We all know the immense benefits that social media can provide for your business, but where do you begin when it comes to social media marketing?
Social media networks are not created equally. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to determine which channels will work the best for you given your products/services and your target market. Here are brief rundowns of the most popular networks to give you a better idea of which ones you should focus on.
Pew Research Center recently released results of a study on teen social media usage, and it was found that only 51% of teens ages 13 to 17 use Facebook. If your business’s target market is that age group, you probably don’t want to focus most of your social media marketing efforts on Facebook. Instead, use Facebook if your target market is adults--with more than 2 billion active users, potential customers are in no short supply! Facebook ads can also be used to target specific demographics, helping you market your products and services to the right audience.
LinkedIn is a social media platform used for business and networking. It works best for companies engaging in business-to-business commerce. If your business is a hair salon or restaurant, you probably won’t have as much marketing success on LinkedIn than if your business is a technology company or accounting firm, for example.
Twitter is the social media site for conversations, and businesses commonly use it to promote their brands’ personalities and engage in discussions with their customers. Hashtags enable users to look up tweets on any topic, and Twitter can also be used for customer service when users tweet their questions, comments, and complaints to a brand.
85% of teens today use YouTube, and the site overall has over 1.5 billion users. Many brands use YouTube to showcase and demonstrate their products. It’s important to provide value for viewers, and being entertaining or educational definitely helps, too! Professional-quality videos resonate better with viewers, so if you do post content for your business on YouTube, make sure it doesn’t look like shaky cell phone footage.
The downside to Instagram is that users can only post photos and videos--the only clickable link an account can share is in their page bio. The upside is that Instagram has the highest engagement rates of any social media site--a recent study found that Instagram’s engagement rate is 70% higher than Facebook’s. Not only that, but there are currently 800 million active Instagram users. Since 59% of Instagram users are between 18 and 29 years old, you may consider using Instagram as part of your social media marketing if that is the age of your target market. And the higher-quality the images, the better! Like Twitter, Instagram uses hashtags that enable its users to look up photos on any topic, so if your business is a restaurant, for example, you may choose to include hashtags in your posts such as #restaurant, #cincinnatirestaurant, #veganrestaurant, and so on--whatever applies to your business!
If you think your company is too busy to engage in social media marketing on your own, consider hiring a digital marketing firm to help!