Does your business have a social media presence? Sure it does. But is it working for you? In this article, we will discuss how to use social media for business and stand out from competitors.
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools for businesses today! And with over 3.8 billion active users worldwide, it is even clearer that it isn’t going anywhere – anytime soon.
It is important to keep in mind that a well-planned social media strategy can either make or take down your brand in today’s age.
For example, Starbucks used Instagram to promote its limited-edition “Unicorn Frappuccino”. With intense zeal among the audience to try out the new color-changing drink, Starbucks saw its global and American same-store sales increase by 3%, for the second quarter. (Source: MarketWatch).
But it isn’t always that Starbucks’ social media experiments go well.
In 2019, the coffee giant pushed the envelope by launching its new racy espresso. The ‘Blonde Espresso Roast’ was promoted with flirty ads and provocative language. Some of it includes, “Blondes have more fun,” and “Tall, blonde, and gorgeous”. The campaign got quite a backlash from social media users.
No matter if your business is small or large, social media can provide great opportunities and advantages for you.
But to figure out how you can make the most of it, we have to first understand how social media platforms work.
Importance Of Social Media Platforms
There are a number of platforms available in today’s age.
It doesn’t mean that you have to be on every one of them.
Before joining a social media platform, ask yourself these questions keeping your business in mind:
- Which platforms are my audience on?
- Will my audience like my brand on the x platform?
- What is my purpose on social media? Sales? Affinity? Just to maintain a presence?
- How much value can I provide as compared to my competitors on this platform?
For example, if your audiences are make-up junkies that love to watch tutorials or expert advice, platforms like LinkedIn will obviously not be the best option. You should rather stick to Instagram or YouTube. Invest the same time but in a more concentrated way.
So what is the maximum number of platforms you can use?
If not all, you can be available on 2-3 so that you’re diversified but also not stretching yourself too thin.
Statista Findings: Here are some of the most popular social media platforms by the number of active users.
Different types of content work best on different platforms. It’s important that you decide what type of content you want to make or what works best for you. The type of content that you want to create depends on your industry, your brand, and your target audience. Some of these content-types include:
- User-Generated Content,
- Webinars, etc.
Here we will compare all the popular social media platforms and what type of content suits the best for each one of them:
With more than 2.4 billion active users, Facebook is the social media giant. Contrary to popular beliefs, it has still stood as a dominant platform among young adults with 65% of its users being under the age of 35 (source: Statista).
Facebook is good for:
- Lead generation
- Targeting a very specific type of audience (with its advertising platform)
- Building long-term relationships
- Showing the human side of your business
- Turning leads into loyal customers and followers
So what type of content works best on Facebook?
According to studies by Buffer, when it comes to taking your Facebook strategy to the next level, there is no better way to do so than through the use of video content.
The use of videos on Facebook is expanding at an exponential rate.
Omnicore Findings: There are almost 8 billion daily video views on the platform.
The special experience and unique advantages that videos provide help brands connect with new customers every day.
With videos, you have the freedom to be as creative as you want to be. Vivid pictures? Thrilling sound effects? Using special effects? Do whatever you feel can attract your audience’s attention.
Just keep in mind that your videos:
- Are mobile-friendly: 98% of users access the social network via their mobile devices. (Source: Statista)
- Have some kind of text or subtitles: 85% of Facebook videos are watched on mute. (Source: UScreen)
- Are short: Users scroll quickly on their mobile screens. To keep them engaged right away, you need to deliver your message quickly too.
- Have a clear call to action: What do you want your audience to do? Go to your website? Comment? Whatever it is, make sure you mention it.
- Have an attractive thumbnail: Thumbnails are attention-grabbing and tell so much about your video.
Facebook pages like Buzzfeed, iDiva, and PopXO are masters of this.
YouTube usage continues to soar with over 1 billion videos watched daily on the platform. With the kind of reach and opportunity that it is providing, it’s impossible for businesses to not dive in.
The advantages the platform has over others are:
- It provides great traffic
- It gives better analytical data
- People consume more video content than anything else
Other than cute cat videos, what works best on YouTube are: Guides and Tutorials
Fact – people love learning through an audio/visual experience – it creates instant value while interacting with audiences directly.
There is always one type of such videos trending on the page almost every day. Don’t believe us? Go and check right now!
A simple search shows you there are thousands of “How To” videos on YouTube on any given topic in the world. Anything you can think of, you will find a video on it available there. Why? Because more and more people search for them.
Indian beauty retail store, Nykaa knows how to play this game right. Therefore, every video on their channel is a tutorial or a guide on different topics related to beauty, health, skin-care, make-up, etc.
Talking about social media platforms and missing out on Instagram is like not carrying the car keys before going out on a drive.
Instagram is a social media platform that is applicable to any type of B2C business. Whether you own a small local bakery or a billion-dollar company, you need to be on Instagram!
Besides engaging with a lot of active users, Instagram also helps you build a strong personal brand.
By just one glance at your profile, a user is able to summarize what your brand is all about. Your feed aesthetic, the way you build your Instagram profile, and how your followers engage tells so much about you. We can say that in a way, Instagram is your business/brand’s unprofessional resume.
How can you stand-out on Instagram? Just two words: Keep Engaging.
This platform is one of the biggest ways to build relationships with your TG. Through Instagram stories and DMs, you can show the side of your business that you cannot otherwise via content – your customer care, how efficient you are, etc. Also, reply to people’s comments, answer questions, and ask some as well. Instead of always trying to sell something, try to create value for your existing and potential customers.
Creating an engaged community is crucial for business accounts on Instagram. After all, your followers are who make your Internet lives possible — they become your biggest supporters, clients, and oftentimes, your brand’s advocates.
LinkedIn is an important platform for marketing, especially for B2B companies.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform to:
- Post your blogs
- Establish your company as a trusted leader
- Build brand authority
- Generate leads
- Share your company culture
- Drive traffic to your website
It’s important to keep in mind that this social channel is different because of its business-to-business (B2B) nature. Therefore, LinkedIn has a much older user-base than most of the other platforms.
You’re dealing with a more professional audience which includes decision-makers, industry specialists, business owners, etc. This leaves most users unsure of what type of content to post here. One crucial thing to keep in mind – these same audiences are also on IG, FB, etc but their expectations of content and interaction are different on this platform. So don’t be quick to judge the audience, judge their preferences and tastes.
Here are different kind of posts that works the best on this platform:
- Blogs: Sharing your blog posts on LinkedIn can be a great way to increase your reach, build brand awareness, and engage. Build content on industries, trends, topics that your Targeted Businesses would want to read, engage with, and share.
Bonus tip: When sharing your company’s blog content on LinkedIn, you can include a little teaser text or a paragraph excerpt just to generate interest among the audience.
- Industry research and news: Professionals on LinkedIn are actively looking for content related to their industry. You can easily provide them this by sharing research-based reports or case studies.
- Quick Tips: Simple yet insightful posts on industry tips, tricks and news do well on LinkedIn. Share inspiring posts on subjects such as leadership, and success keeping the professional nature of the platform in mind.
There you have it, now you must be feeling confident on how to use social media for business. Regardless of the size of the platform, it’s more important to think about your target audience. Is it Facebook? Or YouTube?
There are many of them you could analyze currently, but not all of them are necessary.
Which social media platforms are your business using currently? Why do you think it’s best for you? Tell us in the comments!
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