No doubt, social media has taken a bit of a hit over the last year or so. Privacy concerns, an onslaught of bots, too many advertisements, and inaccurate news have driven many people away from their once favorite platforms. Still, experts believe it is a smart way to market your business and build brand recognition.
For starters, social media is ideal for building engagement with customers. If customers are following your brand on social media, they’re likely already committed to it or they’ve heard good things and want to learn more. That is a golden opportunity to connect with them and retain their loyalty.
Social media is also ideal for building communities in niche areas. If you serve a specific or unique group of people, social media is a great way to find and connect with your target audience.
But which platform is ideal for your business? It predominantly depends on your audience. Consider the following.
B2B versus B2C
If you serve other businesses, you are likely to gain more traction on LinkedIn than on Facebook or Twitter. That’s not to say you can’t generate some leads from Facebook or Twitter. With quality content and the right hash tags, you can. However, if you only have the time and resources to focus on one, if you are a B2B, start with LinkedIn.
If you are a B2C, Facebook and Twitter will offer you the most bang for buck. Twitter is essentially a brand loyalty platform and Facebook engagement is still relatively high.
You want to go where your audience is. If you cater to 20-somethings, Instagram and Twitter are likely your best options. If your prime demographic is people thirty and older, you may have better luck on Facebook. You can find a ton of surveys and researchout there that break down the demographics of all the social media platforms, and they’ll provide you with insight for narrowing down which platforms will work for your business.
However, the best place to start may be your existing accounts — or those of your competitors. If you have more engagement on Facebook and Twitter, focus more of your time there. If your competitor has a huge LinkedIn following and miniscule Instagram following, work on building your LinkedIn followers.
Your product or service
It often comes down to what you’re selling. If you can sum up your product in a beautiful picturewith very little explanation, for example, like retail stores and restaurants can, Instagram is perfect for you. If your services need a bit more explanation and context, Facebook and LinkedIn are probably more suitable. If you want tobuild your credibility, by offering tips or showing people how to do something, YouTube and Pinterest are where it’s at.
Facebook is great for attracting local business, whereas Twitter makes it easy to capitalize on local, national and even global trends and news.
So what’s our best advice? Test the waters and see which of the major platforms offer you the most traction. Just don’t overextend yourself. For your social media efforts to work, you must share outstanding content, frequently. If you can’t do that across all the platforms, pick one and focus your effort there.
Most important, it’s not just about increasing your following. It’s about strengthening relationships with the people who already follow you. Spend more time working on engagement. Share posts that get people involved, for example, hold contests and post polls or surveys. Jumpstart conversations and ask for feedback. Offer incentives, such as coupon codes or giveaways. The goal it to keep people interested in your brand.