What Social Media Channels Should You Be On?
Dealing with a social media marketing effort can present a number of challenges. One of the earliest and most obvious problems you’ll encounter is figuring out what platforms you want your brand to be on. Some platforms are excellent for businesses that need to start a conversation with their customers, while others are better for showing off what the company has done.
It’s important to think about your social media management efforts through the lens of your brand, too. This can seem daunting, especially given the sheer number of ways to touch base with customers via social media, but a little forethought can go a long way to producing a coherent and successful strategy.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be on every single platform available. In fact, choosing just the 2-4 that are appropriate for your type of business will do just fine. Here we discuss some of the more popular ones to choose from…
One of the biggest things that makes Facebook appealing to marketers is the platform’s high level of integration. By installing Facebook analytics on your own website (called a “pixel code”), you can begin tying campaigns to specific actions that users engage in. If you’ve ever seen an ad on Facebook for a product from a site you’ve recently visited, you’ll have some idea of the power of the platform. This is their own way of creating remarketing ad campaigns.
Facebook also functions as a very good point of contact for dealing with customer service issues. This is especially the case when dealing with customers who might not immediately pick up the phone and dial your 800 number. By scanning the site for mentions of your brand, you can track down complaints and engage with customers actively. Not only does this serve to address the immediate problem, but it offers proof to the user’s friends who can see the interaction that your organization cares about customer service.
Facebook can seem fairly intimidating to approach at first, but the company offers an array of social media management tools to simplify the process. When you see how easy it makes micro-targeting individual users, you’ll understand why the platform has become a global phenomenon in the business world. By tying the information from Facebook together with your own website’s analytics, you can develop a much clearer picture of who your audience is and how to market to them.
If Facebook is the Coca-Cola of the social media universe, then Twitter is its Pepsi, the respectable second-place power in the industry. Twitter makes it possible to post short messages, and it has become an especially popular platform for companies that regularly make announcements. It’s also a popular choice for opinion leaders who want to engage with their audiences, and it’s common to see everyone from movie reviewers to economists actively conversing with their followers on Twitter.
Twitter is also a popular option for social media marketing. The big thing to keep in mind is that Twitter is very content-driven. In that regard, it’s not radically different than operating a blog on your website. In fact, many organizations have their websites configured to post links to new articles automatically to Twitter. It’s wise, however, to avoid endlessly spamming your feed with links to your own site. Small posts that don’t link anywhere but add value are a good way to encourage engagement. Another popular posting technique is “newsjacking”, a way of targeting current events by quickly posting about them. These approaches ensure that your company and its users will have a lively conversation that keeps them looking for updates.
Especially popular with younger users who like to share pictures, Instagram has gained a following with businesses that tend to be thought leaders. The site is very image intensive, and it attracts an unsurprisingly large number of fashion brands, restaurants, photographers and even models.
Establishing a presence on Instagram carries with it a commitment to original, custom photography. If you have access to the right resources, however, being on Instagram is a good way to signal that your company is hip and has good taste.
Because Facebook owns Instagram, you can easily and quickly run ads right from the same dashboard.
Reddit is a little more Wild West than some parts of the social media sphere, but it’s also a great place to go for engagement. The site is news-driven, and it is subdivided into nearly infinite smaller communities called sub-reddits. Your own company can move onto it by founding your own sub-reddit in a matter of minutes.
The big thing to keep in mind with Reddit is that calling it lively would be an understatement. If you’re looking for positive reviews and lots of applause, Reddit isn’t the place for you. In 2017, the user base savaged Electronic Arts in live conversations about a video game rollout. Conversely, if you want to get straight answers from your customers about what you’re doing right and wrong, it won’t take more than a few minutes to get them. It’s also a great place to build a rabid community by providing a forum for people wanting to discuss a variety of topics. For example, if you sell 3D printers, creating a sub-reddit about that topic is a good way to go. Just leave the sales material and product pitches at home.
The reigning king of the video platforms, YouTube offers you one of the best opportunities to post highly engaging content. YouTube videos can easily be embedded on your own site, improving metrics that matter in search, such as time spent on page. More importantly, a good YouTube video can bring a whole new audience to your brand. If you’ve had a hard time breaking through on other platforms with a website that offers recipes, for example, putting together a few high-quality videos and posting them to YouTube may become the traffic boost you require.
Part of building a company and its brand is finding the right people. LinkedIn is a social media platform with a very specific target, users who wish to maintain professional profiles. This makes it one of the most popular places for people to keep their resumes, look for jobs, or establish business connections. It also has become a place where people in industries talk. If you’re looking to make connections with others in your industry or potential customers, LinkedIn will help you find numerous people in your niche. The site also offers a good platform for looking at potential employees and contractors. You can even post your own articles, helping to establish your organization as a thought leader within your sector.