Before I dive into the different social media platforms, I want to say this: Social media is rented space!
What do I mean by this? Take this, for example, would you prefer to own your home or rent? Would you prefer to own your business building or rent the space? Now I realize there may be arguments for both, but let us say you prefer to own it, simply because it's your, you can do what you want with it without relying on getting a "landlord" to update or fixing something.
The landlord can also change the rent and the rules at any point. Social media companies are the landlords, and they can change the rent or the rules you must follow at any time. Therefore, I tell people don't invest and build your business around social media.
With that out of the way, let's dive in on the Big 4 Platforms and which might be best for your business.
The Big 4 Social Media Platforms
As of April 2019, Facebook has about 2.38 billion monthly active users worldwide. It is one of the more popular platforms, not only for personal use but for businesses as well. While the younger audiences aren't on Facebook, it still dominates the market.
To utilize Facebook to your business's advantage, you will need to make sure your content reaches your audience. You need the page and the posts to attract and engage visitors and then drive them to your website. Use it as a place to share photos, updates, and general news with those who follow or "like" you. Fans of your business come to your Facebook page to find out what's going on with your company, see pictures of what's going on, or explore events.
Twitter was launched in 2006, and it a fast-paced platform/ Think about it as drinking from the firehose of social media in 280 characters or less. Twitter has become known for its ease of access to news and events. PR teams and marketers can use Twitter to increase brand awareness and delight their audience.
Much like Facebook was ten years ago, Instagram tends to skews toward younger audiences. Currently, they are boasting around 1 billion people. According to Instagram, in November of 2017, they had over 25 million businesses, most of which are small businesses.
To leverage the power of Instagram, businesses need to make sure they are adding value with your content, maintain a consistent theme, and be sure to engage with your audience.
LinkedIn is different from the rest of the social media outlets because it's specifically designed for business and professionals.
Recently it still has the stigmata of being a place to find a job and post your resume. Thankfully the platform has left that model firmly back in the early 2000s where it belonged. They have just over 675 million users across the globe!
LinkedIn is best suited for Business To Business (B2B) companies or those who deal in the B2B space. It can be mighty powerful when you use all the platform's hidden features.
For you should use it to build your personal brand as much as your businesses. Use it to showcase your achievements and skills, connect with colleagues, business partners, and potential employers, and share content with other professionals. Companies can utilize it to search for potential prospects and prospective employees.
Which social media platform should you be on?
Technically you should be on all of them. Say WHAT? I say all of them because you should always claim your digital presence mainly to prevent someone from running you or your companies reputation and good name.
Being on them doesn't mean you need to be active. There are applications such as IFTT or Zapier that will help you automate posting to the other platforms if you want when you post on the platform you prefer.
So which platform should you be on? For the sake of stating the obvious, you should be on the platform where your audience is.
\Look at the above audience demographics and use it as a guide to help determine where your audience may be. The other way is to ask them. Shocking as it may be, you may be surprised by the answer.
Social Media Sharing Strategy: The 5-3-2-1 Guide
Regardless of the platform, it's not enough to have a willy nilly posting mentality to posting. You need to have a definitive strategy around your social media sharing.
When it comes to social sharing, the 5-3-2-1 guide is a ratio to follow to help get the most out of your social media sharing strategy. The guide includes curated, educational, humanized and informative, and promotional content.
5 Pieces Of Curated Content
Utilize your social media channels to build trust. It's easy to share what you are saying because, after all, you are the expert. However, you need to show your readers that what you're writing about is essential not just because you say it is, but because others say it is too. Be sure this content is relevant and that you link back to the page.
3 Pieces Of Informative And Educational Content
Here is where you can share things you have written and link out to your own blogs, landing pages, geographical landing pages, and pillar pages. This should not be a sales-focused page or post. Think education and informative not buy now!
2 Humanized And Personal
Here is where you can post your personal and fun content that helps humanize your brand. Think about posting about office parties, congratulations, birthdays, etc.
1 Promotional content
Now you have built up the trust with your audience. You can go for the "right-hook" and ask them to do something. This could be a promotional ask, link as appropriate. Now is the time, and this is where you can link directly to a sales-focused page.
Hopefully, this helps you break through the noise and distractions and ultimately better understand the social platforms and which might be the best for your business. If I could send you off with one take away, it would be this, choose the platform where your audience is, and focus your effort on it, until you have a significant audience built up. Also, be sure to consistently try to push your audience to your website or your place of business, because you never know when the rules will change.
If you find yourself being overwhelmed and in need of help, feel free to contact us and we will be glad to help you better understand your content strategy and how social media can be incorporated.