With so many social media networks to choose from it is hard to decide where to begin, what social media networks to add to your company and where to spend your time promoting your Business.
Online Marketing for Small business is very important but to small business owners, time is a precious commodity. The more social media sites you add your business to, the more time you need to spend on them and from this, your concentrations are spread sparsely among them.
It is because your time is so precious that you need to decide what channels to use and where your time can be spent in a more constructive and worthwhile way.
Check out my post on How to Choose Social Media Marketing Channels for Your Business which will help you decide this.
Below is a breakdown of the main social media channels that you could use to boost your brick and mortar or online business.
Whether you are a brick and mortar shop or an online business, Facebook is the perfect starting point for you.
I will show you how to set up your Facebook business page in my next blog but for now, let us look at the positive and negatives to this social media site.
With 1.7 billion monthly active users, you can be assured that your target market is active on this social media site at some point during any given day. Once you know your target market on Facebook, you will be able to engage through a number of various means which will be discussed in my next blog post!
The main reason to add your business to Facebook is for Search Engine Optimisation or in short SEO. Facebook pages automatically appear on the first page of the Google Search results, meaning your business could potentially reach customers searching for products or services like yours while browsing through your search results.
Not only does Facebook help your SEO, it also gives you:
- Instant access to the target market in the locality of your business
- Instant contact with your customers through facebook messenger.
- Customers will be able to contact you with queries about your service or products. This gives you a chance to give one to one personal attention to customers with interest in your business.
- The instant messaging can be 24/7 if you are happy to go down that route. If not make sure you specify times your customers will be able to get in touch with you.
- A chance to create a variety of content on the platform itself, including videos/slideshows, Facebook photos, links to your website, facebook live, photo albums, photo carousels and canvas creation.
- Access to a variety of advertising opportunities including, boosting posts from your page so your customers and their friends can see what your business is up to. You can also advertise your business to reach out to potential customers and grow your fan base.
- A chance to spy on business like your own or your opposition to see what they are doing and what is working for them. You can then take these ideas and make them work for your own business!
The statistics today tell us that 500 million users have, since 2010, signed up to this social media site. In 2014 Instagram sign-ups have surpassed Twitter users and since then the user base has been steadily rising.
In addition to this 68% of all users on Instagram are women so, for example, if your business is in the fashion industry, this social media platform may be perfect for yours.
If you are a business with visually appealing products or services, this site may be the one for you. I suggest setting up your own Instagram account to see what this social media site is about. Remember, knowing your target market is everything. If your target market is not using Instagram, is there any point in setting up a business page?
While you are on it why not check out your competitors:
- Are your competitors using the site?
- If so what are they doing?
- What is their visual imagery like?
The main benefits of using Instagram is that you can:
- Cross post your updates on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Swarm if you wish to use any of these.
- Tag photos with different hashtags so they will show up in your target markets search feed. Some research can be conducted on hashtags using a number of websites. These platforms will be discussed in a later post!
- Use filters to create the perfect images. Remember Instagram images are 612 pixels by 612 pixels so your photos will have to accommodate for this.
- If you are a local business you can also select your location when posting on the app and your images can be search through this also.
- View images your customers have tagged you in. These can be very beneficial for you as they will be shared in your timeline, your customers’ timeline and their hashtags will show up in your potential customers’ hashtag searches!
Pinterest is essentially a platform in which you can design your own mood board with your own images and images found throughout the site using the search bar.
Pinterest has approximately 110 million active monthly users on the site and if your target market mainly women you are in luck. Over 85% of users on the website are women!
This platform is perfect for showcasing your products, especially when you show your products in a setting suitable to the products. For example, if you design sofa cushions why not photograph them on a sofa rather then on their own.
The pins that you add can be posted on different boards with different headings to suit your products and ideas. Your products can then be repinned by others on their own boards gaining you more exposure. This can help spread the word throughout the Pinterest world!
It is also great for SEO if you incorporate search terms into your text throughout the pages.
With over 150 million monthly users this may be the app for you to incorporate into your business. Approximately 52% of Snapchat users are aged between 16 and 24 so if your target market is within this range, the site may be perfect for your business!
I would recommend companies like restaurants, clothing companies, carpet companies, construction companies and fitness enthusiast could use this to their advantage.
Snapchats don’t have to be professional images or videos and can be as simple or as complex as you want. Nothing is stopping you putting up an image of a product or a video of you unboxing your product.
Remember the photos, as it says in the name, is just a snap. The images will stay on the app for as little as 1 second or as long as 10, then, the image disappears forever. This is why it is so much fun for the users!
This is a new and up and coming app so have a feel around before you add it to your businesses social media marketing to see what you think.
Is your business a business to business or B2B company? If so Twitter may be the route to go down. With 313 million active monthly users and users who are mainly businesses/news sites/celebrities /sports teams, it may be a route for you to go down.
A Twitter post will be seen, on average, for about 20 minutes meaning you may have to spend a bit more time on this than on your other social media pages.
To be found on the site by potential customers you need to find the perfect hashtags for your business. A perfect site for this is hashtagify.me, here you can search for different terms that may be of use to your business.
Knowing your target market will help with these terms, so make sure you do your research prior to posting so you can gain the most benefit from it.
Also, there are hundreds of Twitter hours out there that can help you gain exposure. I will be creating a list of Twitter hashtags and how to use them to your advantage in a later post!
Youtube and Google My Business are also brilliant media sites, check out part 2 of this blog to learn more!
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below. I will be happy to answer any questions you have!