June 24, 2014 ByMatt Phillips
With all the hype around social media and people tweeting, liking, snapping and commenting, it might be a little difficult to figure out which platform or platforms you should setup your business on. Depending on your industry, the answer might be some or it might be all but that's what we're here to help you with. When trying to decide which social media platform your business should be on, take a look at the following stats:
- 8 out of 10 internet users are reached by blogs and social media sites.
- Marketers saw a 74% increase in website traffic after setting aside just 6 hours per week for social media.
- 87% of small businesses say that social media has helped their business.
- 85% of the "decision makers" in businesses believe that it's important to have at least one social media channel for technology purchase decisions.
There is much more that goes into social media marketing than just setting up a Facebook or Twitter account. In order to see increases in traffic and followers, you'll need to understand which platform works the best for your business. For instance, white collar businesses might work better on LinkedIn rather than a photo based social profile such as Instagram or Pinterest. If you're the MTV group, you might want to migrate towards something like Vine or Instagram for example. It's very doubtful that both of those audience types would cross paths on one specific type of social profile.
Besides, it would take more resources than it's worth to update and keep track of all the social media platforms that are offered. Instead, what you should do is just focus on the couple of networks that will be able to share your message and raise brand awareness to your specific audience.
That may sound easier said than done, depending on which audience you're wanting to target. This is why we put together the following post talking about the most popular social media platforms and who should use them.
Let's start out with the biggest and most well known social media platform, Facebook. Nowadays everyone and their mother have a Facebook profile (literally). Statistics show that 93% of all adult users online are active on Facebook. Also, according to Hubspot, "74% of all marketers say that Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies."
Facebook definitely has a lot of pull but would it benefit your business? Most of the time, yes. Facebook still remains the most popular platform for people to spend their time on and to catch up with friends and family. Since so many people spend their free time on Facebook, this would be a good platform to share a variety of content such as updates, contest and events. Just remember that the most effective Facebook pages aren't ones who advertise constantly but they are they ones who are able to spark up a conversation.
The folks over at Buffer put together an interesting guide which you should follow when working on Facebook:
- Posts that contains photos make-up 93% of the most engaging posts.
- Keep your posts under 250 characters.
- Using emoticons can get your post liked 57% more than those without.
- Most engagement occurs towards the end of the week from Wednesday to Friday.
- Posting between 9am and 7pm is acceptable.
- Question posts "get 100% more comments than standard text-based posts."
- 35% of users participate in contests, 42% like a page in order to get a discount or coupon.
Twitter is another great resource because it has around 190 million unique visitors every month, and nearly 650 million registered users. When looking at conversion opportunities, there's a pretty good chance that you can gain some business from it. Twitter is also great for conversations and speaking with people, which makes it more of an 'in the moment' tool for businesses.
One thing to point out is that with 58 million tweets per day, how can you make the most out of this tool?
- Make sure your posts are relevant and time sensitive.
- Show your business' personality.
- Tweet 2 to 5 times per day.
- Use post scheduling tool to help spread out tweets.
- Image links can get more than 2x the engagement.
- 86% of tweets with links will get re-tweeted by others.
- Make sure that your links come from mobile friendly websites.
- Use hash tags to gain more engagement.
- Keep tweets under 100 characters.
- Tweet later in the day when people are commuting.
LinkedIn has become one of the best social media platforms for professionals. That is what it's known for and that is what it's good at. If you are a recruiter or a job seeker, or if you run a B2B business, you absolutely need to be on LinkedIn. There are over 300 million members and over 3 million company pages listed globally. This tells us that if you need to post a job or do some research on a company, you should start here.
LinkedIn is about growing your professional network. You need to have a complete profile and make sure that your contacts are professional, since you never know who might be looking! LinkedIn is all about your connections and who you might be able to connect with. While connections are very important on this platform, it's also a place where professionals can express their knowledge and where others can learn and exchange ideas.
To get the most out of LinkedIn you should:
- Use industry related keywords in your content.
- Customize your profile URL.
- Link your company website in your profile.
- Keep things organized and clean on your profile.
- The best time to share content is outside of business hours.
For those who haven't jumped in and created a profile with Google+ yet, you probably should. Sure, most of us would rather stick to the known Facebook profiles, but Google has actually made a professional and casual social media network, which holds a lot of weight on the Google search engine. It's also really nice that they've added the "circle" feature so you can choose who you want to see your posts. According to expandedramblings.com, there are 300 million active users per month and 53% of users have reported that they've seen position interaction with brands through Google+.
The biggest pro of registering and using Google+ is that it was created by the largest search engine in the world. What does this mean for you? It means that when you link to content on your blog or website, it's going to give your SEO a major boost.
How to you optimize Google+? Here are a few tips:
- Use hash tags in your posts. Don't be afraid to use 2 or 3!
- Be specific when you post. This will help reach your targeted audience.
- Take your time writing a headline.
- Use both text and images when posting.
- Embed Google+ comments onto your blog.
- Look into doing +Post ads.
- The best times to post are between 9am and 11am.
Instagram is a beast all in its own. Think about it like a Twitter, for photos and videos. It has a cool 200 million active users who share around 60 million images per day. Instagram is one of those examples of a social platform which isn't made for everyone. If you're in a lifestyle industry, food, fashion, luxury or something which you can portray through photos or videos, this is the right platform for you.
How can you make the most out of Instagram?
- Know your audience.
- Post images which represent your brand.
- Post "real time" photos. Photos don't always have to be professional, since that defeats the real connection.
- Use hash tags and @ symbols.
- The best time to post is between 3 and 5 pm.
Pinterest is very similar to Instagram except it's used more for travel, design, home decor and anything DIY. Women make up the majority of the users on this platform at 80% of its 70 million users and comparisons show that users on Pinterest spend double what Facebook users and Twitter users spend on products.
Pinterest is neat because it allows users to "repin", "like" and comment on photos. You're able to create different category "boards" which you can categorize things to, which is helpful for those who might be making lists, shopping for fun things, or even wanting to use cooking recopies!
When using Pinterest, make sure to:
- Use keywords in your pins.
- Include links.
- Give credit to images if they&S217;re not your own.
- A good word count for a pin would be 100-200 words.
- Use a URL shortener like bit.ly.
- Post between 2-4pm and 8-11pm Saturdays.
YouTube is a great platform for businesses if they're offering advice or wanting to share their expertise through videos. People gravitate towards videos like nothing else since you can provide an intimate look into products, ideas, etc with more than just words. Another thought behind why it might be a good idea to look into creating a YouTube channel is that Google owns YouTube. This means they will always give a little more "SEO kudos" to those who create and optimize videos on their channel.
Still skeptical? Here are some interesting facts that might make you want to head over and create some videos:
- There are more than 1 billion (yes, you read that right) unique visits each month.
- More than 6 billion hours of video are watched each month.
- Every minute, 100 hours of video are uploaded to the site.
- YouTube is localized in 61 countries and 61 languages.
- According to Nielsen Ratings, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18 to 34 than any broadcasting cable network.
If you're planning on getting into YouTube, make sure to do the following:
- Add YouTube links to your other social networks.
- Make sure to grab viewer's attention within the first 15 seconds.
- Add a call-to-action asking viewers to subscribe or like your channel.
- Frequently create content.
- Focus on attention grabbing titles, tags and descriptions.
If you haven't heard about Vine, make sure to do some research. Vine is one of the "new kids on the block" and has quickly been rising in interest among businesses and users. There are around 40 million registered users who post and share 6-second videos. Why are videos important in social media? According to Digiday, by 2017 two-thirds of the word's mobile data traffic will be video. Right now, 5 tweets per second contain a Vine link which means that a Vine video is four-times more likely to be seen than any other video online.
Foursquare and Yelp
Both of these services are a great opportunity for your local business to be shared and reviewed. This works well if you're a physical location such as a restaurant, coffee shop, small business, etc. They are also good for B2B businesses as well! These platforms rely on word of mouth recommendations from previous customers and people who are looking for new local businesses. When working on either of these platforms you want to focus on building out your profile and getting the best reviews possible.
Foursquare has around 45 million users and a very strong presence on mobile devices. They are also setup to help users find their friends at a specific location or to check in places for discounts and deals.
Yelp has 120 million unique monthly users and it also usually shows up in the top of search engines when looking for specific businesses. Yelp is usually the place people go for restaurant, business and other reviews.
When using either of these two platforms, it's important to remember:
- Completely fill out all business information (location, hours, phone number, etc)
- Monitor and reply to feedback on the page.
- Use the correct keywords for Yelp, as it's important for search engines and users.
- Share any other information that might be important for users (if you accept credit cards, take reservations, etc).
- Make sure to include images of your products / the establishment. Make it fun!
All of these platforms work well, but narrowing it down to the correct ones can be tricky. If you're interested in learning more about these social platforms or setting them up, contact us today! We can help you get setup and gain more traffic through the use of these great tools.