What 8 Different Social Media Platforms Can Do for Your Business
Social media platforms have become more than just a way to keep in contact with your family and friends. These platforms have evolved into something that can make or break your company. With social media platforms, you are able to target your exact audience and customer base with just a few clicks. However, it’s important to know that not all platforms are created equal! Each platform has something unique and special that differs from all the others. These differences are very important to examine and remember because as you will see below when we dive into eight different platforms and what they can do for you. You will realize that not every social media platform will work for you, or will even have your fan base. Take a look below and read up on what platforms may be the best for you to invest your time and possibly money into.
Facebook is probably one of the best-known social media platforms. It has been around since 2004 when only college kids could create profiles.
Facebook is known for its older and vocal audience. Have you ever noticed how the comment section on a post on Facebook can get crazy in a matter of seconds? The Facebook audience is kind of like that kid in school who always had to have the last word. This can work for or against you, as you can probably guess. Facebook gives people the ability to easily share content on their pages or with their friends and family. With one click, your post on your business page could be all over the world. If your audience is older, Facebook may be your best bet when it comes to a social media platform. While younger folks are also on Facebook, they aren’t as engaged as the older generations.
Facebook has robust advertising tools that can help advance your business. You can create highly targeted ads and boost certain posts in order to get extra attention. Even if the majority of your audience isn’t on Facebook, it still would be a smart thing to have a presence on the platform. Having a Facebook profile gives people another way to contact you and is an easy way to interact with your business.
It’s always a good idea to have a social presence on Facebook even if you don’t end up putting any spend behind anything; since 8 out of 10 Americans use Facebook, it’s just smart marketing. Just make sure to keep your page active and current: one of the worst things you can do is create a page and then forget about it. That makes you look lazy, and some may even second guess if you are a good company or not. You don’t need to post every single day, but a few times a week will give your customers confidence in your products even if you don’t have a ton of followers or post engagement.
When it comes to Facebook, it is essential that you create some sort of presence on the platform and keep your page up to date. Remember to keep in mind that the Facebook audience is typically older, so do your own research and see if fully investing is for you.
Twitter is an interesting platform because it relies pretty much solely on words and your ability to tell a story in 280 characters or less. If you don’t consider yourself a wordsmith, you should think about hiring someone who is. With Twitter, you need to be able to get your point across in the most succinct way possible. Twitter’s audience is pretty young, with around 36 percent of users aged 18-29, and most of them hold college degrees.
With Instagram, you are able to use words, pictures, and videos to captivate your audience. There are so many amazing things you can do besides run ads to improve your business. If your products are bold, bright, or just plain interesting and fun, Instagram will be your home base. The numbers and demographics of Instagram users are outstanding: more than 800 million Instagram accounts worldwide are active every single month, more than 500 million are active every day, 80 percent of accounts follow a business, and more than 300 million accounts use Instagram’s Stories feature every day.
Instagram is the perfect way to bridge the gap between you as a company and your customers. Your customers will become immersed in your product through your photos and videos and see you as an actual person behind the product.
When people form a bond with your brand, it can go a long way. So far, in fact, that people may start to reach out to you (instead of you reaching out to them) to feature your products! Some of the best advertising is being done by influencers on Instagram. In short, if your products are a certain type of edge to them, an influencer may reach out and ask for your product to feature to their audience. Sometimes they ask for just the product for free, but depending on how many followers they have, they may also ask for a post fee. At that point, it’s all up to you whether you want to go for it, so weigh your options carefully, because finding an influencer that’s good at what they do is a treasure.
What’s the perfect platform for DIY projects and anything food-related? Pinterest. Pinterest is a unique platform where people “repin” pins (posts) to their own Pinterest account or on their own “boards.” A lot of people use this platform as a way to plan events such as weddings or birthdays. It’s kind of like a tool you can use to collect ideas, recipes, images, links and more, so that you can refer back to them later.
Pinterest is a less direct form of communication between you and your customer, and far less conversational. You aren’t directly asking anything of anyone. You are simply putting your products out there as pins and hoping people interact with them. Pinterest is another platform that relies heavily on your ability to entice people visually. However, it’s not Instagram, and here’s why: It’s not Instagram because with Instagram you are sharing your posts with others as part of a feed and asking for people’s input. With Pinterest, it’s more about curation of photos through the use of boards. Instagram’s audience also skews younger, while Pinterest tends to skew older. If you are looking for a platform where you can upload a large number of product photos, take a look at Pinterest. The platform also allows you to pin more than just your product. Yes, your account should be focused on your brand, but by repinning other people’s inspirational pins, you are creating a type of conversation.
Tumblr is an interesting beast when it comes to being a social media platform. It has a cult following of a very young audience—tweens and teens. The majority of the people who use Tumblr are not looking to be sold to, and if they sense anything fishy, they will call it out and make a joke out of it (memes!). They are high schoolers who enjoy meeting others online through text posts and funny photos. Unless your company is geared toward teens, Tumblr may be a hard platform to break into. Tumblr is kind of like a soft Reddit where you go on it not really looking for anything in particular, but always find something worth sharing with friends. Some brands, like Disney and GQ, have created amazing Tumblr accounts, but more than likely you will see individual famous people having popular blogs as a way to connect with their fans. It’s a more personal platform than commercial.
Speaking of Reddit… what is it? Reddit can be ruthless. This is not the platform to post your ads and push a sale. Go on Reddit right now and check it out: the user experience looks straight out of the 1990s.
Reddit as a social media platform is geared more toward a regular person than for a company, but it’s totally worth mentioning in this list. With Reddit being the seventh most visited site online, you think you would want to jump on it, but it’s tricky. Reddit has its own language, own rules, and thrives on anonymity. One of the most common ways companies can get attention from Reddit is when someone who is not affiliated with the company at all ends up posting something about the company, and it goes viral. But going viral can go bad quickly, so you don’t want to go viral for the wrong reasons. But if you are lucky enough to hit that sweet spot where you get your 15 minutes of fame, it can be great for your brand. Reddit is fun for personal use, and if you can harness the power of Reddit as a business, you really must have that special something.
YouTube equals videos. The demographics of YouTube are pretty evenly split between women and men, and men spend an average of 44 percent more time on the site per month. If you don’t have high-quality videos as part of your marketing plan, YouTube isn’t for you. Videos are a powerful way to show off your product and company because they can show more than just a photo. Videos have the ability to capture people’s attention for longer than a few seconds (if done well) and give your consumers more than just a snapshot of what you can provide them. If you are creative and want to show your customers what you are made of, YouTube is for you.
If you own a company, it should be on LinkedIn. It’s the ultimate tool for when you are looking to hire people for your company, or simply want to provide information on your business to the world. The people who use LinkedIn skew more male with a hefty dose of students and recent graduates (39 million!). LinkedIn is for the facts, charts, and technical side of things. It’s where your business can establish itself, so when people search for you on the Internet, they can find and read about you.
This platform is especially helpful if you are looking to grow your staff. It is an unparalleled tool when it comes to evaluating your prospective employees. You can also post status updates on LinkedIn, but the majority of people use it as a way to stay connected with people they work with—or want to work with.
Social media platforms are an excellent way to expand your company’s reach. Social media does more than just give you a way to post about your business, and it gives you a way to humanize yourself and interact with the people that matter most: your customers! Remember that not all social media platforms are created equal, and some may be better than others for your personal business. There is no harm in starting an account on any given platform as long as you keep it updated and accurate. Find your voice with social media, and you will be spreading the word about your products in no time.