Social Media is one of the best marketing channels that every business should explore. It will help you build relationships, target prospects, for customer service, get media coverage, generate traffic and increase sales.
There are more than 2.3 billion active social media users worldwide, so if your business is not on social media you are missing a huge opportunity.
To get the best results you have to make sure you choose the right platforms for your business. Determine which is the most relevant to your business and be excellent with one or two channels than mediocre at five or six.
Who Are Your Ideal Customers?
Before deciding what social network is the best for your business, first you need to determine who are your ideal customers, what’s their age, what are their interests and where you can find them on social media.
The best way to find out information about your ideal customers is to create ‘Buyer Personas’ and I wrote an entire blog post about this.
Your business must be where your potential customers are even if you don’t like or you don’t know how to use that platform. Just find someone to do it for you and you can carry on doing what you are good at.
There are many social networks online but I will focus on the most important one for business – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. I am sharing some relevant stats with you to help you decide what works best for you and also give you a few tips to help you boost your presence on social media.
If you are not able to do your own research to understand what social media platforms your customers are using, you can check the Social Media Demographics research from Sprout Social.
Twitter is my favourite social network and I’ve got over 3,400 followers. 320 million people are using Twitter frequently and other 500 million people visitors are checking tweets each month without logging in.
Twitter is a high volume network. Known as ‘The Informational Network’, Twitter is the best platform to share new ideas, new books, new products, new promotions, new events etc. If you have something new and exciting, you must tweet.
Twitter plays an important role in customer service. Did you know that 77% of users feel more positive about a brand when their tweet has been replied to? Also, 78% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour so you must be very prompt.
My Top 3 Tips:
- Tweet at least 3-5 times a day using 20% your own content and 80% from others. I add between 8 to 12 tweets a day and more than 85% of my blog’s traffic is coming from Twitter.
- Engage with your audience. Check daily and reply to mention, retweet, like other tweets and say thank you to those who retweeted you.
- There are just over 9,000 tweets on Twitter so you have to stand out of the crowd. Photos and hashtags are just two of the magic tricks you need to use on Twitter but I wrote an entire blog post on this subject.
Facebook is the most popular network with 1.71 billion people users monthly as of 30 June this year, going up from 1.49 billion a year earlier. 500,000 new users are added every day, with 5 new profiles being created every second.
You can use Facebook to share photos, videos, important company updates, but also engaging content.
My Top 3 Tips:
- Facebook requires a low volume with high value content. Don’t post too frequently. Aim for quality versus quantity and try not to add more than 10 posts per week.
- Join groups and be active. Share your expertise by helping others.
- Create a Facebook Page to share relevant content about your business. Boost relevant posts with paid advertising.
LinkedIn, which has 450 million users, is the by far the best platform for B2B. This platform allows you to connect with other professionals and find out information about other businesses worldwide.
LinkedIn is a great platform to research your leads and business partners before you get in touch with them. It will help you find common subjects for your icebreaker talk.
It’s a low volume with high value content network.
My Top 3 Tips:
- Share relevant content minimum 2 x week and no more than 5 x week. Create updates and articles using Pulse, the LinkedIn publishing platform.
- Join groups that are relevant to your business and be active. Show your expertise.
- Create a Business Page where you can post information about your company.
Google+ has just over 300 million users, so it’s worth using it. Everything you post on you Google+ is immediately indexed by Google and can help your company rank higher in their search results.
My Top 3 Tips:
- Use communities, hangouts, and collections to connect with your target audience and build relationships.
- Use circles to organize the people you want to engage with.
- Aim for a minimum of 3 posts and no more than 10 posts per week and use relevant hashtags to increase exposure.
90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35 so this social network is perfect for businesses that sell products to millenials.
It’s very visual, so if you are in the fashion industry you must be present on Instagram to share photos of your products.
Motivational quotes are very well received by Instagram followers too.
My Top 3 Tips:
- Post good quality photos and Infographics.
- Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.
- Be active. Post frequently and like other photos.
There are 100 million users on Pinterest, majority women. Like Instagram, Pinterest is great for visual brands like fashion, interior design, as well as blogging, writing and social media.
Pinterest is great to generate traffic. When you save a photo from your website a back-link to your website will be automatically added.
My Top 3 Tips:
- Pinterest users are looking to buy things – add the price tag and a relevant description to your pins.
- Optimize your photos for Pinterest – save them using relevant keywords and make sure you add pin it buttons on your website.
- Find Popular Group Boards to pin your photos. PinGroupie is a free app that will help you do this.
Share Important Content at The Right Time
Everyone has its own idea of when to share content, but the general rule is to catch people on their downtime – in the morning before they get to work, during the lunch break and in the evening when they leave work.
Make sure you post relevant content at the right time when most people are on social media. Each social network is different and here are some best practices from sumall.
- Facebook – 1-4pm and 2-5pm weekdays
- Twitter – 1-3pm weekdays
- Google+ – 9-11am weekdays
- LinkedIn – 7-8:30am and 5-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
- Instagram – 5-6pm weekdays and 8pm on Mondays with a sweetspot at 6pm
- Pinterest – 2-4pm and 8-11pm weekdays with weekends being the best
You can share content live or schedule for the right time. Read the Social Media Frequency Guide from Buffer to find out more about the optimal time to post on social media.
Another useful app that you can use to manage your social media accounts and schedule tweets is Hootsuite. This allows you to schedule your tweets at optimal times. AutoSchedule will do the work for you by choosing a time to schedule tweets based on when your tweets perform the best.
It’s great for sharing tutorials, so if you are a training or coaching business you should consider having a YouTube channel.
One last tip – if you have videos on YouTube and aren’t yet on Google+ make sure you’ll be there too. Connecting the two helps ensure your videos are predominantly featured on Google+ and vice versa.
This blog post was first published for Digital Marketing Summit Southampton 2016