Worldwide, billions of people engage with some form of social media. Whether it is for personal or commercial use, social media platforms are a great tool to encourage interaction and engagement.
With such a wide reach, these platforms offer endless opportunities for businesses, however when promoting your business online, misconceptions of each platform can result in disengagement. Since there are many different aspects to social media, it’s essential to understand which one will work best for you, depending on the type of business you operate and the audience you want to reach.
In our experience of working with businesses to help them use social media to raise awareness and drive growth, we have found that there is still confusion from business owners about which channel is best for their brand and for the audience they are trying to target.
Considerations such as whether a business is consumer facing or B2B, the industry they operate in and even the demographic of their customers will all have an impact on which social media platform they should focus their attention on.
Acting as the largest of the platforms, Facebook has a very broad reach, amplifying content to varied consumer audiences. Although it started out as a simple-to-use cyber method of interacting with friends and loved ones, it soon became much used throughout the business world, closely targeting specific audiences with relevant content and ads.
Despite this, Facebook’s algorithms mean that it prioritises personal content over sponsored ads. This implies that although users may ‘like’ a business profile, they will not see the content as frequently as you might like. This can result in lower engagement.
It’s also important to consider the age demographic of users. Over recent years, the active audience has become increasingly older, as platforms such as Instagram now take the lead with younger consumers.
This is vital when thinking about which platform to use to enhance your business. You need to make sure your target audience will engage. It is also important to remember that Facebook is targeted towards a more consumer-based audience, rather than B2B.
Instagram is continuing to grow into becoming one of the most popular platforms across all ages. Used both personally and commercially, it allows you to get creative and post an array of photos and videos, documenting your most ‘Instagramable’ moments.
Acting as a visual mood board with little text, Instagram is great for promoting business culture, events and products, though it’s probably not the best choice to post information that requires more explanation. Like Facebook, Instagram works best with a consumer based target audience.
With the majority of users under the age of thirty-five, in order to draw them in and ‘follow’ your page, you must make sure that you post visual, frequent content. It’s also a good idea to stick with a theme, as most users prefer coordinated content.
When using Instagram to promote your business, it’s always a nice idea to show your personality. Regular photo updates of what your team is up to gives your clients a more personal insight into your company, which could end up attracting more business. Clients like to feel involved.
Twitter, although users stats are slowly declining, is great conversation platform. With its 280-word limit, it’s a good way to interact with other accounts.
When using Twitter to boost your company, it can be an effective tool to engage with your customers. For instance, customer service is big on Twitter. In fact, larger companies who use the platform normally expect questions, concerns and complaints regarding their service. A downfall in this is that millions of people could potentially see this, so companies must be prepared to quickly respond to negative comments to avoid disappearing into the Twitter void.
For SMEs, the platform can be used slightly differently. In fact, it’s a great way to quickly share business updates for instance blog posts and new wins, as well as again incorporating what the team is up to.
Unlike the other platforms, LinkedIn works more as a business-networking tool. Whether it is recruiting, or again sharing company updates, LinkedIn is a professional platform.
As such, LinkedIn is a great way to share thought leadership content to demonstrate your expertise. It can also be used effectively to promote company news and events.
LinkedIn also acts as an online job board, flourishing with new opportunities for all levels. So, when using the platform for your business you need to also consider the possibility of attracting hopeful job candidates as well as new client interest, so again its important to have some one available to answer questions and engage with activity in a timely way.
When deciding which platform works for you, remember you don’t need to use all four. Picking the most appropriate for your brands ethos is key. You also need to remember that social media does take time and commitment. You need to be frequent with your interaction to get the most out of its use.
We regularly work with clients to develop and execute social media strategies in order to raise their profiles and drive engagement.