In Social Media

How do you know which social media platform is right for you and your business? Having managed social media platforms for many clients, we know that spreading yourself too thin is not a good idea. Instead of being average on a lot of platforms, opt to be fabulous on just one. Then build from those successes.

If you’re not on social media, you’re on the sidelines. Adweek reports that, “87% of small businesses claim that social media has helped their business.” Let’s dive deeper into how you can best reach your target customers by strategically using the platform that is best suited for your company or brand.

Below we reveal what you need to know about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to decide which social media platforms will deliver the best ROI for your company or brand.

Facebook

What it is:

Facebook users can create profiles, upload photos and videos and send messages to keep in touch with their Facebook “friends.” Facebook friends are built by accepting and sending out “friend requests.”

Who you’ll reach:

Facebook’s size alone is a plus as everyone from college students to grandparents are using this social media network. Sprout Social reports there are a total of 1.44 billion active users on Facebook.
The International Business Times reports that in 2014, “the biggest growth came among adults over the age of 55. Facebook added 12.4 million new users from this age range, a massive 80.4 percent growth.”

What you’ll need:

To get the most out of Facebook, you’ll need to focus on the “human” side of your brand. Photos, videos and tidbits of the real folks behind your business. Your dog sitting across from you at your laptop or your team of coworkers collecting food for a Thanksgiving Food Drive are perfect fodder for Facebook. Facebook is about building relationships and connecting in a personal way within your network.

The Payoff:

If you approach this platform strategically, you can expect to see what is called engagement. People liking, sharing, and commenting on your posts. The ROI is not necessarily in making sales, but in bonding with new and existing customers so your company is foremost in their thoughts.

Facebook’s advertising rates are still incredible low, offering a very high ROI. If you’re going to devote resources to Facebook, plan on throwing $25-$250 bucks at “boosting” posts each month.

Special extra:

Facebook provides copious amounts of data that can be used to strategize your approach. The Insights tab on Facebook Pages (not a personal profile) provides analytical tools to discover who you’re reaching, their age, where they live, the time they’re on Facebook and more. This data is incredibly useful for fine tuning your social media strategy.

Twitter

What It is:

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Twitter in particular is a great resource for personal branding, allowing anyone to share thoughts and content worldwide.

Who You’ll Reach:

Entrepreneur.com reports that, “Forty-six percent of users visit daily and twenty nine percent check their feed multiple times throughout the day. Twitter is slightly more popular among women (18 percent) than men (17 percent), and use is highest among people between the ages of 18 and 29.”

What you’ll Need:

You’ll really just need your own opinions and thoughts and the very important “@” symbol in order to tweet effectively on Twitter. Want to compliment the head chef at the recent farm to table brunch spot you enjoyed? Just use their “handle” on Twitter which would look something like @nicksonbroadway.

The Payoff:

The simple payoff to Twitter is that you’re able to converse with anyone at anytime about anything.

Special Extra:

Twitter’s new rules have made it even easier to reach a wider audience.

connect

LinkedIn

What It is:

LinkedIn is a business networking site that allows users to post their experience and skills. Users build a profile and are able to network with other LinkedIn folks. For tips on building an effective LinkedIn profile, go here.

Who You’ll Reach:

Entrepreneur.com reports that “Linkedin represents the oldest age demographic with over 100 million users over 50! More than 60% of Linkedin users make over $75,000 a year.”

What You’ll Need:

You’ll Need to post your skills and accolades to the site and start building a network. LinkedIn allows you to recommend others within your network by sighting their strengths.

The Payoff:

LinkedIn allows folks to quickly see your resume and experience. LinkedIn is a networking tool that allows a professional to build a network. Whether you’re looking for a new position or want easy access to your business contacts, LinkedIn provides both.

Special Extra:

Use LinkedIn’s “groups” to quickly connect with other professionals in your industry.

Instagram

What It is:

Instagram is a social networking website based upon sharing pictures with other users. Instagram allows users to take a photograph and then use one of the site’s filters to alter the picture before uploading it so that other users can see it and post comments about it.

Who You’ll Reach:

For all the reasons to be on Instagram, read our earlier post here.

What You’ll Need:

You’ll need lots of photographs and visuals for Instagram. Floral designer? Pastry Chef? Make your living on the open seas? Instagram would be perfect to showcase the beauty in your business.

The Payoff:

Instagram allows you to follow anyone with an account so it’s a simple way to build a network. The larger your network, the more people you’re able to “market” to.

Special Extra:

Instagram is an easy and effective way to build a very large network of folks. Instagram also allows the use of hashtags. A hashtag is the # sign followed by any word or words, e.g. #blogpost #socialmedia #hashtagsarefun. Users then search for content by hashtags. So by using hashtags, you are helping users who don’t already follow you to discover your feed and follow you.

Just do it!

Social Media is a fantastic tool to build your brand and business. Choosing the right social media platform for your business is an effective way to generate customers, build traffic to your website and generate sales. Now that you know several platforms and what makes them different, choose the one that will work best for you and log on!

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