Everything has been moving so fast since the internet took over the world and we are now at a point where it’s hard to imagine life without it. The same can be said about social media. Back in 2010, social media platforms like Friendster and Facebook were all about connecting with friends and family online. Since then, more and more people have joined in the online life and businesses have seen an opportunity to use social media as a part of digital marketing to promote their products or services.
Why Social Media is so Important for Your Business
Today, it has evolved so much that businesses turn to social media for more exposure and some might even say that if you aren’t using social media, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Social media has definitely shifted from just posting and sharing photos and videos, into being business tools that actually drive sales. Note that these business features are free or at a low price. This is why it’s important for businesses to get into social media: they should take advantage of the possibilities one can do without breaking the bank.
Here’s what you can do when you use social media for business:
Update your customers
Build a relationship with your audience by making a community
Have access to analytics, demographics and insights which can help you study your customers and make decisions
Improve customer service
Execute brand awareness strategies
Generate leads and traffic
Know people’s shopping habits
There have been many social media strategies that have failed because of focusing on the wrong social media platform. Brainstorming an effective social media strategy requires time, effort and lots of research. To help you get started, check out these 5 tips in choosing the social media platform that is best suited for you.
- Write down goals.
It is important to know what you want to happen as this leads you to brainstorm HOW to make it happen. Once you have this all lined up, you will have a more defined criteria in choosing which platform to focus on, what type of content you should create, and the audience you would target. It’s also a good idea to ask questions like, “are we going for the B2B or B2C approach?” “Who is our target audience?” and “What is our overall social media goal?”
- Lay down your choices.
With loads of platforms to choose from, it all boils down to which platform has the capability to give you exposure to the RIGHT audience. Narrow it down to the best platform that aligns with your goal so that you can be assured that it will help you achieve your marketing objectives. There’s a saying that goes, “work smarter, not harder.” Instead doing the impossible and being present in ALL platforms, take the high road and focus only on the ones that will get you the most traffic.
The top social media platforms with the highest monthly active users are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tiktok.
- Figure out who your audience is.
Different platforms have different audiences. These depend on the people’s interests, priorities, life or business goals, and preferences. Once you know who you will be targeting, the next step will be easier to do.
- Go where the people are.
Every goal of a business getting into social media sites is to be able to connect with their audience in the best way possible. Choose a platform where people spend the most time on. They won’t come to you; you should reach out to them. Figure this out through customer survey (you hear directly from customers), or through the social media sites themselves. This information can also be acquired through research.
- Know what type of content you create.
Different platforms have different types of content. Youtube is best for long videos, Instagram works well with photos and Tiktok is best for less than 1-minute videos. The type of content depends on the industry you are in, your brand as a company, and your target audience. Some types of content include photos, videos, blog posts, webinars, podcasts, testimonials, user-generated content, reviews, and more.
That being said, it’s also a good thing to know about the Categories of Social Media. Knowing the different categories will lead you closer to the best platform for you.
- Social Networks – To connect with people such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Media Sharing Networks – To share photos and videos such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube
- Discussion Forums - To share news, facts, ideas and opinions such as Reddit, Quora and Digg
- Content Curation Networks – To discover, bookmark and share new content such as Pinterest and Flipboard -
- Blogging and Publishing Networks – To publish content through long textual content such as Wordpress and Tumblr
- Social Shopping Networks – To go online shopping, discover trends and brands such as Etsy
- Consumer Review Networks – To review and share information about brands, products/services and places such as Yelp, Zomato and TripAdvisor
Best Social Media Platforms for Business
Once you’ve got that all figured out, it’s time to review all the platforms in your list and study them one by one to see if they align with your goals. Check their active monthly users, best type of content for that platform, business features, audience demographics, fees, etc. To make things a tad bit easier for you to decide, we have made a list of different social media platforms and a little background about each one.
Facebook is considered to be the most popular network with over 1.4 billion users and over 900 million daily active users. All types of content can be published here, and it has a highly customizable ad center and other business features. You will be able to promote your brand to a lot of people and target the audience that is most likely to be interested in your brand. Not only that, businesses could take advantage on the number of people on Facebook by creating a community of like-minded individuals. This narrows down your audience to those who are most interested in your brand and will most likely engage with what you have to offer. In terms of customer service, Facebook is also a good way to connect or entertain your customers and hear what they have to say.
To sum it up, Facebook is good for exposure, various content, building relationship, generating leads, drive sales and offer great insights and analytics.
Twitter is more focused on immediacy and engagement. What makes twitter different from all other social networks is that brands and consumers have the same thing going on: concise communication. The reason why many people like using twitter is because it focuses on short and easy to digest textual content. This works best with immediacy such as daily updates, sudden announcements, breaking news and other information.
Another reason why Twitter is great for engagements is because of its audience diversity. There are many users from different walks of life which makes them a unique audience. One way to study the users are through their tweets, retweets, hashtags and shares. With Twitter, it’s easy to stay relevant as long as you do your part to be active by tweeting regularly.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media app with over a 3 billion users. Here you can share different types of content like photos, videos, stories and live videos. Recently it launched more content features like IGTV Video and Guide. Instagram has become the go-to medium for social media marketing for small businesses and even big brands to reach their target audience and to grow organically. There are 800 million-1 billion monthly active users and most of them visit the platform daily and follow at least one business account.
Instagram takes first place when it comes to visual content, this is why marketers always up the game because aesthetic is what Instagram is about. After posting content, you may also use the business features on Instagram or reach out to micro-influencers to help you take your social media marketing to the next level.
To sum it up, Instagram is also a very good platform because of its media-based content with high engagement rates which also leads to high conversion rates. It’s good for brand awareness, organic growth, lead and sales generation, and getting insights.
If we compare assign social media platforms to different places in real life, LinkedIn would be an office. It is a business-related social network with like-minded individuals. These people prioritize their business growth and life goals, thus making this platform the best for editorial, business and career-oriented content. People here are success-minded leaders, influencers, marketers and job seekers. LinkedIn is made specifically for professional networking.
According to Eventige, “LinkedIn has 61 million senior level influencers of which 40 million are decision-makers. There are 87 million millennials, and 11 million of them are decision-makers. This is the platform is purely for business. Anything personal should be posted elsewhere. Like Instagram, influencer marketing may also be applied in LinkedIn. However, influencers here promote themselves as thinkers, leaders and innovators who grow their target audience by posting informative and credible content may it be videos, long posts or photos.
Not only is LinkedIn beneficial to you as a brand, but also for B2B buyers to get to know you. This way you can reach your target audience, but also have opportunities to expand your business.
Pinterest is an image-based social media platform wherein brands can promote their products and services, while users can explore trends, discover trends and pin what they like on their virtual bulletin boards. It’s a platform considered to be a highly effective selling tool for online businesses. A lot of people turn to Pinterest to research on products and look for inspiration, which is why it’s recommended platform for eCommerce businesses. Post visually pleasing photos here, use the right keywords, and include the link to direct them to your website.
This way, you gain exposure, increase traffic and generate leads. Make sure to have a lot of followers and use the buy buttons because this leads to greater brand awareness and get sales leads faster. The trick here is to focus on quality, frequency and consistency. Think of Pinterest as a passionate community who are looking for ideas for their next project. Give them the inspiration they need by posting regularly.
In short, Pinterest is the go-to platform for shoppers and eCommerce brands. If you have sales-centric goals, Pinterest is the way to go.
Tiktok has been around for quite a while but it was only in 2019-2020 when it became the second-most downloaded app. This is a good thing for brands because more users mean there are more opportunities for a brand to grow their business using this platform.
It is considered to be the first social media platform to combine characteristics of the other social media platforms. Like Youtube, it consists entirely of videos. Like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you navigate through a feed of many different posts. Like Netflix, it has a default mode of encountering content through a recommendation algorithm. Like Snapchat and Instagram, one can only produce using a mobile phone. Thus, it caters to younger audiences because of the nature of its app and the whole concept of Tiktok.
As a brand promoting your business, create fun video demonstrations about your product, launch a hashtag challenge, work with Tiktok influencers, and use Tiktok advertising to your advantage. Like Facebook, Tiktok also offers custom targeting for you to reach the right audience.
Content Marketing has never been this diverse, fun and creative. So, take advantage of all the social media platforms for your business, and you will grow beyond your expectations. You don’t want to miss out on all these opportunities, would you?