Social Media Signals: Is Your Company Using the Right Platforms?
You know your business needs to be on social media, and you might already be active on a few platforms. But are you sure you’ve chosen the right platforms to achieve your objectives and target audience? This article will help you answer that question and optimize your high level social media strategy.
Social Media Platforms at a Glance
Look over the list below to quickly align social platforms with your goals and your target audience.
People of all demographics love using Facebook to share articles and memes, as well as their personal experiences, so almost all businesses should be on Facebook. With 1.86 billion monthly active users, the platform gives you a wide audience for both organic and paid marketing, with great features for targeting ads by employer, location, school, etc.
Facebook is the perfect platform for B2C companies who offer a lot of great content, such as blog posts or how-to GIFs. You can build brand awareness, promote deals, and distribute updates to your customer base.
Your Facebook page can also be used effectively as a customer service tool. If you make sure your page shows a quick response time, visitors will learn they can ask you a question just by leaving a comment or shooting you a message.
- Wide audience and great targeting features for paid ads
- Helps with brand awareness, customer engagement, customer service
- Good for posting articles/blogs, memes, product/company updates, promoting deals
Recommended for use by all business types, Twitter is another social media power player with over 310 million active users. People turn to Twitter for immediate information and/or conversation about current events. If they’re sitting in traffic, they’re searching for the street name to find out why. When a big news story hits or the Super Bowl is going on, they’re watching hashtags to see what people are saying.
Both B2C and B2B companies can market on this platform by taking advantage of trending topics. Share product updates or chime in with your two cents on a piece of industry news, either by posting a comment or sharing a relevant piece of content.
In addition to participating in current events, people also use Twitter when they want an immediate response to a question, making Twitter the top platform for providing customer service. When a customer tweets at you, offer quick replies.
- Audience of young adults (ages 18 to 30), both men and women
- Helps with brand awareness, customer engagement, and social proof
- Good for providing customer service and sharing updates/blogs/images
Because LinkedIn is intended for professional networking, this platform is best for B2B marketing, especially among “white-collar” male professionals. You can demonstrate your expertise in your industry by answering questions that others post, sharing blogs, commenting on industry news, and posting company updates. These LinkedIn activities can help you find new business clients and partners.
Additionally, having a complete and optimized business page on LinkedIn offers social proof, especially when your employees list your business as their employer.
- Audience of business professionals (majority men), best for B2B networking
- Helps with finding clients, building brand awareness, and showing social proof
- Good for sharing blogs/updates, commenting on industry news
Hugely popular with younger women (teens to late 20s) and all about eye-catching photos, Instagram is great for promoting visual B2C products. Successful posts might show clothing/apparel, novelty gifts, or affordable “experiences” such as local events, bars/restaurants, and budget-conscious travel. By posting intriguing, artistic photos, you can build brand awareness and potentially find new customers.
- Audience of young women in their teens to late 20s
- Helps with building brand awareness and finding new customers
- Good for sharing eye-catching product photos and company photos
Snapchat is the new kid on the social media marketing block, and its user base is kids -- that is, tweens and teens. Those kids use Snapchat to share videos and photos with one another. If your business has a lot of video content geared toward teens, such as live event recordings, Snapchat is definitely worth checking out. You can engage with your existing customers and get them talking with their friends about your products.
- Audience of teens/tweens, boys and girls
- Helps with brand awareness and customer engagement
- Good for sharing B2C product videos and photos
Popular with teens in high school, girls and boys alike, Tumblr is full of youthful entertainment, angsty thought-posts, and many, many photos and GIFs with many, many hashtags. This is where B2C companies who are in touch with their inner teenager can succeed at building brand awareness and promoting age-appropriate products. Is your product the type to trend across high schools? Tumblr is for you.
- Audience of teens, mixed boys and girls
- Helps with brand awareness and finding new customers
- Good for sharing photos, GIFs, and long text posts
Pinterest is a digital bulletin board that attracts people (women) who are looking for ideas. They’re shopping for gifts, hunting for the perfect wedding theme, and searching for DIY project ideas. They’re also scrolling through their feeds just looking for stuff that looks cool or informative. They like to save and share “life hacks”, how-to guides, and life-saver products in image form.
It’s perfect for B2C and B2B online retailers. Post new products, show customers how those products work, and share ideas for ways to use them.
- Audience of women of all ages (and some men)
- Helps with promoting products and building brand awareness
- Good for sharing product photos, infographics, and project ideas
Although Google Plus has largely gone by the wayside, many marketers still use this Facebook-inspired platform as one of the four must-have social presences (in addition to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). B2B companies who use the suite of Google products should definitely consider giving Google Plus attention. For example, if you’re using Google Hangouts (as an alternative to Skype) to hold virtual meetings, consider maintaining an active Google Plus for Business page, so that when colleagues view it, they see something current. Post content such as blogs, photos/videos, and company updates.
- Audience of men in technical professions
- Helps with building B2B brand awareness and creating social proof
- Good for posting visual content (photos/videos) and blogs
As the premier website for watching and sharing videos, YouTube is not only one of the top social media platforms, it’s also the second most popular search engine next to Google. Better yet, because YouTube is owned by Google, its video show up in Google’s search results often. That means the platforms reach is far and wide.
Because it’s all about videos, YouTube is a great platform for businesses who have high-quality videos that showcase products and services, including updates and features, and how to use the products. Companies who host events can also use YouTube to share recordings.
- Audience of young adults (ages 18-24), mixed men and women
- Helps with promoting products and engaging existing customers
- Good for explaining products/services and sharing recorded events
Final Tip for Using Social Media
Social media is used by prospects to assess whether a company is responsive, how their customer service operates, and how influential they are in an industry. It also inspires a general perception of the way you run your business. If your last post is in 2013, visitors may think that was also the last time you cared about the public view of your company (“Is your company a social ghost town?”) So no matter what social platforms you’re using, make sure to use them regularly.