Which social media channel should my business use?
Deciding which social media channels to use is a complicated decision whatever size your business is.
In this post we will look at 5 of the most popular channels, the benefits of using them and which is likely to be best for your particular business.
5 of the most popular social media channels:
Facebook has amassed a user base of over 2 billion making it the world’s most popular social network!
They also own Instagram and WhatsApp so you can take the total amount of users across the company closer to 3 billion. These numbers are enormous!
The ability to adapt to competitors and introduce new products quickly means that is highly likely Facebook will remain popular for the foreseeable future.
With these vast numbers comes huge amounts of competition for people’s attention. For example, posting from your personal account doesn’t guarantee that you are going to appear on your friends’ timelines.
Probably the best way to generate interest in your business is to create a business page. Creating a Facebook page (example below) will enable you to build an audience of people interested in your services.
Building a page with people that have interest in your business is a great way to build a community of like-minded people.
Your focus should not be on the number of followers, fans or likes but on who it is that is following you.
A group with a 10 people interested in your business is far more likely to generate leads that a group with 100 people who have no interest.
You can promote your page with your own networks and ask friends to invite their friends to like it too.
Facebook will be more likely to recommend your page to people with similar interests. E.g. If I like French food on Facebook then I am more likely to be recommended the pages of French restaurants.
You can also use paid ads to promote your page but we shall discuss that further at the end.
Twitter gets a bad reputation for political arguments, trolls and other negative issues. However, use it well and it can be a great place to generate interest in your products, find new leads and communicate with your potential clients.
Twitter also has a large user base so you have the prospect of raising awareness of your business. You can use it to promote your content like your blog. It also enables you to follow specific hashtags/accounts so that you can find potential customers and engage with potential customers in real time. One of the main benefits is that you can create a support channel for your customers so that you can resolve any issues that they may have.
The best for B2B communications and for building your reputation within a particular industry. Great for building your personal brand and for positioning yourself as a leader in your industry.
Creating pages for your business can be useful but I would recommend putting more of your time and focus on marketing yourself.
Ensure that you profile is up to date and optimised, actively seek recommendations from people you have worked with/for and engage regularly with your network.
Engaging with your network should include posting regularly about topics within your area, commenting and adding your expertise to your networks posts and promoting your other content, such as blog posts and videos.
LinkedIn is great for building your personal brand and business network.
The chance to highlight your products and services in a visual way. Instagram is the best place for showcasing photos and videos of your products and services.
It provides the best platform for visual showing the feeling people get from using your products. With the introduction go IGTV you can also post longer promotional videos that show a 1-minute preview on your page.
Using Instagram stories can be a great way to show the benefits of what you offer and you can advertise to targeted audiences in both their stories and on their timelines.
Best practises include: a consistent visual image of all your photos, in-depth interesting captions and strategic use of hashtags.
The worlds second most popular search engine (after google), YouTube is a video hosting social media network that allows you to showcase your expertise, products, services or funny videos within its network.
Many people use YouTube to learn about how to use a product. The number of tutorials means that it is a great place to target customers that may have a particular pain point that they are trying to solve.
What about TikTok? One of the fastest growing social networks out there certainly provides an opportunity for creative marketers to consider especially if your target audience is aged 16 – 24.
So which network should my business use?
I would recommend that most companies set up a Facebook Page.
There are several benefits, apart from the size of their user base, including access to FB messenger (a powerful tool to communicate with your audience), the ability for customers to leave reviews and a place where you can run paid Facebook and Instagram ads from if you decide to invest in paid advertising.
After Facebook it depends very much on what services you are offering. If your product is visual like a restaurant or clothing brand then Instagram would probably be your focus.
If you are a B2B service then LinkedIn would be a good place to start. Twitter is fantastic for creating a support network and communicating with your network in real time.
YouTube is the best network for your video marketing and is perfect for educating your audience about your products.
What about paid advertising?
One of the reasons I recommend a Facebook page is because you may decide to invest in paid FB/Instagram ads.
You can of course pay for advertising on the vast majority on social media but the inclination for new and small businesses is often to start with investing in FB/Instagram Ads.
So, should you invest in advertising? Well, stop and think! Is this a tactic you are using to help you meet your overall objectives? Or, is it a ‘let’s try and see’?
At a recent a recent event I attended on social media the majority of business owners or marketers had tried the later. Their results and feedback of their experience in general was poor!
I am not saying that there isn’t a place for paid social media ads in fact we use them and they can be highly effective. But they must be a tactic that you use as part of an overall strategy.
Paying for people’s attention is expensive so don’t waste any money without considering your overall objectives.
Conclusion & template download
Building an audience and creating content that is useful and interesting will help you to create a community of potential customers.
Building that community is the key when using social media for business. Firstly, decide what network your audience is on.
Post often, be relevant to your audience (desired audience) and engage with them regularly. Of course, you can use more than 1 or all of them but have a plan and remain consistent.
You can download our free social media content calendar below to help you with planning.
Build communities of like-minded people and provide content that they want to engage with and they will be your biggest advocates.
Supporting Your Digital Marketing
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Written by Danny Layzell,