Like our own universe, the social media universe can seem never-ending and just as mind-boggling. It’s easy to become flustered when using the different channels for your company’s online marketing strategy, especially when the rules of social media are constantly changing. Think of it this way: just as scientists are discovering more about the galaxy we live in, social media marketing gurus are always learning more about how to effectively capture the attention of your target audience through these channels.
Thankfully, our astronauts have navigated this territory before. Here are a few tips on what to look for in some of the most popular social networking accounts and which ones can be best utilized for your business:
- Facebook: Facebook is the king of social media. With 1.31 billion users, it has the most reach for potential customers to see your brand. No matter what industry you’re in (whether it’s food service, cosmetics, manufacturing, etc.), having a presence on Facebook is a necessary addition to your company’s website. Not only that, but it is the perfect outlet for updates, a place to share articles and visual material, hold contests, and engage your customers in meaningful conversation.
- Twitter: While Twitter currently comes in second for amount of users, it’s probably the most misused social media network out there. Sure, it’s a challenge to fit everything in a 140-character description, but that’s the beauty of it. The equation for Twitter is simple: one- to two-line creative teaser + a link + #hashtag = engagement. Twitter works best for news organizations and/or companies who use it as a public relations “news feed”, because that is essentially what Twitter is: a stream of intriguing updates. Many Twitter users utilize the site as the source of their daily news consumption. It’s not a blog and it’s not a place for wordy ranting. However, Twitter is apparently effective for fighting over customers, as dueling dining chains Applebees and Outback Steakhouse recently found out.
- LinkedIn: This growing social network is important to any company’s digital strategy, especially for the human resources side of things. Polish your online presence by creating a sleek LinkedIn profile with information about your company, photos and service or product offerings. Frequently post your blog links on LinkedIn to establish your voice of authority to potential customers, employees and network connections. This network is also a great way to advertise job openings and get the most out of recruiting.
- YouTube: YouTube is one of the most important social networks to help your SEO strategy as well as connecting to the 18-34-year-old audience. Check out what we have to say about YouTube here.
- Pinterest: If your marketing strategy has a lot to say via photos, Pinterest is a perfect network for your company. Whether you’re in the business of baking, interior design, photography, or basically anything that sparks inspiration, taking advantage of this social network is ideal. Pinterest is also a great platform on which to host contests. (PS. we can help you with your next “Pin-to-Win” contest) It’s also a great way to connect to women, as the majority of Pinterest users are female.
- FourSquare: Interact with local customers by taking advantage of FourSquare. This network is most often used in its mobile app form, as users “check-in” via FourSquare to various restaurants, shops, and other points of interest. The network gives points for visiting different types of businesses and also provides users the ability to take photos and leave tips for future visitors. FourSquare is also unique in that it uses GPS signals to detect when a user is in your store, which gives you the perfect opportunity to talk about daily specials or other events.
- Instagram: Like Pinterest, Instagram is a way to share your message through photos and visual material. Unlike other networks that encourage broadcasting a message, Instagram is a great method to open up that two-way conversation by engaging your followers and encouraging them to share photos. Instagram is perfect for clothing companies like H&M and Aeropostale, both of which encourage their brand’s wearers to post photos of themselves while wearing or even trying on the company’s clothing in stores.
Bottom line: You do not need to sign up for every social networking site that exists. That’s like posting a flag with your business’ logo on every planet you land on but not spending enough time to build an outpost to attract the locals’ interest. Instead, pick three channels that magnify your company’s marketing goals the most and build these networks before expanding your reach with other social media sites.
Need further advice on deciding which channels can promote your message the strongest? Let us help.