Are You Using The Right Social Media Channels For Your Business?

Let’s get something straight. We know telling you that you can use social media to market your business is nothing groundbreaking. Social Media has grown rapidly over the last couple of years. Most business-owners are now aware that a Social Media strategy presents a great marketing opportunity. It’s free to use, advertising options are incredibly cost-effective and targeted, and these channels give you access to an incredible database. This means an abundance of relevant information about your customers right at your fingertips. Nothing new, right?

But while we recognise that most businesses are clued-up enough to have joined these social platforms, we are seeing more and more neglected Twitter feeds, lifeless Facebook pages and empty Instagram profiles.

Social media strategy icons - - using social media to market your business

Source: @BMetC

So why are so many of you still not using social media to market your business properly?

Part of the problem is that as social media grows it looks like a bigger and more daunting thing to tackle. You’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Snapchat and – if you’re anything like me, who struggles to pick a sandwich when there are more than 2 options available – it can become a little overwhelming. Much like how I usually end up buying all 10 different sandwiches for my lunch, which I could never possibly get through in my hour lunch break, many businesses will sign up to every platform. As a result, they end up spreading themselves too thin and not using any of these platforms properly. There’s just no way you can give enough attention to every platform to make it a valuable marketing strategy.

Knowing which social media platform to focus on is the crucial starting point to any social media strategy. So we thought we’d help you out by offering some insight into which social media channel will probably work best for your business:

Linked In: The perfect platform for B2B businesses. It’s a way of growing connections in the business world and reaching out to them via groups and discussions.

Pinterest: Ideal for businesses that are highly visual, meaning imagery is a main feature or selling point. This includes those in the wedding industry, travel, design, fashion, food, eCommerce etc.

Instagram: Another platform suited to those in visual industries and eCommerce, as it’s another photo-sharing and video channel. However, due to its higher engagement rate and geo-tagging options it’s also a great platform for small and local businesses to engage with their customers on a more personal level.

Twitter: Twitter can work well for anyone looking to use social media to market your business. Largely considered a micro-blogging tool. It allows you to send out bitesized information and engage with your community directly ‘in the moment’.

Facebook: Again, a positive platform for any any business but not the best place if your overall goal is sales. It’s best for building brand awareness, engaging with your community and gathering data about your customers.

HOWEVER, it’s really important to remember that there is no definitive answer. At the end of the day, the best way to determine which social media platform is right for you is to ask yourself these key questions:

  1. Who is my customer?
  2. Where is my customer hanging out online? For instance, nearly 70% Pinterest users are women and 50% have children. But don’t just rely on the stats. Carry out your own research. Don’t be afraid to do some outreach; email your existing customers and ASK THEM about their favourite platform and where they’d like to engage with you online.
  3. What is my end goal with this social media strategy? Do you want to build brand awareness? Make connections with in-industry people? Drive traffic to your website? Drive traffic to your store? Generate revenue? WHAT DO YOU WANT?
  4. How much am I willing to invest? If you want to effectively use social media to market your business, the reality is that you’re going to have to invest some real time into the project, and probably a bit of money too. Different social media channels demand different levels of input and budget. For instance, over 500 million Tweets are sent every day. This means if you want to compete, you should be posting a variety of content AT LEAST 3 times a day. Whereas with something like Pinterest, you can upload a few images with links at once and people will still be finding and sharing them months afterwards. Likewise, with a platform like Instagram you can grow your following on a fairly respectable budget. This is because Instagram users are highly engaged and more receptive to outreach and hashtags. If you want to build a strong following on Facebook, however, you’ll probably need a budget to promote your page during the first few months of your campaign.

It’s hard to be on all platforms at once so don’t spread yourself too thin. Some platforms are complimentary. For instance Instagram is owned by Facebook, so they’re easier to run alongside each other. But the best way to effectively use social media to market your business is to choose one or two that best meet your goals. Start here and, once you’re smashing one social media strategy, then you can consider branching out to other platforms.

For more advice or a consultation regarding your social media strategy, feel free to get in touch! And just so you know, we’re going to be running a series of FREE digital marketing seminars across London soon. Find out more and register your interest by clicking here.