How is Your Business Marketing on Social Media
Social media began as a tool for ordinary people to have a place to share and connect with friends online. Some online bulletin boards and portals were more successful than others. By the beginning of the 21st century, Facebook, LinkedIn and then Twitter launched, and today these sites and similar others dominate marketing efforts online.
While the concept is simple enough – create a profile and connect with others who share your interests (personal or business or both) – the day-to-day application can quickly become much more complex. This post will help you evaluate how your business currently fares on social media and how to make improvements, if desired.
Pick Your Platforms
Social media feeds today are numerous and diverse. In addition to the global aggregates like Facebook and Twitter, there are smaller platforms targeted to users with more specific interests and goals.
If you are just beginning to launch your company’s online presence, it can be wise to select just one to three feeds to focus on. This will permit you to conduct some experiments to find out what works best when presenting your brand online.
Here is a list of the major social feeds and some demographics to help you decide where to start:
- Facebook. Facebook has changed tremendously since its earliest days. Today, you can launch a profile, add pages, start groups, conduct economical ad campaigns, and build the kind of relationships that span continents. And as the largest such platform in the world, it is fairly safe to say that Facebook is an essential in any company’s social media marketing toolkit
- Twitter. Twitter’s great strength is in breaking news. With limited text space (140 characters) Twitter has become a popular place to share images. If your goal is to connect with prospects and customers in real-time, you will find Twitter invaluable.
- LinkedIn. LinkedIn has often been described as “Facebook for the post-college crowd.” It is much richer than its name suggests, offering a dual purpose business-to-business and business-to-consumer reach.
- Pinterest. Despite the fact that Facebook recently bought Pinterest for a reported $1 billion, it is still considered a niche market platform by many. However, if your business’s products or services are highly visual, Pinterest is where you need to be. It has the largest representation of fan followings for businesses of any social feed.
- Google+. Google+ is still a developing feed in terms of its demographics. But if your company’s products or services are highly technical or simply appealing to young men with high technical competence, you definitely want to build a presence here.
- YouTube. The combination of Google and YouTube gives this platform potentially the largest reach of any social feed. High quality videos are not inexpensive to produce, but videos done well are top earners for their brands.
- Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram is very visual-oriented. Both feeds are also developing online stores that permit users to make purchases from inside their social profile – a useful tool for any e-commerce-minded business owner.
- Snapchat. Snapchat is interesting because it is marketing that can’t be saved. It’s a fleeting 8 second picture or video that must leave a quick but lasting impression. This marketing platform is not for everyone, but is particularly advantageous if your target audience is in their 20’s and younger (though Snapchat is not limited to this platform). Additionally, if you have a business where you can provide interesting behind the scenes videos, Snapchat is great. Just check out this article about one of Snapchats greatest marketing success stories “Chocolate Johnny”
Tips to Maximize Impact with Your Selected Social Feeds
Choosing which social feeds from which to focus your online marketing efforts is the first step. But once you have chosen your feeds, the next step is to ensure you achieve maximum impact for your hard work and marketing creativity. These tips will help you hit the ground running with each social feed.
Build Your Network.
Today’s social platforms make it relatively easy to start making connections. In most cases, you can choose to either import your email address book or log in from another social account and find individuals who have accounts in both places. Then you can select which individuals to add to your new network
This will give you a good foundation to build from, so be sure to complete this step with each new feed you add.
The next step is to begin adding what marketing experts call “influencers” to your existing network on each social platform. Influencers are users with either a high number of followers or a very active follower network (or both). Influencers can change from industry to industry, but generally are considered experts or celebrities, so that when they post, people listen.
These are the perfect folks to begin building a relationship with. You can offer to collaborate, share their content consistently, send them content you think they will find intriguing, promote their work in your posts and find other ways to gain their interest and trust.
Here, you want to use the 90/10 rule in all your content. The 90/10 rule will ensure you avoid a common pitfall other marketers frequently fall into, which is to spend your social time on relentless self-promotion.
So spend 90 percent of your time sharing content from others, and 10 percent sharing your own. Be as active on others’ feeds (especially those of influencers) as you want them to be on yours.
Use Hashtags Appropriately.
Hashtags are the words and short phrases behind the “#” sign. You can use hashtags on any social feed, although you may need to do some experimenting to find out the quantity of hashtags that gets you the best results. Hashtags are helpful to assist other users with similar interests to find your content (and you to find theirs).
Finally, simply because images are SO critical to the ability to share content on social feeds today, be sure your images are frequent and optimized for each platform.
By taking the time to research what each social feed can offer your business, selecting the platforms that are the best fit and optimizing your content (text plus images) to draw the attention of influencers and your greater network, you can take your business marketing on social media to a level that will yield new relationships, collaborations and – most importantly – sales.