Four Social Media Platforms & How They Can Help Your Business
We live in a digital age in which social media pages are often as important, if not more important, than actual company websites. The benefits that come with running a successful social media presence are endless. Not only can customers communicate directly with the company, business owners can also use these platforms to grow and promote their brand and products, create contacts and connections, and generally remain relevant amongst online users.
The difficult decision is not whether or not to engage in social media as a business owner, but rather which platform to use?
There are no rules against creating social media accounts for your business on all available platforms. This can be incredibly time consuming and many businesses employ social media specialists to ensure that all profiles are being updated regularly with quality content.
Utilizing a small number of social media accounts, however, allows you to use your time wisely in order to create eye-catching and influential posts that will engage your customers. The decision on how many accounts to run is entirely up to you but if you are just beginning your social media presence, you might be overwhelmed with the options available. So, which one should you use?
The short answer is that it depends entirely on the nature of your business. You know your business better than anyone else and so it’s vital that you’re able to truly envision and comprehend your goals and ambitions. Once you know the intention of your business, you need to evaluate all of the social media platforms available to you and decide how to proceed. While there are countless platforms, there are four that quickly stand out for internet users across the world.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube are huge platforms that serve millions of users daily. These are great places to begin your search and decide the direction you want to go as you begin your social media journey. Here are some quick highlights of four popular social media platforms and how your business can thrive using them.
According to the website itself, over 1 billion people visit Facebook each day. That is a huge number of individuals who could be potential customers if you utilize this site. Facebook has a number of valuable tools to aid you in showcasing your goods or services. For smaller or starter businesses, there is an option to use Facebook Marketplace. Here you can find items bought and sold based on locality and interest. Simply set your location, post a photo of what you’re looking to sell, and viola! Your goods are now out there for the world to see and potentially purchase. This is also a great opportunity to look at the option of ads.
Ads can be a huge benefit to using Facebook. The Facebook for Business site showcases a variety of ways in which your ads can be displayed be it photos, videos, slideshows, etc. These ads are a great way for you to get your business out there and catch a customer’s eye. Facebook is a fantastic option for those starting out and looking to reach new people as well as already established businesses who want to continue to grow their platform and customer engagement. This is a social media site that caters to businesses of all natures and sizes.
Instagram sees an average of about 500 million users a day. Talk about great visibility! Like Facebook, Instagram offers the ability to place ads throughout the app and on your posts. The highly popular ‘stories’ feature is also great for businesses to interact with customers and followers. ‘Stories’ can be used to post polls, interactive Q&As, hold live videos, and post photos that you might not want on your official feed.
While Instagram is mainly a photo and video platform, businesses can capitalize on the ability to showcase their company while also involving their followers in unique ways. Think of Instagram as an extension of your marketing in the sense that you are able to post your content in visual displays that appeal to customers and potential customers as they visit your profile.
LinkedIn is a highly valuable platform that allows users to connect with other professionals and businesses. One of the most valued benefits of joining LinkedIn is the ability to network. Networking allows you to form relationships with individuals that could benefit your business down the line. By maintaining and expanding your connections, you are also ensuring that you are continuing to grow your business.
Another feature of LinkedIn for business owners is a Company Page. This is different from an individual page in that it allows users to create profiles for their company as opposed to a personal profile.
A Company Page is measured by follows rather than connections and is focused on the business as opposed to the person behind the business. Another key difference is the ability to run ads on your Company Page, which, as previously mentioned, is another way for you to get your business in front of new eyes.
Whether you intend to pursue a dedicated personal page or a separate Company Page, LinkedIn is invaluable in its ability to connect you to other like-minded professionals and customers.
YouTube is often regarded as a hub for charming cat videos and powerhouse pop songs. However, for a business owner, there are loads of untapped potential to capitalize on. While primarily video-based, there are new features being added to Youtube all the time that allow users to interact with channels.
Comments, likes and dislikes, and the Community page all exist to give channels the ability to reach out to viewers. There are several articles written designed to guide your journey as you begin your YouTube channel but you still might be wondering how this platform could help boost your business?
Your channel, depending on the content you decide to produce, has the ability to connect with your current audience while also bringing in people that might not engage with your business otherwise. Users can share your videos and channel which could then reach other members of your target audience.
The options for your channel are limitless and, ultimately, are entirely driven by the creative vision you have for your business. Use YouTube to upload educational videos about your business, funny behind the scenes clips, an ongoing series relating to your goods and services, footage from company events, etc.
Regardless of what you choose to upload, keep in mind that YouTube has 2 billion active users worldwide. Compared to other traditional social media platforms (like Facebook and Instagram), YouTube is absolutely a powerhouse when it comes to the numbers. Don’t overlook this platform as a way to grow and maintain your audience and business connections.
These four social media platforms are not the be-all and end-all for social marketing sites. Like previously mentioned, there are other platforms that could potentially suit your business better depending on the goods and services you provide. Each of the four sites above contain themes that can be found in other platforms and, therefore, are worthy of your consideration as you start to decide which site is best for you.
Again, there is nothing saying you can’t establish your business on more than one social media page. Be careful, however, that you do not let a high number of accounts hinder your post quality. A necessity to having a successful social media account on any platform is a regulated posting schedule and quality content.
If you feel that you can maintain multiple accounts then by all means sign up for all four platforms and get your business out there! If, however, you are more comfortable maintaining a small number of social media accounts, let this guide be your starting point to begin thinking about what your intentions are with your platforms. Good luck and happy posting!