Welcome to our blog series: Social media for small business.
Last week we had shared, different tactics to succeed in social media
By now, I hope, you should have written your plan and set your goals. This is a significant part as your next step depends on your plan and the goals that you have set. Your next step is to choose the right social network for your business.
Most of the small businesses focus on many social media platforms which is a mistake. It is not a prudent strategy. It is always better to focus on one or two social networks which work for you rather than doing too many things across various social networks.
This article will give you an overview of how to use the major social channels available out there for marketing your business, depending on the unique environment that each platform offers.
Each network offers different techniques to help you develop the right strategy, tailored for your industry.
Browse among the following social media, to choose the right channel for promoting your business (there are certain social networks which work best for certain companies but not for others. It is important to understand the uniqueness of each social network before starting your marketing activities. Check the most relevant data for each one and its source).
Age 25 to 34, at 29.7% of users, is the most common age demographic. 71% of online American adults use Facebook currently.
Facebook users are 68% female and 62% male.
It’s necessary to pay attention to the layout, as the visual component is a fundamental aspect of Facebook. The business page created should cover topics that will deepen the conversation with your audience, through the publication of articles, images, and videos connected with your industry.
Facebook is a place where generally people visit to relax and chat with friends, so keep a light and friendly tone.
Who is doing great on Facebook?
With over 30 million likes, Nutella is doing an excellent job. The ‘About’ tab lists the rules of the Facebook Page (then setting expectations for their fans). The brand focuses on sharing tons of catchy images on their wall to generate a huge amount of engagement.
37% of adults in the age group of 18–29 and 25% of adults 30–49 in the age group of use Twitter. This stat is interesting as it shows that a more mature audience mostly uses Twitter.
Twitter is a must because it covers nearly any topic and there are many tools connected to this social media, to increase your audience and boost your reach. According to recent stats, Twitter has around 313 million monthly active users.
With 140 characters available, Twitter allows you to broadcast your updates across the web. Follow the tweeters who post in your industry or in related sectors to obtain in exchange a steady stream of followers.
A good strategy on Twitter is to mix tweets linked to your business, special offers, discounts, and news updates with some fun, and quirky tweets. Be sure to retweet when someone is mentioning you and do not forget to answer the questions of your audience, when possible.
The use of Twitter as a tool of social media marketing revolves around the dialogue and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible.
Who is doing great on Twitter?
Melinda Emerson, with over 320k followers, is an author and host of #smallbizchat. She offers small businesses insights on building and running their business. She has always a good engagement on her tweets.
LinkedIn enjoys high adoption among highly educated and high-income users. LinkedIn is used by 44% of Americans with income of $75,000 or more, according to Pew.
Linked has around 450 million monthly active users. These users are distributed all over with 111M+ users in the United States, 84M+ users in Europe, 64M+ users in Asia and the Pacific, 48M+ users in Latin America.
LinkedIn is the most professional social media marketing network. It is important to keep your LinkedIn presence active, especially if you are a business facing company. Follow LinkedIn best practices to create a strong presence on this social media platform.
LinkedIn groups are a great place to establish a professional dialogue with individuals of similar industries and provide a place to share content with people who have the common interests.
Encourage your audience to give you a recommendation, as it makes your business appear more credible and trustworthy for new customers.
See also the FAQ section of LinkedIn, as it provides answers to help you take a position and to gain the trust of consumers.
Who is doing great on LinkedIn?
On LinkedIn, there is no competitive race to win followers or fans. On your profile is the number of connections is displayed only up to +500. If you have a small business, be sure to register your brand, filling all the details and connect with people in your niche.
Instagram has become the most important and most-used social network for US teens. 32% of US teenagers cited it as their primary social network in Piper Jaffray’s twice-annual teen survey, compared with only 14% saying that of Facebook. Instagram recently made headlines after crossing 500 million monthly active users in June this year.
Instagram is a social network (owned by Facebook) that allows you to use the camera of your phone to make photos or short videos and apply some fascinating vintage effects.
Your media is then shared on Instagram and other social networks connected (such as Twitter and Facebook), so you can be seen and commented on by other people.
Sounds fun, right?
Of course, if you want to learn how to use Instagram, the first thing you need to do is get your smartphone (or your tablet), open the app store of your operating system (iPhone App Store, Google Play for Android and Windows Store for Windows Phone), download and install Instagram.
Use visual marketing to brand your business on this social network. Take photos of your products or create media for your services. Also, don’t forget to be fun. Add hashtags related to your market and find users to follow with the search option. Instagram is hashtag friendly. You can go up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post.
Who is doing great on Instagram?
Jessica Alba is indeed well known as an actress. With almost 8.6 million of followers, she’s very popular on Instagram. She runs a company, called Honest Beauty. I find in her simplicity and transparency the secret of her huge success on this social media platform.
More than 80% of Pinterest users are females between 18 and 35.
Among US female internet users, 42% reported being on Pinterest in Pew’s late-2014 survey, compared to only 13% of men. Pinterest is a superb medium that uses visual storytelling to the fullest. This social media platform is gaining interest of late and according to Statista, Pinterest got around 47 million unique visitors only from the US.
Pinterest is the latest in the field of social media marketing (it’s relatively new – founded in March 2010).
It is a platform based on images. It’s ideal for retail and for niches like art, photography, cuisine, food, restaurant, but everyone can benefit from this network (if can leverage visual marketing).
Pinterest allows small businesses to not only showcase their product offerings, but also develop the personality of their brand with unique illustrations. Visit this page to create your presence on Pinterest for your business.
Who is doing great on Pinterest?
Pinner Luke Dean-Weymark uses Pinterest to keep track of all the cool tech toys he wants. He has a huge audience, close to a million followers and more than 6k pins. I think creating different boards and pinning frequently is the best strategy with Pinterest. Focus on sharing excellent images!
Youtube received around 50 million unique visitors in March 2015, mostly users in the age group of 25-34.
YouTube (now owned by Google) is the number one social media platform for creating and distributing video content: it can be an incredibly powerful instrument for social media marketing. According to Statista, the United States accounts for 167.4 Million monthly active users followed by Brazil.
Many businesses are creating videos to spread their products virally, but in reality, their chances are pretty slim. It’s instead much more productive to focus on creating useful and instructive video guides for your audience. These videos also have the advantage of increasing your ranking in the search results of Google, so do not underestimate the power of video content via YouTube.
Who is doing great on YouTube?
PewDiePie is indeed one of the most popular YouTube accounts in the world (47 million subscribers). He shares funny videos that he creates for his audience.
7. Google Plus
More than 70% of Google+ users are males who are inclined towards technology (73.7% of Google+ users are male, 26.3% of Google+ users are female).
The United States has the lion’s share of Google+ users: 55% of users are from U.S.A. Contrary to this, Statista says that only 16% of North American internet users use Google Plus.
Google+ is the competitor of Facebook created by Big G and promotes the same casual atmosphere. On Google+, you can upload and share photos, videos, links, and see all of the +1s made by a particular user.
In addition, it is good to take advantage of the options offered, which allow you to segment your followers into smaller groups, share information with some and not with others. For example, you can try creating a group of “superfans”, and share discounts and exclusive deals only with them.
You can organize video conferences using Hangouts, with creative experiences and fun possibilities. Just off the top of my head, here are a couple of ideas: a hair salon could host a video guide explaining their hair braiding techniques. If you manage a library, you can try to offer a video chat with a featured author.
There are also several communities you can join, depending on your niche. Google+ allows the community members to share advice and feedback about a common topic. Follow this link to create a page for your business.
Who is doing great on Google+?
Guy Kawasaki has more than 7 million followers on his Google Plus profile. He’s an advisor at Motorola, and he shares more than ten posts each day. I believe constancy is the success factor with this social media.
This social network has an incredible potential for social media marketing, but you should pay attention to the type of content posted, which should always be interesting and unique. Stories considered as spam, or clearly oriented towards a sale, may get a bad reception, damaging your business.
But if you think you have the right content for the Reddit community (mostly young, liberal and strongly oriented to the world of the Internet), then you may reap significant benefits and gain valuable traffic. Here‘s the link to register.
9. Yelp, Foursquare and Level Up
Social media networks like:
- Yelp (click here to add your business)
- Foursquare (here’s the link to register)
- TripAdvisor (visit this page to find and claim your business presence)
are ideal for businesses to establish a local presence. Remember that these visitors will have the opportunity to provide feedbacks that could damage or significantly help your online reputation.
Each of the networks mentioned are different and using them will allow you to reach a different audience. Create a profile with a complete description of your business, a catchy image as header and your logo as profile picture. Also, add the link to your website.
Remember to not spam, but instead, create engaging and compelling content that solves your public needs and problems.
In conclusion, I would like to point out that every social network out there has something unique to offer. Identify on which social platform your audience dwells, leverage the uniqueness of that social platform with your storytelling, and let the traffic flow.
Next week I’ll be writing about the actionable ways to leverage these social media platforms. It will take you on a tour of all the necessary steps you’ll need to take to gain authority for your brand. Have a great weekend. See you next week.