If you haven’t jumped into the social media pond yet, you might be comforted to know that you are not alone. There are a lot of small businesses who haven’t even dipped their toes into what they feel is a swirling whirlpool of roiling waves on top of a powerful riptide lurking underneath. Some don’t have or use their own personal Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages, either. So don’t feel like you are a caveman among crowds of astronauts. You aren’t.
That being said, getting into the social media scene could be a very good thing for your business. For businesses, especially small businesses, social media plays three major roles:
- To bring awareness to your business and create a presence in the marketplace so when customers need your product or service, they think of you
- To build relationships with your existing clients and extend your reach to new customers
- To market your products, services, and events to the widest audience possible, including sales and special offers
Those three roles are each huge undertakings in and of themselves, but when you add the numerous social media channels, or platforms, it can all become overwhelming very quickly. But stop, and just like most other things, let’s start with the first step.
Which social media channels should you consider?
The social media platforms most businesses should begin to consider include:
That doesn’t mean that you should select a couple at random, or jump into all of them. Stop and slow down. Each platform has its own unique attributes that will inform you of which to avoid and which to establish a presence. One of your top goals is to find out where your target market is active on social media and then go there. To help you out with that, I’m going to give you a few statistics and bits of information about each that will probably inform some of your decisions right off the bat:
By far the behemoth of social media reaching the broadest audience online. The general consensus is that every business, if they are going to get in the social media mix, needs to be on Facebook. This is regardless of industry, product of service. Even though some complain that their reach is restricted by the algorithms, this is where just about everyone can find their targets.
- 71% of adult internet users are on Facebook, which is the largest social media audience. 1
- 28 billion people have monthly active accounts1
- 802 million users log in daily1
- 45% of users are 25 – 44 years old2
- Gender breakdown: 53% women and 47% mail1
- Hashtags are becoming more common
- Posts are being indexed in search engines
- 44% of users check their Facebook feed several times a day.2
Twitter fosters interactions. This is the place to post content, education pieces, and posts that are for branding purposes, exhibiting your company personality. It’s also good for offering special deals and discounts. Just like Facebook shares, users retweet posts to their followers, which expands your reach.
- 650 million users1
- 340 million tweets a day1
- Gender breakdown: 53% women and 47% men1
- 51% of active users follow brands or companies, 90% of those looking for promos or discounts1
- You should learn how to use hashtags (#) and mentions (@)
- Tweets will reach all your followers
- The average lifespan of a tweet is only about 2 hours1
LinkedIn is a platform more for B2B businesses and for sharing professional expertise and information. It is great for posting job opportunities but not so good for B2C type communications. LinkedIn is a great place to network and share by joining LinkedIn groups. The main purpose of LinkedIn is professional networking and building connections.
- 300 million people using LinkedIn1
- 75% of users use their account 4 hours or less per week1
- Gender breakdown: Roughly 50/501
- Anyone can access your posts, even those people who are not your connections
Obviously Google+ is the Google social platform. It is similar to Facebook and Twitter, but it connects with other Google features. It is understood that using Google+ can have a positive effect on SEO.
- 550 million active users monthly1
- Mostly men users1
Images are the key here. Pinterest is great for lifestyle-related products like food, fashion and home décor. Although topics including pets and business ideas are also doing well here. This is a great platform to bring “personality” to your business. If you are on Pinterest, it is important to brand every image with your company’s logo. A tip: Try Pinterest as a user before attempting to use it for your business.
- 70 million active monthly users1
- 80% of Pinterest users are women1
- 34% of users are between 18 – 29 years old; 28% are between 30 – 49 years old2
- 7% of shoppers say Pinterest has inspired holiday gift purchases1
- Pinterest gets more referral traffic than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined1
- It generates a lot of traffic to websites1
- “Pins” stay active for months1
Very visually oriented. Images drive the platform so the user must have content that will be visually interesting and easily represented through photographs. Quality of photos are important here, too.
- 500 million users on the app and 59% check the app daily2
- 37% of users at 18 – 29 years old1
- 68% are female1
- Instagram is good for sharing spontaneous events, projects, machinery, etc. that are part of the business
You know YouTube is for videos. The thing is that YouTube allows users to upload, share, and view videos. Bear in mind that it is the second largest search engine (behind Google – and it is owned by Google). It is very SEO friendly. Just about everyone has been on YouTube at some point so you know the variety of video content is limitless. Every business can create something for YouTube.
- 100 million unique visitors monthly1
- 54% of users are men1
- 37% of users are between 18-34 years old1
- Perfect length is reported to be two minutes or less
- Videos remain online indefinitely
- Videos put a face to your business and demonstrates your expertise
Now What Do You Do?
I know that this provides you with a lot of information, but look at each platform with a critical eye and the goal of choosing your top three. Set up a page for your top choice and learn to use it. Start slow. Set a goal of a certain number of posts per week. Then start posting. Just remember: once it goes out, it’s there forever. So be mindful of the image you want to present and the impression you want to make – it’s your business at stake.
On the other hand, if you want help, contact us at NuMedia Marketing. We understand social media and branding, and how they can work together to market your business. There are very few businesses that should be on all the social media platforms, but we firmly believe every business should be online somewhere on social media. The metrics and ROI we have seen with our clients show us that it is an important avenue for business growth.
Call us at 317.563.7235 and let’s set up a time to talk about how social media can benefit your business.