Social media has changed everything from how people interact with their President to how they get their news and learn about job openings. When it comes to business, social media represents a remarkable opportunity to interact with potential customers, while promoting brand and product awareness.But utilizing social media well depends a lot on the platform that’s being utilized.
While it’s safe to say that most businesses will benefit from including social media in their marketing efforts, taking a unilateral approach that ignores the differences and nuances among the various social media platforms will ensure a dismal success rate. Here is a closer look at a handful of social media platforms and how you can use them most effectively employed to help you reach your goals.
Instagram is a photo- and video-sharing site and app that is ideal for any industry or field that tells its story best through images. Lifestyle brands, restaurants, chefs, fashion designers, celebrities, luxury anything, craftspeople, artists — these businesses and brands lend themselves well to Instagram’s very visual platform.
If your business isn’t heavily visual but still has a strong narrative component — craft brewery, orphanage, mommy blogger, dog washing service, etc. — you can still make Instagram work for you if you take photos and videos that have action and tell a story. Post a short video or photo once a day when your audience is most likely to be on their phones or tablets, and be sure to utilize hashtags. They’re clickable and searchable and will help users find your content.
The old standby is still the biggest and, arguably, most important social media site. Every business should have a Facebook page, and you should utilize it to promote content, events, products, news, ads — everything, really.
Post once or twice a day and work hard to keep your organization’s Facebook page looking and feeling personal. Interact with those who have Liked your page with questions, shares and more. Don’t be overly self-promoting, and consider using Bitly to shrink any links you share. Not only will it keep posts at a more reasonable length, but it will also offer helpful statistics on how much your posts get viewed and shared that can help you hone your posting craft.
GoGapless is an online marketing company that provides targeted marketing strategies for businesses. A social media directory of the new world order that provides everywhere and everyone with an impressive list of local businesses, its best feature is the GoGapless members’ business directory.
For any business seeking to streamline their Internet presence, knowledge of and interaction with other businesses, while also ensuring their own Internet presence gets a boost, GoGapless is a big help.
This is another go-to site that seems to make sense for everyone. It can, and should, be utilized multiple times throughout each day, and it allows you to start conversations, join conversations and interact directly with customers and other businesses.
At only 140 characters per tweet, Twitter requires brevity that can take some getting used to, and nuance is not its strong suit. Use it to announce new products, ask questions and be a part of a community. Bitly will also come in handy here. You can also use Buffer to help you schedule content in advance, so you can have your Twitter rolling around the clock. If you do any global business at all, this option is essential.
Google+ is a social site that will extend and deepen the reach of any brand so long as that brand already has a web and social media presence. It’s also turning out to be a big player for bloggers and B2B networking.
A more professional social media site, its emphasis on keywords, hashtags and SEO have real and measurable search value — its Google after all. Link to your own site’s content from Google+, and you’ll get a boost in search engine rankings. Post once or twice a day, and be sure to interact with other businesses in your industry.
Any business with video content — including ads, how-to guides and the like — should have a YouTube channel. Post useful video content once or twice a week to grow your brand’s reach, awareness and authority. Because it also tends to figure prominently in Google searches, posting content to YouTube has search engine optimization written all over it. Provide helpful names and descriptions for anything you upload, as that will help users and search engines find you, too.
Social media has changed a lot, and the world of business is no exception. While not all sizes fit all, there’s likely to be at least a couple social media sites out there that will help your business grow, reach more people and more effectively define itself and its purposes.