Social media platforms are ubiquitous. They’re slowly creeping into all aspects of your life, whether it’s you using it, your friends, your family or even your colleagues.
Like it or not, social media is here to stay.
In the last ten years, social media has grown at a bewildering rate, and keeping up can be a real challenge.
Social media is defined as;
“Websites or applications that enable people and brands, to communicate, engage and interact online. They can do this by conversing with each other, commenting and engaging on each other’s content, they can also create their own content as well as sharing other’s and their own.”
However, all social media platforms vary, with each having it’s own unique propositions for businesses.
Ultimately, you need to choose the social media platforms that are best suited to your business; it’s target audience, your products/services, as well as the availability of time and resources.
Facebook is quintessentially the mother of all social media platforms. Everyone has it. It’s got a quick, easy, simple interface that allows users to navigate through the platform with ease. Your business page features the latest posts, contact information, services or product list, any videos or images of the business as well as reviews. Posts can consist of embedded links, videos, images, text and location check-ins.
Facebook’s users can engage with businesses as well as each other. This type of engagement enables amplification of a business’s posts and thus increasing brand awareness.
It also allows businesses to create adverts targeted at specific demographics – location, age, gender, their interests, languages and you can also exclude specific users. This feature enables to you channel your adverts and campaigns to your prime target audience.
Instagram is a visually orientated platform. The only type of posts that can be uploaded are images and videos (to a limit of 60 seconds). The platform itself is only fully compatible on mobiles; you cannot upload via a computer and the app isn’t responsive to tablets.
Furthermore, if you type out a link in the caption of the post, the link won’t work. However, the platform is densely populated with hashtags, as a majority of users use hashtags on their own posts and can discover other users via hashtags.
If your business has a Facebook page, you can now link your page to an Instagram account and your information on your page is transferred into the Instagram account. This also means that can can create Instagram adverts via Facebook.
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. It has a vast amount of content, users can upload their own content and engage with others’ as well as creating playlists.
Businesses can create YouTube channels, where they can upload their own videos, e.g. a client testimonial or a visual demonstration of the product.
With video being the most engaging content for the majority of businesses, YouTube is an essential platform to showcase what you have to offer.
YouTube videos can then be shared and embedded across a wide array of other platforms, helping to extend your brand reach.
Google Plus is big in the USA, although it hasn’t quite taken off in the UK. Some businesses use it but the majority don’t. Google Plus allows you to post in the same way as on Facebook apart from videos, as Google prefers YouTube links as opposed to actual videos.
However, your businesses should use it as Google values and optimises Google Plus posts and creates more links to feed to your business profile and website. There is also a high chance that you have already created a Google account for your business anyways, as it is necessary in order to have a Google My Business page, so there’s no harm in supplementing your Google Plus profile every now and again with any posts that are directed to Facebook.
Twitter is a fast paced platform that allows users to publish content, with no more than 140 characters. Due to the limited characters, posts are generally short, snappy and concise. However you can add images, a video or gif with no affect on the character count. You can also create polls for your followers to engage with.
Twitter, like Instagram, is also hashtag dense, but Twitter makes it easier to connect to your local community. This means that Twitter is a brilliant platform to raise brand awareness, however, to do this effectively, your business needs to be posting often.
LinkedIn is essentially a professional, business orientated version of Facebook. Your business page (Company Page on LinkedIn) allows you to showcase posts. However, to engage with users, you have to do it via your own personal account.
Posting to your company page allows your business to appear fresh and consistent to browsing users.
LinkedIn allows you to create adverts, but more importantly, you can connect to other users by searching either their company name, title, industry, location, name, school, prior company and (if you have a Premium profile) any groups that they have joined and years of experience.
This means that LinkedIn is key for any B2B businesses as it allows you to specifically target prime individuals within companies, e.g. targeting Procurement Manager within Dentistry for your dental products.
Pinterest is also a very visually orientated platform. However, the only form of content is images on Pinterest and their embedded link, to the website that it originates from. Users can create mood boards if you will of any topic of their choosing, e.g. hairstyles that they like.
This means that Pinterest is an amazing platform for businesses such as Interior Designers so that they can showcase their services, or Wedding Dress Designers to showcase their products to potential customers.
Snapchat is an in-the-moment, visual platform. It’s concept is, if you see something that you like or find funny, you can take a photo or a video of it and upload it to either your story so that all of your snapchat friends can view it or you can send it to individuals.
Once the photo is taken, you can then add text and stickers to it.
Geofilters are backgrounds that you can put on your image/video that are available dependent on your geolocation, e.g. if you take a photograph in Leeds, there will be an option of Leeds filters you can add.
There are also filters that you can put on before taking a photo that alter or change the photo, e.g. there is one called the Butterfly Princess that scans your face to give you a crown of butterflies. It also slims your face, whitens your teeth and smooths your skin.
Advertising on Snapchat is predominantly for the really big brands, like Revlon, but having a Snapchat account for your business allows you to provide a live feed for other users to view.
This is a fantastic platform for business events, live campaigns, the process of administering a product e.g. a henna tattoo or even to show a before and after shot of a product, e.g. for eyebrow threading.
Ultimately, it’s not a one size fits all.
You need to analyse your own brand’s needs and persona before you decide which platforms to use and how to approach them.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please call us on 0113 871 5900 or drop us a line.