With so many social media networks available today, it can seem almost impossible to determine which ones will work for your business. But there is some good news: you don’t have to sign up for every single one out there. Some businesses will thrive using visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, while others will fare better on LinkedIn and Facebook. In this article, we’ll go over a few tips to help you determine which platforms you should use for the best results.
The bad news: Basically everyone needs to be on Facebook, even if you feel like it’s over-rated or annoying. The good news: It’s super easy to set up, to schedule posts, and to learn how to look at your page’s insights for better marketing results. Facebook is user-friendly, and you’ll find that many of your clients want to contact you using Facebook’s messaging feature. You can easily respond through the app on your phone or tablet, making it an indispensable tool for customer service and other marketing services.
This platform is often overlooked by business owners. They usually think Twitter is for people who want to share photos of their lunch or talk about something boring and personal. And Twitter is so large and so widely used that, yes, you will see a lot of that. However, influential hashtag trends and lots of brand interaction also take place on Twitter. It would be unwise to assume that your brand will never be talked about on this platform. So even if you don’t update your account often, it is probably a good idea to at least have one so that you can monitor what people are saying about your brand. Bonus: you can also use it for customer service reasons if someone contacts you there.
Obviously, Instagram is a visual platform. There are certain industries that lend themselves to visual marketing more than others: fashion, DIY, crafts, art, food, pets, and technology. But that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with a creative way to use Instagram even if you aren’t in one of these fields. For example, let’s say you run an appliance repair service, but you want to appeal to younger people because you’re good at repairing things such as smart phones and tablets. You can find a way to present your business in a humorous light, a high-tech fashion, or whatever you want! Instagram is not a necessity, but if you want to a) appeal to the younger, tech-savvy crowd, or b) the artsy, fashionable, and health-conscious crowd, you want to get yourself an account.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is highly visual. People love collecting pins, grouping them together, and finding ways to incorporate web and graphic design with valuable information. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, Pinterest might be for you. Pinterest also works best with creative industries, but there are plenty of accounts dedicated to things besides DIY crafts and fashion. There are marketers using this platform in all kinds of successful and creative ways, so dig in and see what others in your industry are doing.
YouTube is so popular these days that you might think you have to have a channel to reach an audience. But chances are, you don’t really need to invest in it. Why?
Because most people do not need to spend time or money creating videos to market their local businesses, especially if your business is just getting started on a social media marketing strategy or if you are tight on your budget.
The thing about YouTube is that if you want to create videos, you’re going to have to do more than one. While it’s fine to have a video about your company up on your channel, if you want to have lots of subscribers, you have to offer new content regularly. If this is not something you want to (or are unable to) commit to, then it’s best to skip it.
If you own a company, you—as in YOU, personally—should be on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great place to network with other CEOs and display your portfolio, learn about upcoming conventions, or find people who might be a good fit for your team. You can create special pages for your business within your own profile if you’d like to share product specials, blog posts, or other information; however, it is not necessary that your business have a LinkedIn page.
Google My Business
Yeah, this platform is not as popular as Facebook or Instagram. But if you want your business to be found on Google, you need to set up your Google My Business page. Google My Business works essentially like a social media network, with photos, information, and reviews. Make sure all information is up to date, and add some unique content such as photos of your business or employees. You can encourage your customers to get involved with your Google My Business page by having them leave you glowing reviews on Google!
Snapchat has grown massively in popularity—there are roughly 187 million daily active users as of February 2018. With so many users, you might be wondering whether your business should join the network.
The answer is likely “no,” unless you are someone who markets specifically to teenagers or people in their early 20s. If you just provide a local service such as car washing or tree trimming, there’s really no need to worry about this. Now, if you own a local boutique, do dog grooming, or do something artistic like tattooing, there’s definitely room to play with the platform. It’s especially great for documenting events such as conventions, office parties, and other celebrations, since the video will all disappear after 24 hours and doesn’t clutter a timeline/feed like it would on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Let’s summarize: every local business should be on Facebook, Twitter, and Google My Business. If you are the business owner, you should be on LinkedIn, and you can create a page for your business there. If you run businesses with high visual appeal, you should explore Pinterest and Instagram. If you can create videos and keep new content coming in, YouTube is a good place to be. Snapchat works great with the younger crowd and its ephemeral nature is great for broadcasting live events.
Zoek offers Twitter and Facebook creation and management services, too, if you want a little bit of help getting started!