As the Social Media Marketing Manager at Lead to Conversion, I have experience managing several social media accounts. When new clients come to us for help with their social media marketing, the first question they ask is: Which social media platform is best for my company? While this is a very important question, my answer always varies. Choosing a social media marketing platform depends on which outlet your fans use and your company’s goals.
This statement is usually followed by 1 of 2 responses:
- Complete silence or…
- The client tells me that they want to get on all of the social media outlets.
This indecision is why it’s important to understand the different social media platforms and the audiences they attract. This knowledge will help you get a better grasp which outlet is best for your business.
Since Facebook is one of the most well-known social media platforms, we’ll start with them. There are currently more than 1.3 billion Facebook users, with more than 600 million viewing their profiles via a mobile device. That is a huge percentage of the overall Facebook users!
Using Facebook for business is very different than using it as a private individual. Your business page is the voice of your brand. It can create awareness of a new product, special event, and run contests to increase audience engagement. Facebook also gives you the opportunity to get to know your followers, promote your brand, and directly deal with customer service issues. One thing to keep in mind with Facebook is that it is nearly impossible “organically” reach your fans. This means that if you want a particular post to be seen or if you want to gain new followers, I always suggest adding Facebook ads to your monthly social media marketing budget. You can grow your fan base for as little as $100 per month and gain real followers, instead of buying fans from a “spammy” website. (As a sidenote: When you buy fans from “spammy” websites, it is like buying a cemetery. You can accrue new fans, but they may not be real people or interested in your brand. They are just bodies, nothing more.)
As a social marketing media manager, I absolutely LOVE Twitter. I am one of the few people who started using it as soon as it came out, and boy has it grown. Twitter offers a platform to micro-blog in 140 characters or less.
I have seen some great examples of customer service on Twitter as well. Once, I had issues with my Internet provider “WOW” . I decided to take this complaint to Twitter. A customer service representative from WOW contacted me right away (see image below) and made me one happy girl. When working with clients, I have suggested that some companies have a separate Twitter account, just for customer service. This is a fantastic idea and has reflected long-lasting benefits.
If you just asked yourself: “What is Google+?” I understand. It’s not the most popular social media platform, but when it comes to social media marketing for businesses – this is a very important outlet! Google was a little late to the social media game when it created Google+, but over the years it has started to catch up and has a dedicated, active user base.
My favorite thing about Google+ is that Google owns it and includes personalized results for logged-in users. At one point, Google told you if a search result was shared, or +1’d by you or your circles. While that kind of personalization was very recently removed, endorsed content still gets ranking boosts.
Another great feature is that businesses with a physical location can have Google+ Local listings. These are the local map listings that show up for some searches. Many businesses are listed without being claimed, which means your business may already be showing up and reviewed. Claimed locations can be optimized and allows you to respond to reviews, which can be very powerful. Moreover, with recent developments, it is possible to combine a map listing with a business page to get the best of both worlds.
If your’e ignoring Google+ for your business, then you’re missing out.
Many people think Pinterest is just for DIY projects, recipes, and birthday cake ideas. However, this is proving to be a great platform for driving traffic to your website.
Pinterest is all about visual images. Over 70% of Pinterest users are women, so if women are a business’s target market, I always tell them to set up an account. Even if they just want to promote a new blog, they can put up an image and link it right back to the blog on their site.
This wedding blog by Bridal Musings is a fantastic example: beautiful image, short description, and a link going directly to their blog.
Instagram is used to capture and share your personal moments. When a business sets up an Instagram account, I take a very different approach. If you have a restaurant, sell jewelry, are in the hospitality industry, or produce something that can draw visual interest, this platform is perfect for posting images of your food, resort pool, or a brand new line of bracelets! One brand that does an amazing job is Pura Vida Bracelets. They promote all of their new products as well as run contests through their company’s Instagram account.
An additional benefit for all of the social channels is backlinks and context. The keywords in the post and popularity of the page can increase organic ranking. This is a more traditional link development benefit, but a benefit none-the-less!
As social media marketing gains more ground in the world of online marketing, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what these different outlets offer and what kind of audience they attract. Once you know which social media outlet is best for your brand or target audience, the world is yours. All you need to do is set it up and add a little creativity. Contact me for more information!