Social media can be a maze, every week it seems like there is a new platform developing that everyone is using now so you just have to jump on the band wagon right? No! In fact putting your business on a social media platform that it is not best suited for can actually be damaging for your business.
Understanding how a platform can best be utilised and work for your business, is a lot more important than just having a presence there just because everyone else is doing it. Here are the pros and cons of each of the key six social media platforms for your business.
- It is the most commonly used platform as 75% of adults online are on Facebook and use it regularly.
- When you use Facebook for your business you get access to Facebook analytics which allows you to monitor trends of the people viewing, liking and sharing your page. But essentially it allows you to see what strategies are working for yourself and what isn’t.
- Facebook is all about engagement and interaction with your followers. Sharing is caring after all, and one share can then reach all of their friends list, and all of their friends list and so on. Giving you a potentially infinite audience.
- Facebook allows you to buy targeted adverts that reach the people that you want to see it. This way your page will reach your target, the people that are already interested in your product and the services you can offer. These can be a great tool – your potential customers can come to you so you don’t have to chase them at all!
- Facebook also allows you to show the lighter side of your brand. As mentioned, Facebook is all about interaction, and you are simply not going to get that if all you ever post is a walking advert for your business. Post a few light hearted and humorous posts every now and then to show a personal face to your business. People don’t want to follow brands to see adverts – we see over 500 adverts a day(!) – they want to see how a brand thinks, feels and what it finds funny.
- If used incorrectly Facebook can be a disaster. Just posting content based solely on your business and what the services you can offer is a huge
- Keep things light hearted, vary your posts and make them unique – otherwise you will be left wondering why you only have around 4 followers….
- Hashtags will save you when looking to promote your business. They give you an audience that are already actively searching for a certain topic and brings you into the view of people with similar interests. This can open a lot of discussions with customers and also open potential business relationships – just don’t use unnecessary hash tags as this can make you look unprofessional and unorganised…and to be perfectly honest, a little desperate to be liked!
- Twitter can also help you show the lighter side of your brand. Keep your tweets interesting, unique and keep your followers interested.
- Twitter allows you to retweet and like other people and businesses, opening you up to more publicity and viewable content. Don’t be afraid to share another businesses content – it doesn’t mean everyone will go to them instead, it makes your company look secure and willing to interact – which as I keep saying, is what social media is all about.
- While Twitter does allow you to share photographs, it is not an image based platform. This means that photographs placed in a tweet will appear as a hyperlink. This can go either way as there are two types of people on Twitter – those who are intrigued by a mystery link and those who instantly dismiss it. Always try and gage what kind your followers are.
- Twitter has a 140 character limit, which unfortunately includes punctuation. This can restrict how well you make your point while also potentially making you seem outright illiterate! Plan your tweets and think how best to get your point across.
- Google+ allows you to share photo’s and while not being a photo based platform, it can present them in a very attractive manor.
- With Google+ there is no character limit so you are free to say as much or as little as you want with your posts.
- You can also share video on Google+ which allows you to engage your customers in a new and exciting way.
- You can also create polls which means you can promote engagement and interaction with your followers – interaction is key with social media.
- Google+ also helps with your Google rankings so you can rank higher and more importantly get your brand seen.
- Not many people do use this platform regularly – a lot of people have profiles on there however they do not use them often so brand visibility on the actual platform (Google rankings aside) is a bit more limited.
- Pinterest is an image based platform and so it can reallybe beneficial when it comes to selling a product – after all, a picture tells a thousand words.
- No character limit however text posts are only allowed as a description to an image you pin – ideally keep it short and sweet and put a link elsewhere to encourage engagement and interaction.
- Hash tags are also useful on Pinterest to find similar minded individuals that are already interested in your products.
- Is it useful for your field? If you aren’t a business that sells visually interesting product i.e. jewellery, garden landscaping etc, it’s important to ask yourself, what are you going to take photographs of to grab your followers attention?
- Pinterest is mainly used by women (82%), and although this is not majorly important, it’s important to consider your target market in this respect.
- Although Pinterest is not difficult as such to use, it can take a while to work out how best to utilise it for your business. Although it is worth putting the time in to educate yourself.
- Can be fantastic for creating business relationships and interacting with businesses helpful in your field.
- Can share photographs to promote what you do and also share more light hearted posts to create a bran awareness.
- Can share blog posts sharing your knowledge and experience your specialised area.
- This is a more of a business to business platform as most people don’t use it as consumers – as long as you are aware of this it can be really useful in terms of business relationships.
- Filters are fantastic and can make potentially amateur photographs look professional and visually interesting.
- Instagram is an image based platform whereby you can share your product easily to a large audience.
- Can utilise hash tags brilliantly on this platform as they are the only way to search for an interest. Can really help to share and promote your business.
- Can also add detailed descriptions on your photographs explaining and drawing potential customers in with the services you can offer.
- Instagram needs to be used correctly and if you don’t have experience of it then you can struggle to get your voice heard. Saying that, a lot of brands can gain popularity and be found solely through Instagram without finding their website, and so it is certainly worth taking the time to teach yourself, or get a professional in *shameless plug*.
Still not sure how to best use social media to your advantage? Drop our social media specialist an email at email@example.com or call the office on 01524 509035 and ask for Emmie. Thank you for your time and have a fantastic weekend! 🙂