of a company utilizing Twitter to the fullest would be Starbucks Canada (@StarbucksCanada). If you visit their Twitter page you’ll notice they have quite the following, as well as a massive amount of tweets, but that is to be expected for a company of that stature. Most of their tweets include hashtags, emojis and pictures. By including all of these elements they’re able to get their message across in many ways. It’s also important to take note at the fact that although they’re constantly promoting their products and brands, they’re doing it in a fun and unique way – not just saying “try our new Mini Frappuccino!”
Our recommendation is that as long as you can keep your Twitter account fun and relevant you should definitely go for it!
LinkedIn is incredibly corporate. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is all about business, as it is considered the premiere B2B social network. Although it can be great for your business, it isn’t very versatile. With personal profiles you’re able to connect with other business professionals, look for jobs, and open up yourself up to be headhunted. Company pages allow you to share updates with professionals and other companies that follow your page.
If you’re looking for a good example, take a look at Mashable’s. Mashable, a digital media website, uses their LinkedIn company page to share their articles, business news, and other posts they feel their audience will appreciate and/or relate to. By offering a bit of everything, they’re able to keep their followers coming back for more.
Although still fairly new, Pinterest is a one of a kind social network that is currently used by many businesses that sell products or offer services.
One notable Pinterest success story is Buzzfeed’s exponential increase in referral growth and traffic. Buzzfeed, a news and entertainment website, uses Pinterest to find trending topics, and often incorporate them in some of their articles and news pieces. Since joining Pinterest, Buzzfeed has seen an astronomical increase in their referral traffic, ultimately allowing them to reach more people all over the world.
Another success story is Sony’s increased revenue since engaging fellow pinners. Sony, offering innovative tech products, saw a different result since joining Pinterest. They were able to reach a different audience, those more focused on lifestyle, and saw quite the increase in revenue as a result.
If you’re thinking of creating a Pinterest business page, take a look at the above accounts and take notes! The more creative and unique on Pinterest, the better.
Instagram, a widely used image sharing social network is most popular among young adults aged 18-29 who make up 53% of their audience. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream are experts at utilizing Instagram. If you view their account you’ll notice that they have a tendency to promote their brand and products by staging devilishly delicious ice cream and branded products in photos.
We recommend businesses uses Instagram if they would like to show off their work, products and things happening around the office!
Each social media platform has its own set of demographics and strengths and weaknesses in terms of its relevance for businesses. You can use any or all of these social media networks in combination to connect with your customers and get your brand name out there.