Social media marketing has many benefits, including brand presence, engaging with your audience, driving traffic to your website and reaching niche markets. But which social media option is the right fit for your business?
Good social media is about quality and quantity
Fast moving technological developments mean that we are suddenly spoilt for choice when it comes to social media marketing options. The fact that a variety of social media platforms exists, however, doesn’t mean that your business needs to make use of them all.
Maintaining social media for your business can be time consuming. In order for social media marketing to be effective, you need to maintain your presence frequently, with quality content that is relevant to your audience.
Rather than having sub-standard content on a variety of mediums, choose two or three that are most suited to your business, and make them stand out.
The right strategy to match your social media for your business type
Having a clear strategy for your social media marketing is an important step in deciding which platforms you will use.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is your audience? (Current and targeted)
- What messages are you wanting to convey to them?
- Which social media tools would be most effective in selling your product? (Videos, images, ebooks?)
- What kind of content do you plan on posting to your social media accounts?
- How often will you be posting each day?
Once you have answered these questions, you can start to consider which social media space is best for your business. There are many types of social media available. We have broken them down into four broader categories for you to consider which are most geared towards your business needs. The social media categories are distinguished by their content sharing purposes. We will look at informational, visual, imagery and specialty categories.
Informational social media platforms include:
Informational social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are suitable for just about any business type. They are largely text-based, though images can be shared, and focus on creating a conversation about your brand.
Facebook is hugely popular for both personal and business uses. It’s a powerful way to start conversations, share information about what’s happening in your business and ask questions. It has paid advertising options which can be useful, but it’s also good to ensure that the overall look and tone of your Facebook page stays friendly and sociable so that people to want to interact. Facebook is all about ‘the face behind the brand’, often lending a ‘personal touch’ to a business presence.
Twitter is also a popular choice for sharing information about your business. Because Twitter is a basically a 24 hour conversation, it is perfect for sharing breaking news, asking opinions and questions and really engaging with your audience with live feed discussions. The only limitation is the 140 character count for content, although this can make your promotions succinct and highly targeted.
Informational social media sites are useful for linking your followers to your main website, as well as to your other social media platforms.
Imagery-based social media platforms include:
Social media platforms that are primarily focused on the sharing of pictures are perfect for businesses that rely on visual appeal to sell their product. Restaurants may reveal new menu items, travel companies can share pictures of appealing locations and bridal boutiques can showcase their wedding gowns.
If you have a product or service that can capture the attention of your audience through photographs, then imagery may be the right social media option for your business.
When choosing a specific social media site, consider which one your audience is most likely to be using.
For example, Pinterest has a predominately female fan base and can tap into specific niche markets; Instagram is more popular with younger uses of both genders. Keep your strategy in mind and choose your platforms accordingly.
Visual social media platforms include:
- Snap chat
Video-based social media web pages and apps are ideal for businesses that want to share attention-grabbing or highly informative short videos. If you are promoting something where the experience sells the product, then this is the social sharing option for your business.
If you have a new product to demonstrate, a step by step visual guide to your services, or a restaurant to promote that looks amazing when it’s in full swing, video sharing can be a very useful tool.
Once you have chosen a social media platform for uploading your videos, you can reuse the content on your other online pages to gain additional exposure.
Whether it’s scripted or improvised, keep the video short and entertaining to ensure you are getting your message across. Like any social media post, ensure the video offers the viewer something new – great images, exciting information or an educational experience will hold their attention.
Specialty social media platforms include:
- Google plus for SEO
There are a variety of social media sites that relate directly to a chosen niche market and could be useful for your business. Some broader specialty sites many businesses find beneficial are LinkedIn and Google Plus.
LinkedIn is a fantastic resource for growing business connections. If you provide a service as part of your business, LinkedIn is an essential tool for getting new sign ups. People search for what they need, and your business is right there for them to contact. It’s also a great way to share information and establish your business reputation.
Google Plus is beneficial for businesses interested in keywords, hashtags and SEO value. Link content from Google Plus to your own website to direct the search boost where you want it.
Your social media marketing plan
Once you have decided on which social media option is most suited to your business, it is essential to implement a management plan. In order to be successful on social media, the key is to keep your audience engaged, which means frequent updates and quality content.
Frequency of updates depends on the platform: LinkedIn profiles may be updated a couple of times a week, for example, whereas live feed platforms such as Twitter need to be updated multiple times a day.
Quality content that informs, entertains and captures the interest of your audience is essential to building long term success with social media for your business.