24Sep2015

What Social Media Platforms Does Your Business Belong on?

There are numerous social media channels used by businesses today, and they each have a set of unique qualities.  Some of the more commonly used social media channels deliver great marketing benefits due to their great volume of active users, which is why marketing benefits can be so easily achieved.  Simply having a business presence on these channels can pay off in building brand awareness.  However, when used strategically, some less-common channels can also deliver great marketing benefits by simply being present in the unique space where there audience is engaging.  All social media channels, when used methodically, can offer marketing benefits like building your brand awareness and will set you aside from your competitors.  Should your business jump on the bandwagon whenever a new social media channel makes its appearance?

To make the decision of what social media channels are right for your business, it will help to learn their unique benefits and how they differ from each other.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most common social media platforms for businesses to engage on.  The primary reason that most businesses begin their social media presence on Facebook is audience volume.  Facebook offers a great potential reach with the most age, gender and lifestyle demographics represented.  Over the years Facebook has experienced exponential growth which has helped position them as a major advertising platform.  As a result of its continuing success, Facebook has developed business pages and functionality to accommodate advertising and promotional materials to communicate to current and prospective customers.  The Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor are some examples of how Facebook is accommodating to the usability of its platform for businesses.  But don’t get too ‘Like-Happy’!  The downfall of the volume of users on Facebook is that it lowers your actual reach.  Essentially, the more users on Facebook, the more content in the newsfeed.  So the glory of managing your Facebook presence needs to be carefully strategized to win the placement in the newsfeed of your audience.  Read more about winning placement in the newsfeed here.

Twitter

Twitter is another one of the most common social media platforms for businesses to engage on.  Twitter is growing in audience size, and is currently heavily comprised of a millennial audience.  The nature of this platform allows for a much faster cadence of content.  Because of the 140 character limit of a tweet, Twitter is effective at communicating short thought provoking topics.  When managing business pages on Twitter, you will likely notice audience engagement grow at a faster pace.  Twitter has built-in brand exposure tools such as hashtags and mentions.  Twitter makes it easy to expose your content into other feeds of similar content.  This is done by adding a hashtag to your tweet.  All tweets with that hashtag will be double exposed in the hashtag feed as well as the content feed of those who follow you.  Read more about the power of hashtags here.  Twitter also makes tagging much more streamlined by the use of the @ symbol.  As you may know every Twitter handle is immediately preceded by the @ symbol.  The brilliant functionality of the @ symbol allows for the ease of mentioning (tagging) another profile.  These features make Twitter a highly engaging platform for your business.  But don’t expect the little blue bird to fly by itself!  The increased cadence of Twitter will result in the need to increase your own Tweet cadence, which can become a lot to manage.

Google+

Google+ is also a continually growing social media platform for businesses to engage on.  The audience demographic is much more unique to business professionals, which can sometimes share similarities with your highest quality prospective audience.  What sets Google+ aside is that it has great search engine optimization (SEO) power.  Every word in your profile and content can be indexed into search engine rankings.  You will likely notice traffic to your website from Google+ before you even gain a following to your page.  Even after you grow your engagement on Google+ you may still see traffic to your page & website outweigh your Google+ engagement.  Another great feature that Google+ offers as a social media platform for business is the ability to post large pieces of content.  One strategy that may aid in your search engine rankings is to post portions of your blog articles or lengthier content with a ‘read more’ call to action and end with the link to your blog article where they can click to read more.  Click here for a free download of our Google+ whitepaper to learn more about the strengths of using Google+ for business.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is experiencing year over year growth in active users, and businesses are responding to the need to be on LinkedIn.  Creating a LinkedIn platform for your business is a great way to scale your company’s reputation with professionals through word of mouth marketing.  Because of the reputational benefits of managing a LinkedIn page and the ability to tell your company’s story, you will position your company perfectly to grow prospective business with a professional audience.  It also becomes a great channel to publish valuable content to your customers, and will aid in boosting your SEO ranking.  LinkedIn is one of the social media channels that is effective for researching purposes.  Current and prospective employees will learn about your business from your LinkedIn profile as well as businesses who are looking to partner with you.

Instagram

Instagram is populated by a smaller audience and more trendy audience.  It may not be the first social media channel that a business considers when selecting their platform, but it should definitely be considered.  Instagram is currently winning the engagement game.  The audience demographic skews younger than Facebook and Twitter, and carries the weight of displaying the visual integrity of your business.  If you want content to get a lot of buzz, Instagram is your platform.  Instagram is arguably one of the most important and greatest trending social media platform, particularly among the younger demographic.  Being the social media channel that showcases the image of your company it is important to be present and bring your creative game.  Without being present, you run the risk of being forgotten or ignored by the next generation customer.  Creating an Instagram account and sharing visual content for your business will begin to deliver brand awareness benefits.  Much like Twitter, you can use the hashtag functionality to expose your content to a high quality audience.

Pinterest

Pinterest has roughly 100 million active users, but tends to skew to the female audience.  Pinterest is a platform that inspires creative brainstorming.  It also has the ability to drive killer website traffic.  With a little bit of creative inspiration and layout, any business can showcase themselves on Pinterest.  Your Pinterest presence needs to be carefully strategized to ensure you are capitalizing on your efforts of playing in the space.  Pinterest is also very mobile friendly, which can aid in exposing mobile centric material, such as app downloads or mobile optimized digital media.

Tumblr

If blog sites and social media had a baby, they’d name it Tumblr.  Tumblr is a micro blog platform where posts get indexed by search engines, and are super easy to engage with.  The primary benefit of using Tumblr for business is to boost your SEO.  Tumblr can be used as a fairly limited functioning website, with the ability to customize the domain name.  Unlike other blog websites, there is far more engagement and interaction on Tumblr.  You can follow other blogs and even reblog great content, adding it to your own blog.  As a blog platform, the best benefit is that it is free.  This social media platform is custom-fit for any business that is looking for the next level of brand exposure and SEO benefits.

Vine

If a picture is worth a thousand words, six second video could also be worth something to your business.  Vine is a social media platform that focuses on short video clips that drive can drive incredible engagement.  Vine’s popularity grew rapidly, and was acquired by Twitter after less than a year of its launch.  Vine is a social media platform that captures the attention of a younger demographic, and has the ability to brand your business in a fun and transparent way.  This may be one of the less common social media platforms, but when used strategically, can offer brand awareness benefits with a unique audience.

Youtube

Youtube is a very well-known social media channel that has the power to showcases a business’s personality.  Youtube videos are easily sharable on most social media platforms.  One of the many benefits of video in general is the engagement level.  Video is commonly the vehicle that allows content to go viral.  When content gains popularity quickly resulting in a trending story and huge exposure, it is referred to as viral.  Videos are some of the easiest content to ‘go viral’ simply because they are an easy form entertainment and are easily sharable.  Other types of content that make you think, read or create can become a greater hurdle to engage.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a social media platform that has over 400 million active users mostly made up of the 13-25 age range.  Snapchat can be a very inexpensive way to target this hard to reach demographic.  The nature of snapchat is the sharing of a photo or video for 1-10 seconds, or creating a story that is available to up to 24 hours.  The quick expiration of the message is what makes snapchat so unique.  The time sensitivity coupled with the unique functionality of Snapchat is where businesses are finding opportunity grow their brand exposure with a younger audience.

 

In conclusion, there are many social media channels available for your business to adapt into your marketing strategy.  In this article, you’ve learned about 10 of the most popular and trending platforms, but there are many more social media options out there to explore.  So before you jump on the bandwagon and join every social media platform available, it’s smart to set an objective for what you intend to accomplish.  Factors such as what audience you wish to attract, the type of message you wish to communicate, resources to manage each platform and potential gains will help you weigh the need to operate each social media platform.

We hope this article helps you confirm what social media channels your business would benefit most from.  To see more articles with social media tips, highlights & news check subscribe to our blog!

  • 24 Sep, 2015
  • Katrina Parr
  • 0 Comments

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