Social media has deeply embedded itself into our culture and ensuring your business has a solid social presence is not just important, it’s a must. After all, with 3.8 billion active social media users across the globe (almost half the world’s population), it makes sense for companies to leverage social networking platforms to tap into their target audience.
You can’t really dabble in social media and be good at it. Part of knowing your current and target customers means knowing which social media channels they engage with, and what each channel is best used for. Be selective and focus your efforts on the channels that provide the most benefit. Each platform is equipped with analytics that takes the guess work out of knowing if your recent post resonated with your target market.
The big ones.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter – these are the big ones. According to Forbes, “Facebook is by far the largest social platform on the planet, with 2.4 billion monthly active users.” What does this mean for you as a small business owner? Spend time choosing the best social media channel (or channels) for your business. Recognize the immediate nature of social media and that the popularity of each channel can, and does, shift.
Every social media channel has its own benefit, and of course, is slightly different. Not every channel will serve the needs of every business and users (customers and future customers).
Here, Forbes describes each platform in their own terms:
- Facebook: the audience that knows you
- Instagram: the Hollywood of social media
- Twitter: where you find what’s happening now
- LinkedIn: the place for professional sharing, plus a resume
- Snapchat: where you connect with very close friends
- YouTube: the entertainment center
One common mistake businesses make is thinking “the more the merrier” and joining every social media channel possible. Don’t join randomly, instead, choose intentionally. Choose what platforms work best for your business and do them well. Here is a framework to ask yourself to help you determine what social media channel best suits your product or service:
Who is my audience?
Where is my audience?
Where is my audience searching?
Is your business a tow-truck service or a high-end restaurant? If it is a tow-truck service, customers need your service right away and the immediacy of Twitter would be a good fit, #stuckonCirceDrivebyLorneAve. On the other hand, a high-end restaurant is all about photos of delicious food in a sophisticated setting so Instagram would be an appropriate channel.
While specific best practices vary by social media channel, we can’t emphasize enough the sheer amount of effort involved in keeping your social media fresh and relevant. An out-of-date contact or business address, the wrong store hours, a positive or negative online review that hasn’t been dealt with in a timely manner (or at all), are just some of the pitfalls of social media.
If you are a pro at running your business but still find social media daunting reach out and we’ll help! Social media is not a passing phase so now is the time to start.
– Teal Rybchuk is a Product Consultant on the Revenue Growth Team.
2. Social Media Trends 2020 – https://hootsuite.com/research/social-trends
3. Social media site usage chart: https://insightrix.com/saskatchewan-social-media-usage
Note: This article references Directwest’s Social Media Marketing product that has now been discontinued.