Katie Bateman of the Franchiseshow247 offers a quick guide to the most popular social media sites currently in existence.
Regardless of how big or small your business is, good use of social media adds significant value. It will attract new customers, and maintain existing relationships, as well as act as a tool for promoting educational and informative content.
Nowadays, people are on social media 24/7, whether they are at home, at work, on public transport or merely socialising. All businesses are keen to get their voices heard. Social media is a great way to engage with customers and develop brand awareness.
There are a number of social media platforms available, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Thanks to social media a business can focus on their target audience with generally low overheads. And this is particularly good news for small businesses.
Not all social media platforms will tick the boxes for every business. Therefore, as a business owner, you will need to do your research. Every platform has its own mission and objectives. So you will need to assess each one carefully, before writing a list of the ones that are most suitable for your business.
Facebook is the most popular with approximately three billion active monthly users. Because of this, Facebook is a definite starter for virtually every business. Facebook allows you to share content such as new product information, photos, videos and articles. And as your company or organisation develops and grows, you could benefit from Facebook’s business pages, where you can create ad campaigns to target specific audiences.
Instagram has grown rapidly and has around 1.1 billion active users. Instagram is ideal for visual campaigns on mobile devices, such as smart phones. It is a great platform for showcasing your business values, your team, products and services.
Twitter encourages people to follow individuals or groups that are potentially interested in your business. You can post photos, videos, educational content etc. Twitter allows individuals to comment on your posts. These other Twitter users can also ‘retweet’ your content, if they feel compelled to do so.
This platform will not satisfy the objectives of all businesses’, as Twitter can be demanding and time-consuming because of its interactive nature that requires you to engage with other users. Small businesses may struggle to capitalise on this platform, although bigger brands usually have a great presence on Twitter where expressing views is advantageous for developing brand awareness.
Pinterest is a visual social media account which focusses on images but, once again, is not an ideal fit for everyone. Those who should benefit from Pinterest are business owners whose companies may be involved in photography, fashion, weddings, hobbies, DIY etc.
YouTube allows for video-sharing and provides a function for people to follow you. These followers can also comment and re-share your videos. Many businesses on this platform showcase educational content, which can act as a seminar or webinar. YouTube ‘influencers’ who have developed large audiences make ideal partners for promoting your business to a wider public.
Because of its 260 million monthly users, LinkedIn is probably the best platform for connecting with individuals professionally. This social media outlet is perfect for engaging in B2B business. It will assist you to establish your brand as an industry leader, while creating excellent exposure and awareness.
Businesses also use LinkedIn for recruitment purposes. This works two ways. You can use LinkedIn to sell your company’s values and ambitions, while also acting as a research tool for finding top talent. As this has been sold to users as a professional platform, content needs to be created and displayed professionally too.
TikTok is the new kid on the block. It’s a social media platform that allows businesses to create short videos. However, yet again, this is not ideal for everyone, with content needing to be tailored to make the most impact. Businesses that benefit from TikTok are generally those whose target audience is the younger generation.
The benefits of using social media are vast, but require plenty of research. Developing content, videos and images to suit your objectives can take time. Regardless of whether yours is a small or large business, you may need to dip your big toe in the water without fully knowing if your decision is correct. Trial and error may have to be the route forward, before fully understanding what works best for you.