Social media, once thought to be a passing fad, is a growing part of American life now. According to Pew Research data from 2016, 69% of Americans use social media. 86% of 18-29 year olds use it. These numbers may be even higher now. With so many people using these platforms, is it any wonder that most businesses use them?
Facebook, the social giant
Facebook usage is pervasive among internet users, with 79% of American internet using adults using the social media platform (Pew Research Update 2016). Like it or not, your business will have a Facebook page. Facebook creates unofficial pages for businesses, with content submitted by users or mined from the internet. Without your input, this content may not be accurate. It may poorly or inaccurately represent your brand. It may cost you business. So what can you do about it?
The solution is to create a page for your business. With you in control of the page, you can make sure it matches your brand and create a cohesive online presence. You can merge or delete any unofficial pages that may not accurately represent you. Then you can put the page to work for you – direct leads to your website, or have them contact you via the Facebook messenger. Grow your fanbase. Grow a community around your brand.
This is the powerful aspect of social media marketing, and a staple of Facebook marketing – a fanbase that likes your company and talks about your products or services. Just the act of liking your page gives a chance for your posts to show up in their feed and the feed of their friends – sometimes hundreds or even thousands of friends. If you post thought provoking content that your customers like, they may share it – putting it on their wall and guaranteeing that it shows up in their friends’ feeds. You can also encourage users to tag posts with hashtags, which allows users to search for and find all posts with the particular tag.
Instagram, the photo sharing platform
Instagram is a different beast. 32% of internet using adults and 59% of internet using 18-29 year olds use this platform (Pew Research Update 2016). The medium here is images and video, and it can be a powerful platform to showcase your brand with creative photos, captions, galleries, and videos. It’s a great platform to reach young, trendy adults – and is a great way to share a visually appealing product or service. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Similarly to Facebook, users can share your content. You can also encourage users to share photos of themselves with your product, utilizing hash tags. This is a great way to boost brand awareness and get people talking about your products.
Pinterest, the content pinning platform
Pinterest is a great place to reach women, with 45% of online women using it – compared to 17% of online men (Pew Research Update 2016). It’s a great way to share blog posts and other interesting content. Users and businesses can pin content in the form of images, which link to specific web content like blogs, recipes, or products.
Other users can pin this content into their own boards, share it on other social media sites, or send it directly to friends. Businesses can curate their own boards as well, with their own pins and other relevant pins – which users can then follow.
Twitter, where every letter counts
Twitter is used by about a quarter (24%) of online users (Pew Research Update 2016). Unlike facebook, where you can practically share a book (63,206 characters), Twitter is limited to relatively short messages, called Tweets – limited to 280 characters, which was recently bumped up from 140 characters in November, 2017. With a smaller user base than the other top social media platforms, twitter isn’t as important to focus on – but it can still be a great place to share news about your company and products. It’s also a good place to generate conversations about your products and services, as people can re-tweet and tweet about your tweets.
One of the most overlooked features of Twitter is having conversations with particular users. You can find people talking about your product or services and reply to them. This allows you to engage directly with customers and potential customers, which is great for brand loyalty and post engagement – which is important on all social networks.
LinkedIn, the professional’s platform
LinkedIn is a great way to connect with business professionals, especially college graduates. 29% of online adults use LinkedIn, and a whopping 50% of online college graduates use it (Pew Research Update 2016). With LinkedIn you can make connections with other businesses and professionals, make and get referrals,and build up a network of business contacts.
It is a great platform for business to business sales, as it can allow you to connect directly to decision makers. Being able to bypass the gatekeeper and go straight to the decision maker can be a game changer for a business that relies on B2B sales. Why cold call, when you can facilitate a warm call via LinkedIn?
How I can help
Statistically, there is a pretty good chance you are already using at least one of these platforms for your business. But are you using it well? Each of these platforms is vastly different, and each has particular content and strategies that work well on them. If you don’t have good post engagement, your posts aren’t going to be seen by many. You need eye catching, intriguing content that gets noticed among the slurry of other posts and photos and pins and tweets. Learning to use these platforms and creating content for them can easily be a full time job, leaving little room for your other responsibilities.
That’s where I can help. I can build a customized social media strategy that fits your company, and create original content that not only promotes your brand – but gets noticed. Whether you just need to be on Facebook with a post once a week, need a comprehensive plan with daily posts on every platform, or something in between – I can do that.
Contact me for more information, pricing, and to get free samples of content for your business.