Is it better to focus on one or two channels or more? What should you consider before choosing your social media platforms?
Realistically, a business can have a presence across many platforms and reap the benefits from each in some shape or form. However, there are three key factors to consider when selecting social media platforms:
- Your Time
To play it safe, you should always have a Facebook Business Page and an Instagram Business Account. Your target audience, no matter your industry, is on these platforms and spends an average of 8-15 minutes a day on them.
With these two platforms, you also have access to an amazing set of analytics and tools that will get your social media posts in front of the right people.
Then, depending on your industry, you may want to explore other social media platforms.
If you’re in financial, marketing, recruitment services or similar industries, LinkedIn can be incredibly powerful. With a personal profile, you can add relevant connections, send direct messages, and genuinely build a network and nurture those connections over time by liking posts, commenting, and sharing (it always feels nice when someone engages with your content). You can also take it one step further and build a LinkedIn Business Profile, encourage users to follow you, and share great, relevant content to build credibility as a service provider.
If you’re a mechanic, on the other hand, LinkedIn might not be as effective unless you’re willing to invest your time and energy to become a thought leader in this industry. You can still use this platform to add some SEO juice to your website’s search rankings, but you may not want to spend as much time building a profile, a page or a following. With regards to how much you should focus on it – my recommendation would be spending 80% of your energy on Facebook and Instagram and 20% on LinkedIn.
Twitter, unfortunately, isn’t incredibly popular in Australia–the last stats I saw indicated that there are roughly 4 million profiles and 2.5 million active users–which is less than 15% of the number of users on Facebook. If you’re a brand that with an international presence or audience, Twitter can work for you. But if you’re not, similarly to LinkedIn for a mechanic, you may only use Twitter to add SEO Juice to help with your Google rankings.
Pinterest is similar to Twitter; it’s a great tool for generating traffic to your website, but it’s audience reach is quite broad, so it’s not going to be as effective as other social media platforms. If you’re an e-commerce business that ships overseas, you need to be on Pinterest, but if you’re not, it may not require as much investment. The last set of stats I found explained that Pinterest accounts for 40% of all social media ecommerce sales. For an international brand, the concept is brilliant; people generally make purchase decisions around what they re-pin, and your products could be that pin! Every re-pin = reach to a relevant audience. But again, if you’re not an international brand, Pinterest may just serve as great SEO Juice.
Snapchat is a nice-to-have, not a must-have. If your product or service is targeted towards the 11 to 24-year-old market, it could add value if you have a good follower acquisition strategy. People blindly consume media on this platform.
YouTube is perfect if you’re comfortable in front of a camera. It is the second biggest search engine in the world and if your business is consistent in their posting efforts, you can do well. But the question with YouTube is… what do I post? The answer is: ANYTHING. Showcase your products, your team, a day in the life of a business owner, provide tips and value, and demonstrate to your audience that you are great at what you do. You can take these videos, embed them into your website and add further credibility to your brand.
Note: With YouTube, don’t be discouraged if you only get 10 views per video. Find comfort in the fact that those 10 views are an incredibly targeted audience and have the potential to become customers or clients.
TikTok is a new social media platform. It’s fresh and it’s still unclear what direction it’s going to take in the future, but I recommend you spend a few minutes a day on this platform, because it could be the next Instagram.
Finally, a few thoughts on Google+. It’s not real, not worth the energy, and I’m not sure if it is even around anymore…
To be successful on Facebook & Instagram, you need to make use of their ad tools. Facebook is purely Pay-To-Play… but that isn’t a bad thing.
If you have a special offer, or if you’re trying to capture leads, Facebook has the tools you want to find the right cost per lead. For example, if a lead costs you $55 for a $500 product, then I would definitely invest.
Note: the ads you run on Facebook can automatically be run on Instagram as well.
There are 3 types of ads a business owner can run that should deliver a strong ROI:
- Traffic ad: you can target specific people and drive them to a landing page.
- Messenger ad: if you offer a service, you can run a special offer on Facebook and Instagram and have a conversation with the interested party to book them in for an appointment. “For example, 50% off X service, hit the book now button to reserve your spot”
- Lead Ads (my favourite): these ads are set up in a way that capture data from the interested user’s Facebook account (name, number, email, City, etc.). For example, a construction company may advertise to users who are interested in building a granny flat on their property – they could click the ‘Learn More’ button and this ad will generate a form that automatically captures the user’s data so that the business owner can call them later and book them in for a consultation. This is called a warm lead.
As a business owner, time is everything. We get into business because we are passionate about our product or service and we want to share that with the world. However, then you have to start considering other factors, like accounting, marketing, staffing etc., which can eat up your time. It’s incredibly important to make the most of the time you spend building up your social media presence.
You should also note that a subpar-looking social media account can do more damage to your brand than good. How many times have you done research on a brand, just to land on a poor-looking social media account, click the “back button” and disregard the service?
As a general rule for social media marketing, spend 80% of your available time on Facebook and Instagram–these two will be your power house–then spend 20% of your time dabbling in Linkedin, Twitter, Tiktok, Youtube & Pinterest. Start by sharing the same content on all of your social media platforms to save time. If you simply do not have the time, delegate these tasks to an employee or outsource them to an agency.
- What are the major strengths of each platform/why would a business choose that platform? (If you have any great case studies of clients to illustrate this point, I would love to hear them!) – I haven’t included our own case studies – I would need to get permission first, but I have included brands that have done quite well.
The top three social media platforms for businesses are Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Here are their major strengths and a few case studies to illustrate their effectiveness:
- Increased exposure to potential customers (billions of active users)
- Ability to geo-target and reach your audience through tailored demographics
- Low marketing expenses
- Facebook Insights feature to track metrics and optimise
(Case study) Lifestyle was able to increase in-store visits with awareness and conversion Facebook campaigns. Read more: https://bit.ly/363i2Zw
- Increased exposure to potential customers (millions of active users)
- Ability to create ‘shop-able posts’
- Ability to create influencer partnerships
- A way to engage with audiences that adds value and isn’t merely promotional
- Ability to use hashtags capitalise on real-time trends
(Case study) HiSmile placed ads in Instagram Stories and leveraged influencer partnerships to connect with young men, resulting in a 90% increase in male customers. Read more: https://bit.ly/36992Cj
- Key to B2B marketing
- Ranked with high optimisation on Google
- Great networking tool
- Ability to keep others updated on brand without appearing “preachy” due to the nature of the platform
(Case study) Black Rock engaged with its investor audience by using sponsored content to streamline messaging and reach the right clients with the most relevant content. Read more: https://bit.ly/2MJLWKu
- Any other tips for using social media effectively for your business?
- Be consistent. The average user follows about 100+ social media business accounts. However, if you ask that user to name them all – they can’t. As soon as you stop posting, you’re almost forgotten within 24 hours. Post at least once a day. The content doesn’t have to be amazing – sometimes a photo or a video on your phone can perform much better than something glamorous.
- Use relevant hashtags. 1 view from #NewtownCoffee (Newtown is a suburb in Sydney) has more value than 200 views from #Foodporn. Keep in mind though: hashtags reach people world-wide, so it’s best to make sure they’re targeted.
- Stop using the “Boost” function on Facebook. Get familiar with Ad Manager instead – it’s not as complicated as you think. Facebook has machine learning capabilities, which can take up to 7 days to find you the exact audience you’re after, and they’re best utilised in Ad Manager campaigns. Boosted posts will only churn through your budget randomly.
- Retargeting is your best friend. Facebook gives you the option to retarget users who have landed on your website, made an e-commerce purchase, or abandoned their cart (using their pixel). Alternatively, Facebook allows you to retarget users who have watched a video past a certain point (e.g. users who have watched more than 15 seconds or 50% of your video, which indicates high intent). When you retarget, you can re-surface content to an audience that have already shown interest in your product or service and focus on converting them.
- Use Look-A-Like Audiences. You can upload your customer list or track website purchases with Facebook, and their audience builder algorithm will find users on Facebook who have a 95%-99% match in attributes. Essentially, you are building a list of people that look exactly like your top customers, based on their social media data, and targeting them. Powerful stuff.
- Be social. Like posts, comment on images, thank people for coming in to your store and sharing content, and encourage or incentivise your customers to post on their own social media (it’s free word-of-mouth marketing). If you don’t have budget for ads, this can be a great start to increasing your digital reach.
Need help with your social media marketing? Check us out at www.consyar.com