Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat make up many of the popular social media channels. In this video, digital and social media strategist Martin Waxman provides an overview of the major social networks and shows what differentiates them, who they appeal to and the kind of content that works best on each.
- [Voiceover] These days, most people are on at least one, and likely more social media networks, while some folks post way too much information, or TMI, small businesses can use social media strategically to build awareness and deepen relationships with customers. The key is to pick the right platforms for your audience, and then create the type of content they can't get anywhere else. Here's a starter playlist on how to get setup on all the major social networks if you'd like more information.
Now, let's think about your business, which platforms would you choose? With over 1.6 billion people, Facebook has redefined the notion of mass media. These days, many companies use Facebook to post updates, advertise, host contests, and publish news. Just remember, Facebook is a pay-to-play platform. Organic posts, that is your regular unpaid updates, don't have the same reach without paid promotion.
To get the most out of paid promotion, select one of your posts that has good customer interaction. Figure out the audience you're trying to reach, add in a budget and time frame, then you can turn it into a promoted post and get a boost by paying to reach a wider audience. Does that sound like an ad? Well, it is. Facebook's really good at giving you automated suggestions for the content you want to promote, but you don't have to take all their advice.
Use your best judgment on what you think your audience will like. Facebook also offers users the ability to stream live video. That's a good opportunity to showcase a product launch, behind the scenes stories, news, and special events. Instagram, a mobile first app owned by Facebook is a photo sharing site. Keep your images creative and non-commercial Fun behind the scenes shots of your staff can work well.
A good rule of thumb on Instagram is not to post more than one photo a day. As most people know, Twitter's a real-time news feed, and can be a good place to interact with customers. Many businesses use it as their primary customer service platform, just remember it's all public, so don't get into a fight online. Adding a photo or video to your tweet gives it more impact because it shows up in the stream as a card and breaks through the noise.
Like Facebook, Twitter's mobile video app, Periscope, lets businesses broadcast video in real-time to the world. LinkedIn is like the Wall Street Journal of the social media world. It's a place for business people to connect, network, and share updates. If you publish thought leadership pieces on LinkedIn you can promote them through your company LinkedIn page. YouTube isn't really a social network, but it's a place to showcase your company's videos.
Be sure to optimize your channel with your branding, and a description of your video in the more section to help it show up in search. YouTube is owned by Google, which also owns the platform Google Plus, and while fewer people are on Google Plus, posting updates there may not reach your customers, but could boost your SEO. Pinterest is a lot like a scrapbook, a place for aspirational images about fashion, decor, beauty, and entertainment.
If you have a lifestyle business, Pinterest might be a good option, as a majority of its users are women. One of the benefits of Pinterest is that the image you use points back to the source, so it can be a good driver of traffic to your website. Snapchat, another mobile network, is a place where users share disappearing text, images, and videos that are often enhanced by filters and emoji. Everything on Snapchat disappears.
If your customers are under 35, you may want to experiment with Snapchat, but you need to be funny, edgy, and speak the language of the platform. Social networks are a lot like the stock market, they go up and down, and there's always a hot new item on the horizon. To learn more about any of these platforms follow this link. Experiment with all the platforms to get a handle on what they do, and make sure your audience is there before jumping in.
- Using social media to listen to customers
- Setting goals
- Crafting a social media policy and a plan
- Creating shareable content
- Measuring your social media success