Unpopular Opinion: Not every platform is meant for everyone, every brand, or idea.
It’s a wild concept. One that I haven’t always felt easy coming to terms with but I’m learning. This isn’t about my personal beliefs on the internet and social media. I’ve struggled with it professionally and so have many of my clients.
Where does your target consumer need to find you? If you’re new to social media marketing for your business, I bet it’s a big difference of where you want them to find you. Social media is full of consumers that are trying to find those connections to brands that personify their own values. In order to best showcase your values, you need a specific message on specific platforms. You have to be selective and carve out space you need to take up in the social marketplace.
A Quick Glance at Popular Social Media Platforms
As one of the most popular social media platforms, Facebook is great for established businesses, brand ambassadors, and, sharing information. The recent updates to the Newsfeed algorithm makes it difficult for companies and brands to get organic engagement. Marketing lingo calls it “Pay to Play.”
It’s not a little bird with a lot to say. Twitter is a great platform for humanizing brands, sharing information, and keeping the conversation active with target consumers. If you’re not talking about you, no one else is either. Sometimes though it’s hard for a client to understand that not everyone needs to have a conversation about their business or services. If you’re a one-person show, I would definitely recommend Twitter to get your name and ideas circulated.
It’s not much more than a pretty picture. Instagram is owned by Facebook. This means your posts are not seen in chronological order. It’s possible to get meaningful engagement here though because you’re able to see what people are doing with your brand and how they experience it. A downside is that if you want to get metrics on your personal brand, you need to have a Facebook Page (not profile) linked to the account. It will be “Pay to Play” very soon but keep on with the grassroots connections. They are important!
It’s an aggregate of great ideas and good visuals but beware, looks are deceiving. For brands, I recommend checking out what kind of pins exist about your industry before you do anything. You might find there aren’t many plumbers on Pinterest but there’s a lot of ideas about how to fix or DIY a clogged toilet. If you’ve got infographics that share your idea or business well, I highly recommend it. Pins live for a very long time so it’s best if you can share information that has a shelf life longer than six months. This is why home décor, food, wedding, and photography businesses flourish on Pinterest.
It’s practically a search engine these days with thousands of new videos daily and repeat users. YouTube is also a great space to do cross-promotion with brands and vendors that support your business goals. Your videos don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to be choreographed but they do need to be short and honest.
If you can tolerate the recent update to their platform and stories, I recommend trying to utilize it if you are a brand ambassador or a one-person show. Snapchat is useful for sharing experiences as they happen and putting a face with the name. If you’re not sure about using another platform, you can test out Instagram or Facebook stories.
Honorable Mentions – Feel free to email me about these platforms. They are some of my favorites!
- Vero (under a million downloads, still in beta as of Feb 2018.)
- Google My Business
Examples & Samples: Social Media Audit
If you’re not clear on social media for your business, I’ve got a couple of outlines for what could make up your social media marketing. These are quick outlines and NOT a full recommendation of services in any way.
Remember: Social media changes as business does too!
Example 1 – Non-profits
Business: A non-profit for visually impaired or blind kids
Goal: Raise awareness of programs and funds for after-school care.
Social Media Platforms:
- Facebook – Yes! Likely that parents of kids are going to be looking for social groups and communicate best there.
- Twitter – No! Unless there’s influential legislation that can benefit the non-profit, participating in a political conversation isn’t a wise use of energy.
- Instagram – Yes! With permission, share the stories of kids, families, and document extracurricular activities sponsored by the non-profit.
- Pinterest – Yes! A great way to gather resources for parents and family members who need more education around blindness and visual impairments.
- Other social media platforms: Google My Business
Business: Dive Bar/Restaurant
Goal: Communicate new ownership and updated menu to locals
Social Media Platforms:
- Facebook – Yes! Get people to check in to your location, host watch parties and events relevant to the community you’re serving.
- Twitter – Yes! Build relationships with area brands and keep track of local issues and news alerts.
- Instagram – Food should always be on Instagram. Show off your staff (with their permission) and new recipes you’re trying out.
- Pinterest – No! Don’t share your recipes unless someone famous pays you a lot of money to.
- Other social media recommendations: Yelp & Google My Business
Social media is tough for businesses. It isn’t for the faint of heart.
You can’t think of it as your personal accounts because your business isn’t personal; it’s professional. If you’re not sure how to get started, I’ll happily give you an hour of my time. Seriously, I’ll give you an hour to you for the price of ONE act of kindness. Shoot me an email.