How do you understand social media? Which so many people on so many different social media channels, it can be tough for a small business to get started.
The key is figuring out which platforms your customers are on and then creating the type of content they can’t get anywhere else. Let’s take a look at the main social networks and what each of them offers.
Facebook, with 2.5 billion monthly users is the new face of mass media. And that’s why so many companies use it to share photos, advertise, host contests, publish news and live-stream video. Just remember, Facebook is a pay-to-play platform.
Organic posts, that is your regular updates, won’t get seen by too many people without paid promotion. To get the most out of Facebook ads, start small and be specific about the audience you’re trying to reach and their interest.
Then, add in a budget and timeframe. Once you see the results, you can adjust your creative and your spend. Instagram, a mobile-friendly app that’s part of the Facebook family, is a photo and video sharing site. Keep your images creative and also non-commercial. And add in relevant hashtags for a wider reach.
Speaking of hashtags, you can also partner with Instagram influencers to help build awareness for your brand. And Instagram offers a variety of ad options, including shopping ads to encourage your customers to buy.
One of Instagram’s most popular features is stories, short photos and video clips that work well for behind-the-scenes content and fun, playful images. Think of stories as a quick burst of energy your customers can enjoy on-the-fly.
Twitter’s where we go to find out the latest information and news in real time. Many businesses also use it as their primary customer service platform.
Just remember, it’s all public so don’t get into a fight online. Make sure your tweets include photos and video so they stand out in the feed. Use hashtags more sparingly on Twitter than you would on Instagram and don’t forget live-stream video, especially if you’re planning a launch or a special event.
LinkedIn is like the “Wall Street Journal” of the social media world. It’s a place for business people to connect, network, find jobs and share updates. Publish thought-leadership pieces on LinkedIn and pay to promote them through your company LinkedIn page. And consider trying out LinkedIn’s live-stream video for business announcements and news.
Most brands use YouTube to showcase company videos. But it’s becoming more like a TV network with its subscriptions and premium content.
If you’re using it as a home for your videos, be sure to organize your channel and optimize it with your branding and a description of your video in the more section to help it show up in search. And consider partnering with YouTube influencers to extend your product’s reach. Pinterest started out as a digital scrapbook, but these days, it’s more like a virtual mall.
People visit Pinterest to find aspirational images about fashion, decor, lifestyle, beauty and entertainment. One of the main benefits of Pinterest is the image you use points back to the source. So it can be a good driver of traffic to your website.
And Pinterest offers visual search which surfaces images related to what your customers are looking for and promoted pins to help your brand get discovered at the right moment of intent.
Snapchat’s a messaging app where users share disappearing texts, images and videos that are often enhanced by filters and emoji.
Everything on Snapchat disappears. Snapchat created the stories format that Facebook and Instagram copied. They also popularized those fun, augmented-reality lenses so users can add lots of personality to their snaps. If your customers are young, you many want to try Snapchat.
And if they’re younger, the newest social network is TikTok, which appeals to teenagers and people in their early 20s. TikTok lets users create off-the-wall videos, often lip-synced to popular songs and decorated with augmented-reality features, GIFs and other doodles. Brands can participate in challenges or just engage. But before you start posting on TikTok, talk to your customers to see how they’re using it. And it might be a good idea to talk to your kids too.
Social networks are a lot like the stock market. They go up, they go down and there’s often a hot, new item on the horizon. The key is to start with your audience and make sure they use the platform. And then, test and adjust.