Social Media | 10.16.14
Are you just starting to build your social media presence for your business? Is your business on every social media site, but having trouble keeping up with the rapidly changing social media environment? The challenge with social media for every business is that you must maintain an active presence in order to engage and build a customer base. You can’t afford to ignore social media completely, but you can choose the social media sites that best match your business goals and industry. This makes it easier for you to be active on these sites while providing value for your customers.
The question is, how do you know you are using the social media network for your business? In this article, we’ll go over the six major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn) and provide insight on how to best use each one.
This global social network has over 128 billion users. Users can instant message, share video, photos, and links. This network attracts 73% of the US adult population and has the most evenly distributed demographics than any of the other platforms.
Pro: It provides features that many of its competitors have but all in one place. The targeting capabilities in Facebook’s advertising tool allow advertisers to target more than basic demographics, but by their job title, if they have recently come back from a vacation, etc.
Con: Because of its popularity, everyone is on it. Since it is highly saturated with click-bait, advertisers, and other brands, it may be hard to reach your target base through all the noise.
Which businesses should be on Facebook?
All businesses. Both B2B and B2C companies can take advantage of Facebook’s network and capabilities no matter your business or industry.
This site is made up of 271 million users who can post text, links, images, and 6-second videos (Vines) in 140 characters or less. Even though Twitter only has 18% of the US adult population, it is used everyday by its users.
Pros: A big advantage to Twitter is its ability to allow users access to influencers, celebrities, and musicians. It plays as an instant news source. Many users will visit the site multiple times throughout the day to keep up to date with what’s going on.
Cons: The high speed and volume of content can be overwhelming for the social media novice. The 140-character count also makes it hard to communicate to your audience.
Which businesses should be on Twitter?
Businesses who would like to share promotions, coupons, and discounts. Startups, news organizations, and marketing companies are perfect for Twitter because it provides an in-the-moment trait. Twitter is also essential for relationship building and communication with customers.
Instagram is used as a mobile app that allows 200+ million users to capture and share pictures and short video.
Pros: Primarily as image-based app without much texts or links, users have the opportunity to share beautiful, eye-catching photography to their followers. 57% of Instagram users access it daily. Although it only attracts 17% of the US adult population, it does attract 43% of mobile owners aged 18-29.
Cons: The number of choices with photo filters could cause anxiety for novice users. This site also gets less one-on-one engagement than other social sites.
Which businesses should be on Instagram?
Those businesses that image-friendly such as restaurants, clothing stores, fashion design, food, architecture, pool builders, technology companies, etc. If your business also focuses on the 18-29 age group, you should be on this site.
Google+ is a social site of search giant Google. Users are able to post content, connect and separate contacts by circle or community, and are able to take advantage of an incredible Google Hangout function that allows users to video chat others.
Pros: Although Google+ users are 67% male, they are active and very responsive participants on the site. Since Google+ is the social network of Google, its compatibility with YouTube and Google search makes it a powerful factor in businesses’ search engine optimization.
Cons: Even though there are 540 million users on Google+, only 300 million or so are active. It’s a very quiet network with its future uncertain. Setup and features are difficult to figure out.
Which businesses should be on Google+?
Tech and engineering companies and marketing individuals should have a presence on G+. Since Google+ allows you to separate your contacts into communities, it can make it easier for businesses to build relationships with like-minded individuals and businesses. Businesses that also provide a lot of content to their customers will also find Google+ to be beneficial for link building and increasing ranking factors in Google search results.
Pinterest has jumped up to be the #3 most popular social media site behind Facebook and Twitter. With over 70 million users, this visually-appealing site is used as a resource for sharing inspiration and bookmarking website links.
Pros: Great for users who want to find inspiration and ideas on a wide range of topics. 21% of US adult users are on Pinterest, 84% of those are female, which makes it the second most popular social site for this specific demographic. For businesses, Pinterest provides the best ROI out of all the social sites.
Cons: Although highly visual, it lacks social interaction with users. In addition, topics tend to focus around weddings, DIY crafts, and food.
Which businesses should be on Pinterest?
Businesses focused on fashion, photographers, jewelers, home décor, food, DIY, will find that they can build a strong presence on this female-dominated site. Businesses looking to get sales or traffic to their ecommerce sites will be interested in product pins, which allows you to include business links, price, availability, and where to purchase the products.
LinkedIn touts the title “professional social network”. This site made up of 300 million users allows professionals to share resumes/work experiences and direct get in touch with other business professionals. Professionals may job search, fill job positions, share links to articles to related communities.
Pros: This is the perfect site to get in touch with prospective employees, business partners, and people from other industries. 79% of LinkedIn users are 35 or older, 38% making an income of more than $75K a year, making it the oldest platform on this list. The dominant sectors on this platform are high tech, finance, and manufacturing.
Cons: This platform is entirely focused on business/careers. Many of its useful features require a paid subscription to LinkedIn premium.
Which businesses should be on LinkedIn?
All business professionals should be on LinkedIn because it provides value to those looking for other business opportunities and potential business partners. B2B businesses will see more value than B2C businesses. That said, bloggers, journalists, designers, and free-lance marketers and professionals will find the most value on this network.