How to choose which social media channels are right for you
With each passing day, it seems there is a new social media trend going viral on the internet. How can you filter out which ones are right to engage for your business? Read on for details and insight on the big ones – Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus – as well as the emerging ones – Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Facebook: The World’s Chronicle
The Basics: There are more than 1.23 billion registered accounts on Facebook (there are an estimated 7.2 billion people living on Earth today), and of those, over 800 million access the site on a regular basis. All of this is to say Facebook has a huge audience, so it makes sense to start your social media outreach there. Facebook allows entities to post photos, status updates, hours, general information, etc. and engage with visitors in comments and contests. Overall, it is a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can significantly bolster an entity’s reach in a cost-effective way.
How to get started or improve what you have: Decide what your goal is – promoting brand awareness, engaging with your customers/clients, establishing yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry. Once you have a goal, make sure all your posts, videos, photos, etc. directly relate to that goal. For example, if you are trying to engage with customers of your ice cream shop, posting an analysis of the ice cream industry will not help you achieve that goal, but if you want to be an authority in the ice cream industry, that analysis could help you achieve that goal. Most businesses should seek to engage with their customers; run contests based on liking or sharing posts, offer specials on a regular basis, encourage people to like your page and tell their friends to do so.
Cherry Crest Farm: An M Street client that uses Facebook with excellence: Cherry Crest uses its Facebook page to engage their customers; with over 12,000 likes, they get a lot of exposure with every post. Today, the day before Thanksgiving, they asked what their fans were thankful for, and in just a few hours received dozens of likes, and a handful of comments. Meanwhile, it is busy promoting its upcoming 20th anniversary season. Overall, Cherry Crest expertly utilizes Facebook to announce fun news from around the farm, contest winners, upcoming events, etc.
Twitter: Engage with fans on the go by remaining succinct and concise
The Basics: Twitter has over 650 million users, which correlates to about 58 million new tweets each day – there’s a lot out there, and a lot of it comes from users on the go. The key with Twitter is to use the 140-character limit to your advantage by effectively using a call-to-action and encapsulating the microscopic attention spans of followers.
How to get started or improve what you have: Twitter itself actually has some great tips for engaging fans with a content strategy; tweeting with different types of tweets on different days of the week is a great way to make sure you remain fresh and relevant. Use links to direct traffic to your website, and use hashtags to make your tweets searchable for those who have not yet gotten to know your business. Being authentically yourself is the key on Twitter … make yourself and your business shine.
Alternative Energy, Inc.: An M Street client that tweets with excellence:
Alternative Energy, Inc. recently began using Twitter, and uses it on a consistent weekly basis to share links to interesting articles generated by blogs and sites it trusts, and to link to fresh, original content it posts. Occasionally, it just posts a fun comic to engage its followers. Ultimately, it has, in a few short months, gained several hundred followers by keeping its tweets relevant and engaging to its market.
Google Plus: A small, focused market that is directly tied to Google search
The Basics: Depending on who you ask, Google has anywhere from 30 million to 550 million active monthly users, but no matter who you ask, Google Plus is powerful simply because of the fact that it is operated by Google, and is directly tied to search results. G+ users are predominantly men, often professionals in fields such as technology or creativity, or students.
How to get started or improve what you have: Google Plus runs on circles and communities, so immersing your business in relevant communities and being active with commenting and posting in those communities is pivotal to increasing overall exposure. Like other social media entities, creative presentation of company news can prove valuable.
WorkLife Partnership: An M Street client that sees Google Plus as a plus:
WorkLife Partnership uses its Google Plus following to drive awareness of its cause. The pictured pair of posts exemplifies the commitment to remaining amusing while relevant that has helped build it into an outstanding Google Plus user.
Pinterest: Photo albums are not just for family reunions anymore
The Basics: Comprised predominantly of women, many of whom are mothers, Pinterest’s 70 million users think visually, and often post from their smartphones. Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and for those types of pictures, Pinterest is the ideal outlet to connect to those who may be interested. An article from wix.com may have encapsulated Pinterest’s aim best: “From beautiful artworks, through stimulating recipes and all the way to DIY projects, Pinterest encourages users to appreciate aesthetics.”
How to get started or improve what you have: Pinterest requires users to categorize their photos into shareable pin boards that hold any kind of visual content – photos, drawings, illustrations, diagrams, infographics, or any other type of graphic art. There is also an option to pay for promoted pins that have a broader reach.
Higashi Jewelry: An M Street client that pins to fans with an interest:
As a jewelry store in the Harrisburg area, Higashi Pearls faces stiff competition for every sale, but through its Pinterest page, it has found a way to get ahead by neatly organizing its art into albums that make it readily accessible to potential customers. Some of its pins are pictures of its products, while others are general photos appealing to its target audience – businesses like Higashi with a strong visual component should strongly consider investing in utilization of Pinterest.
Instagram: A Facebook entity with its own appeal
The Basics: Owned by Facebook and thus integrated into its platform, Instagram has over 200 million users, and that number is steadily increasing. Its users are predominantly younger than 30 years old, with many still in high school and college. It uses hashtags to categorize photos, and is rapidly improving its visibility, making it a prime target to which you can dedicate effort now to reap the rewards later.
How to get started or improve what you have: Visually stunning images are terrific and are sure to arouse attention, but even fun and new interpretations of everyday objects, or specifically ones related to your business, can prove valuable. As with all social media outlets, it is important to post regularly, at least at a sufficient frequency to build a following.
Direct Wire USA: An M Street client using Instagram with excellence:
Direct Wire uses its Instagram page with astonishing regularity and with astonishing success; it has nearly 2500 followers, and averages around 100 likes on every picture it posts. The key is a variety – it posts pictures of its products, results of tests in its lab, staff on the job or having fun goofing off, and generally cultivates an atmosphere conducive to customer attraction and loyalty.
LinkedIn: “Facebook for professionals”
The Basics LinkedIn has been called a Facebook for professionals because it attracts a group of well-educated users interested in networking at a professional level. Although most are familiar with the individual profile page option of LinkedIn, sometimes company pages are overlooked. With more than 280 million registered users, there is much potential for company marketing.
How to get started or improve what you have It seems obvious, but make sure that employees’ pages link to and promote the company page; this can help drive a lot of additional traffic to the company page. Again, make sure you post regularly; it is entirely appropriate to post company news and information that is more detailed that appeals to a more educated, professional audience. Finally, there is not much space for images, but this draws attention to the images that are there, so be selective.
Social media madness
It can be difficult to effectively use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram in tandem, so sometimes it is important to prioritize. Hopefully, this article helped you prioritize what is best for your business!
About M Street
M Street is a web development company in Lancaster, PA, that has built and presently manages dozens of websites for entities ranging from small businesses to nationally renowned advocacy groups. Let them build a strategy for you today. Contact M Street