02 Oct 2018 Choosing the right social media platform for your business
So, you want to promote your business online, reach new audiences and spread your online brand awareness – but there are so many social media networks out there that even keeping up to date with your personal accounts can seem like hard work, so which ones are the best for your business?
Signing your business up to all the sites out there can sometimes be the wrong decision. Keeping content fresh and different on each one, consistently updating and creating original content and engaging with the various audiences on each platform can be challenging. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you may be reaching high engagement, but are they necessarily the right audience for you, resulting in sales/sign-ups/web visits or whatever the aim is? Or if you’re on all the sites but posting only now and again, this may be harming your social media presence more than you think.
The first step is to look at what you are aiming to achieve from your social media presence, whether that’s more leads, traffic to your website, raising brand awareness or actual sales. You should also consider what type of business you are, (B2B, B2C? What industry?) Match these up with what you are aiming to get out of your social media presence. Set goals and link the benefits of each account to these goals. We don’t think you should only engage with one platform, nor are we saying it’s necessarily bad to engage with many, but picking a few specific networks can often allow for better ROI…plus, it’s much easier to manage one or a few networks for companies just starting to grow their social presence.
For example, if you’re a professional services company looking to target corporate business online, then LinkedIn may be for you. The main demographic for LinkedIn is business professionals, graduates and job searchers, making it the perfect tool for many recruitment companies looking to attract both new corporate contracts as well as look for possible candidates. It is also used for companies to show off their portfolio, day-to-day office culture, industry knowledge and company milestones or awards. You can sponsor posts targeting people by their company or job title, so you know that you’re attracting the right audience.
Facebook is perhaps one of the most popular and established social media sites out there, appealing to a wide range of demographics and the Facebook for Business features have grown considerably in recent years, offering businesses more ways to engage with their audience. For public sector, charity, B2C, local organisations and smaller business, Facebook is a great marketing tool. You can engage communities, create events, offers, as well as targeting people by their area, likes and interests. Larger companies often create sponsored adverts on Facebook, which work much in the same way as display advertising. Facebook has adapted to help businesses make these adverts attractive and easy for companies to set up, such as the carousal advert feature.
The two main sites left are Twitter and Instagram. Instagram is a site that is taking over in its popularity, responding to the millennial audience who are used to consuming visual content faster, and desire an interactivity with brands. In fact, over half of all Instagram users actively follow a brands on Instagram. Instagram, like Facebook, is adapting for its business audience, now allowing brands to ‘tag’ products in images that link consumers to these products on their website, as well as many other features. Instagram is predominantly used by brands that use influencer marketing to promote its products to customers, such as clothing, beauty, fitness and food/restaurants. It is a useful tool for those with attractive products and looking to target mass audiences between 18-29, which makes up 59% of the demographic.
Twitter is much different to its competitor networks, being limited by its 280-character limit. Twitter is a hashtag lead, GIF sharing, platform for social commentary. With the same general demographic as Instagram, the site also being used to interact with brands and influencers. Twitter allows consumers to feel close to celebrities, and even politicians, following their observations on everyday life and ‘trending’ topics, as well as allowing users to get involved with these by replying, retweeting and using trending hashtags in their own tweets. For companies wanting to add to the social commentary, or organisation and charities etc., Twitter is a great tool for sharing facts, tips, blogs and news.
Of course, there are many other social media platforms out there, but with the four main social media sites dominating the marketing world today, it makes sense for your business to benefit from them and their extensive audiences.
At Purple Sprout, we are specialists in outlining which platforms are best for your business, as well as creating a clear social media marketing strategy based of audits, competitor analysis and goals. With our social media marketing experts, your business will have dedicated managers that can help you achieve your aims and build your online presence.