In the current social climate, it can feel like people who do not exist online almost do not exist at all. Having a social media account has become as commonplace as having a birth certificate or driving license - everybody who is anybody has one. Although this is a daunting societal development, an online presence is vital for businesses to thrive and stay relevant.
So how do you make yourself heard over the billions of users every day?
Long story short – it depends. It largely depends on what your goals are; do you want to build hype around a launch? Are you a startup and looking to gain more followers? Do you want to generate more leads?
Thinking about where to start with this can be a little overwhelming so, in the meantime, here is a concise list of different social media platforms an how’s best to use them.
At the moment, Instagram is most popular amongst millennials (people between 22 and 36 years of age). This is mostly to do with the way that content is consumed, as everything is image/video based, therefore it’s an easy way to get an impression of something without having to go through streams of writing. As a result, people on this platform are also mostly interested in sharing and viewing content related to lifestyle.
So ultimately this platform is good for building and maintaining a reputation of your company culture and values. It is also a good way to interact with potential and existing customers.
Use hashtags, invest in promoted ads (if you can) and stay human! Don’t behave too much like a business on Instagram, it’s a casual platform, so show off your individuality!
Unlike Instagram, Twitter has a more varied user demographic. It is largely used to share news, opinions and to find people with similar interests. For this reason it can be a bit of an echochamber. Although this isn’t always conductive, it’s a good way to create a community around your profile. This platform is also mostly dependent on mentions (@’s) so the more you interact with people and stay in contact with current affairs, the better you’ll do.
In order to well on this platform you must stay connected and current by keeping up to date with relevant news, and interacting with it – whether that’s through retweets, quotes or comments.
This platform has become mostly popular with people around the age of 40 and upwards. This may have something to do with the time at which Facebook became popular as people of a certain age were able to find old friends that they had lost contact with. Facebook is also a great way for logging achievements and creating specialised private groups should you need to.
Conclusively though, for business, Facebook isn’t really a place to post much content. It should mainly be used for job postings and answering queries from customers/service users.
It would be useful to provide links to your website and other social media platforms in your bio, so people can discover more about your business and find out a bit more about your values. It may also be helpful to invest in sponsored ads, if you can.
LinkedIn is a useful business tool and is one of the easiest ways to find like minded professionals. It is also a great way to share what your business is up to, in addition to finding means of recruitment. You can even target specific audiences by creating closed groups, e.g. if you are a CEO and have content that would only appeal to CEOs, then you can create a group specifically for this. Targeted content tend to harness better results, hence why sponsored ads are so powerful.
Seek people to connect with, and interact with their content. Reply to comments, like posts and have conversations. Doing this will help you reach out to more people, and will make more people reach you!
Trial and Error
Ultimately, reaching your goals on social media will be a journey of trial and error. It’s always important to keep track of analytics – when are the users who follow you most active? What demographic is interacting with your content most? How many views are your posts getting? – then you can utilise your findings to optimise your online performance.
Although the social media platforms discussed have their own tools for measuring activity , it may be worth investing in applications such as Buffer or Hootsuite, where you can monitor analytics side by side, in addition to schedule posts all in one place. This will save time a lot of time and effort in maintaining individual accounts, ensuring maximum productivity.