June 13, 2019
Not having a social media presence these days is certain death for a small business. Many, if not all, business owners understand that, but continue to wrestle with just how to make it work and what platforms to use.
Social Media Marketing strategies become “make or break” when it comes to choosing the best platforms to market your business. This is compounded by the algorithms, changing trends and best practices that can seem to blow with the wind.
And when you’re an entrepreneur wearing many hats, figuring it all out (and keeping up with it) can be a chore that you’re willing to let pile up like the dishes. So trust that we get it when you ask, “which platform should I be on?” But understand that the answer depends squarely on you and your business.
There are 3 things to ask yourself that I want you to focus on before I break down a few of the platforms. These are the questions we ask clients before working with them on their social media plan, so here’s your peek behind the curtain.
It’s that’s simple, but I know, sometimes you’d rather make it hard (havin’ an L-Boogie moment). However, if you’d honestly take some time to be clear about those 3 things, it will extend clarity toward which 2-3 platforms are best to use for your business.
And yes, I said 2-3. Let’s be real, you’re probably already pulling out your hair to manage one platform really well. You don’t have to be on every single platform. And unless you have a marketing team (or can afford one), do yourself a favor and build where you are before deciding to expand. Social media marketing success takes time, dedication and consistency. And the worst thing you could do is launch on multiple platforms for them to all fall off.
Now…let’s get into it.
Have you seen that movie with Chris Rock? In the midst of the protagonist’s overarching problems, the film continues to reference its title by asking several characters to list their favorite hip hop artists. The responses explore everything from talent to personal taste. My list below will intertwine the 2.
1. Facebook. Stop asking about this. Get a Facebook Business Page. It doesn’t have to be the main platform you choose to market on (you can minimally push posts from IG directly there), but it’s hard to deny its reach. The use by men and women finds women leading by about 15 percent, but covers the widest span of age for both genders. I usually tell folks, it’s the only platform where a great grandchild is likely to have a profile as well as the great grandparent. Facebook is best for B2C, and in some cases B2B. And as far as SEO is concerned, your business page is seen by search engines during local search results. News & Information, Fashion, Auto, E-Commerce, Retail, Entertainment, Real Estate, Health & Wellness, Marketing and Sports are all top industries on Facebook.
2. Twitter. Now I know a lot of you don’t like this one, but at least 2/3 of The House are big fans/users…and we’re gonna get the other to love it sooner or later (hahaha). While many folks were feeling kinda ho-hum about it being like “updating your Facebook status all day”, you can thank Agent Orange (and the increase in character count to 280) for the surge in popularity and usage. This is the place where people let loose and rant, as well as give their views and opinions on news, pop culture, trends etc. Another thing it’s good for? Customer reviews. Think about it…how many times have you seen an airline praised or trashed on Twitter…and then it make local or national news? Streets is watching. And people tweet their favorite entertainments, public figures and businesses DIRECTLY. You can make it a place where you not only show off your expertise, but also connect with your consumers. The use by men and women is equal and appeals largely between ages 18-49. Twitter is best for B2C, and some B2B. 74% of users follow small businesses for product updates, and 93% of them plan to purchase from the businesses they follow. News & Information, E-Commerce, Retail, Travel & Hospitality, Finance, Health & Wellness, Technology, Fashion and Sports are all top industries on Twitter.
3. Instagram. If you have a product worth seeing or a service that can be displayed with images, then you’re in the right place. Instagram has evolved from just a “photo app” to a full blown visual platform, which means that you can only take advantage of it with a high quality and impacting image or video to grab your audience. Most recently, Facebook acquired Instagram, so many of the features are overlapping and compatible. However, because this is a visual platform, your visuals need to be on point. Your DIY product photos will pale in comparison to a brand photographer’s touch. Consider higher quality or at least some bang up editing apps and tools until you get there. The platform is used by mostly women, but there’s a shift happening, and appeals largely between ages 18-35. Instagram is best for B2C. 80% of users follow small businesses, and 72% of them say they’ve purchased a product seen on the app. Arts & Crafts, E-Commerce, Travel & Hospitality, Beauty, Health & Wellness, Photography, Food & Beverage, Auto and Event Planning are all top industries on Instagram.
4. LinkedIn. Heavily slept on and not often talked about, if you are B2B, your main focus should be on LinkedIn *looks over at my partners because we just had this discussion*. 4 out of 5 members drive business decisions and LinkedIn’s audience has 2x the buying power of the average web audience. Let that sink in. LinkedIn is a networking gem that many professionals have tapped into. The use by men and women is equal and appeals largely between ages 25-45. 49% of college graduates use LinkedIn and 45% of adults making more than 75k are there too. Financial, Employment, Science & Technology, Legal, Manufacturing, Health & Wellness, Education, Professional Services and IT are all top industries on LinkedIn.
5. Pinterest. Ready to have your mind blown AGAIN? Pinterest isn’t a social media platform, but I included it here to make that point and share how you can still use it to your benefit. Well, what is it? It’s a search engine, much like Google. It’s a crafter or hobbyist’s sanctuary. Anyone who is planning an event or embarking upon a project, will likely be on Pinterest with a pinboard assigned to what they’re doing. I decided I was going to Hawaii just a few weeks ago and I’ve already created a board lol. If your audience is on Pinterest and you have a visual product, or a service that aligns with visual planning, then this is a platform that can work for you. It’s best for B2C. 87% of pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest. The users of this platform are mostly women, between ages 18-45. 25% of users are on the site daily, and 31% use it weekly. Retail, Travel & Hospitality, Fashion, E-Commerce, Health & Wellness, Arts & Crafts, Food & Beverage, Beauty, Home & Garden and Event Planning are all top industries on Pinterest.
I hope that this information helps to save you time and get closer to achieving your social media marketing goals. It doesn’t have to take up all of your time, but a key to social media is being social. If you find that you are among a third of business owners who can’t find the time to create strategy, engage with your followers or create content, then we encourage you to find a partner who can help you!
If you’d like more of a definitive strategy, or evaluation of what you already have in place, we offer customized social media audits that will give you more personalized data and recommendations. Comment below and we will contact you about this option! 👩🏾💻