Over the past decade, social media has become increasingly more popular, which is why it is no surprise that businesses are now using it as both a form of marketing, as well posting engaging news and information to customers. With more than three billion users to social media sites every month, why would you not want your business to be part of it?
The benefits of social media are that it allows you to build awareness of your brand and product. It allows you to show authenticity and encourage engagement. Social media also allows you to steadily grow organically, with minimal cost. It allows your potential customers to get a preview of new content on your website, and drive traffic through to it. In addition to this, a social media presence also helps to boost SEO to your website.
If you are not taking full advantage of your social media, you are potentially missing out on an effective and inexpensive way to reach over half the world’s population.
I have had many small business owners come to me, frustrated with social media, due to the time and effort they feel it takes to maintain a business page. This does not need to be the case – long gone are the days where you must log in separately to all your social media accounts, and individually create the same posts in the different platforms. Time can be saved by using a social media scheduling platform, of which there are many on the market. Some of these platforms even allow you to engage with your customer comments and posts via the platforms. This eliminates the need to have five different tabs open at the top of your browser, regularly checking them for potential customer engagement. If you only use Facebook and Instagram, do remember that the two are now becoming more and more interlinked with posts, since Facebook bought Instagram. Engaging with your customers via social media should be both cost and time effective.
So what are the best social media platform to use?
Facebook is one of the oldest and most widespread social media platforms. It is best suited for text and image or video combinations. Posts without a visual element are not as successful in terms of reach and engagement. Are you looking to promote local events, share information about your business, and build a community? Facebook is a great network for just that.
Instagram’s popularity is growing, and it is quickly becoming a big player in the social media world. Instagram is all about images. In order to be successful on this social networking platform you need to be able to produce high quality images and videos. However, do be aware that Instagram users can be picky. If you do not post high quality images, it can reflect poorly on your brand. If your business has a high visual aspect to it, then Instagram is a must.
Twitter heavily relies on its users sharing posts. Twitter is largely a text based social networking site. Users can only ‘tweet’ 280 characters per post, so you do need to make sure that each character counts. Twitter is an excellent platform for news, public relations, and connecting with influencers. When an event is going on or a hashtag is trending, it can be a great way to join the conversation and make a mark.
LinkedIn is a social networking platform that is very business-oriented. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with other businesses and professionals. If your business operates in the B2B landscape, LinkedIn is a must. LinkedIn is excellent for lead generation, and unlike other forms of social media, its primary purpose is business connection. LinkedIn relies less on media content and more on text based updates. This network is a great place to find connections and employees, but not the most ideal place for large-scale marketing campaigns.
Google My Business is the most unique of the social media platforms. It has been described as a cross between a listing directory and social network. Google My Business is the page that customers can click on when searching for your business on Google; it details information about your company, such as your contact details and opening times, but it also allows you to post about your business. Did you know that over 56% of small businesses haven’t claimed their Google My Business Listing? Yet an estimated 86% of potential clients use an internet search engine to find a local business. You can post images as well as text using this platform, however there is one drawback; posts expire after 7 days.
If you have any questions regarding what social media platforms would best suit your business, or about SARJ Social (our own social media scheduling platform), then please contact Sarah Richardson of SARJ Group, for a free, no-obligation demo.
See November/December 2019 issue