As we all know, everyone is on Facebook nowadays. Moreover, everyone is on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and God knows what else. In our increasingly connected society, building a social media presence is as commonplace as getting a driver’s license.
It might be tempting to follow the social media trends that are considered hot in popular culture and jump on whatever platform is being talked about the most. However how do you know which of these opportunities is the best for your company or small business? In order to answer this question we need to understand how each social media channel works and who is following it.
Let’s start with the ‘Almighty’ Facebook which is a commonly preferred network due to a number of reasons; one of which is the growing population. Facebook has 1.939 billion active users. There are 7.125 billion people on the planet. So, it is a giant data base of people at the tip of your fingers.
Facebook is an incredibly social beast which is why there are so many cats’ videos, celebrity gossips and now advertising. For an average user, Facebook represents many windows of opportunities – it is a way to learn new recipe ideas, play games, check out photos, connect with family, rant about favorite shows, and more. Facebook enables so many activities people truly enjoy. Should your business join Facebook? Yes, it should.
I almost can’t think of an industry which won’t benefit from utilizing Facebook marketing. If you think your customers aren’t on Facebook because of their age, think again. Demographic report shows that Facebook added 10.8 million adults in the 25 to 34 demographic, a growth of 32.6 percent. In the 35 to 54-year-old demographic, Facebook experienced a 41.4 percent growth, adding 16.4 million new users. This, by itself, is pretty impressive!
Moreover, don’t forget that while you might think that your audience isn’t accustomed to the online space, as time progresses, you will be behind many younger tech savvy business owners if you don’t get yourself in a digital shape.
The noisy Twitter simply cannot be ignored. Twitter has never disclosed its total number of registered users but mentioned 232 million active users. Although this is considered to be only a partial number, this is 232 million potential consumers. You don’t necessarily want to target them all but you definitely want to hang out with them. Should your business join Twitter? Sure, it should.
Twitter only allows you 140 characters to communicate your messages. It often pushes people to produce and share sales messages due to the limit of words. However, Twitter space is about sharp conversations, tagging each other, spilling hashtags and sharing links. If your business has promotions, discounts, events and contests to show off, Twitter is your holy ground. Otherwise, just keep it conversational and visit Twitter as frequently as you can.
Instagram is a true queen of showing off your goodies. As of December 2014, the mainly mobile photo sharing network had reach 300 million monthly active users. 13 percent of all Internet users are on Instagram. These are impressive numbers by themselves.
Instagram is relatively easy network to grow you following on but if you do not have the time and the passion (together with the strategy), you might want to choose another channel. Should your business join Instagram? Sure, it should.
If your company sells clothes, accessories, pets, design, art, food or any other visually appetising products or services, Instagram is the place to be. Travel, fashion and food industries are flourishing on Instagram. Saying that, don’t forget that over 90 percent of the 150 million people on Instagram are under the age of 35 and 68 percent of its users are females; and it receives 544 million daily uploads. This is the place to be for the right business. The rest should utilise their time and effort somewhere else.
Pinterest is a lot of fun and can be an amazing traffic driver for the right types of businesses. A study released in July 2013 revealing that the website had 70 million users worldwide with the 80 percent of them being women. Another extremely visual platform allows you to categorise things you like, include location and links to your posts and share other people’s stuff. Should your business join Pinterest? Yes, of course.
Pinterest is ideas platform which allows users to find answers to their questions. People come to Pinterest to research fashion, renovation, cooking, and more, trends to improve their lives.
Now, imagine if you are selling vintage nails or hammers, unique cooking books or fancy cocktail dresses, Pinterest is like a giant board where you can place your products on to become someone’s inspiration. Women are using Pinterest in a far more aspirational and motivational way than are men, who are more likely to use Pinterest like a visual bookmarking tool. Opportunities are there; however it depends if you are the right type of business for it.
With 347 million users, LinkedIn has transformed our perception of networking. LinkedIn is a professional beast with a healthy balance between male and female users and average user’s age of 35 to 54. LinkedIn used to be a job search site which is no longer the case. The functionality of this space has extended into knowledge and expertise sharing and self-publishing. Should your business join LinkedIn? Yes, it should.
Although LinkedIn offers company pages features similar to Facebook pages, they are a little tricky at this point in time. Due to the professional nature of LinkedIn, growing your Company Page following is not as easy. It is a lovely idea to have a LinkedIn company page so you can list more information about your business, your employees and even share some news with your audience. However, if you are not ready to unleash some solid management guns, it might appear a little difficult to grow a good following. Saying that, nothing stops you from expanding your business’ horizons with the help of your LinkedIn personal profile and Groups.
Groups often have larger following already so it is handy to join your industry Groups and share your knowledge on regular basis. Your profile will need to be informative and easy to scan through so whoever likes your Group’s postings can always visit your personal profile learning more about you and your business.
There are hundreds of different social networks including Quora, SlideShare, Tumblr and much more. Some of them would suit your business more than others. Joining many is of course a better strategy than joining none. However, due to the common lack of hands and heads, joining a few is a smarter approach.
Most of social media channels are amazing tools – they are fun to work with and they provide another window of opportunities. However, if you cannot manage them all, just stick with at least two. In order to choose the most suitable networks for your business, you need to have a good understanding of your customers. What kind of social users they are? Where do they hang out the most? How do they prefer to research? Sometimes you know for sure, sometimes you’ll need to sit down with your team or even outside professionals to work it out.
If you are still unsure which social media channels will work the best for you, we are happy to help you find the answers.