Treading the waters of social media for business can be tricky. Knowing which accounts will give you the best ROI means taking time to navigate those waters to find where your customers are spending their time online. And it’s time well spent: According to Social Media Examiner’s 2017 Report, 92% of marketers said that social media is important to their businesses. But how do you decide which accounts will work best for your specific business? Should business owners invest time and money into all of the big names — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest — or focus on one or two? The most important first step to answering this question is to determine the buyer persona you’re looking to reach. Once you nail down a buyer persona, you can develop a strategy that targets the platforms they’re using so you’ll be able to meet your customers where they are spending their time. To help determine the best avenue to take, we’ve broken down the different top platforms and who’s hanging out where.
In the 2017 Social Media Report, 62% of marketers chose Facebook as their most important platform, and it’s been reported that Facebook has more than 1 billion active monthly users. So if there’s one platform you don’t want to ignore, it’s Facebook. As of January 2017, American women and men between the ages of 25-54 made up 32% and 29% of Facebook users, respectively. So if those numbers look like your target demographic, you need to be active on Facebook. Plus, Facebook Ads enable businesses to target users by location, demographics, age, gender, interests, behavior, and connections — information that will help you to amplify the reach of your content.
Conclusion: Yes, you should be on Facebook.
Instagram is a photo-based platform and is used mostly for visual storytelling. Some Instagram users are turned off by images with too much text laid over the image, so it’s a place to let the photo do most of the talking. It’s also a great brand-building venue, where users can not only see your products, but also get an idea of the personality of your business. If you’re a product-based company, Instagram is a great place to showcase those products, especially if you’re able to use beautiful photography. It can also be a successful platform for people who offer a service, such as fitness coaches, as they’re able to not only take advantage of the photo-sharing, but also upload videos of interest to users, such as a recent workout routine.
Instagram is currently one of the most popular among social media users. And with the addition of the “swipe up” feature in “stories,” businesses can now link directly to their website, content or products — a feature that until recently wasn’t available on the app. According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram, and 33% of internet users between the ages of 30 and 49 use Instagram. So while Instagram usership skews slightly younger, it’s still a valuable platform if your buyer persona falls anywhere between 18 and 50 years old.
Conclusion: If you offer a product or service that would make for visually appealing photos and videos, then Instagram is worth your time.
Pinterest is also a visual platform and a great place to share photos of your products or services, especially if your buyer persona is female, as 45% of online women are Pinterest users. Since Pinterest is used to “pin” useful products or pages, it’s actually become more popular than email for sharing things online. If your post is shared by a user with a lot of followers, it has the potential to be seen by millions of users. Pinterest is an especially good avenue for businesses whose products include fashion, decor, art, food or any others that photograph well. And with the Pinterest buy button, users can directly purchase from you with just a click of a button.
Conclusion: Only use Pinterest if you have great images of your products to share.
Most people who choose to follow a business on Twitter are already customers, so while it may not be the best site for lead generation, it’s great for brand loyalty and interaction. Twitter is especially good for getting a message out to your followers quickly. Having a sale? Opening a new location? Simply send out a tweet and your followers will be in the know. And with retweets and the use of popular hashtags, your messages can find their way into new customers’ feeds. With more than 300 million Twitter users, we’d say that’s worth your time.
Conclusion: We recommend all businesses have a Twitter account and post frequently.
If you’re working in B2B, LinkedIn is the network you should focus most of your time and effort, as it’s a professional networking site where you can connect with other people in your industry. On LinkedIn, you can target people by their company, job title, education, and other professional identifiers. LinkedIn is also one of the best platforms for product launches: According to Regalix, LinkedIn is the No. 1 platform for announce a product launch between B2B companies. And there are currently more than 450 million LinkedIn users who are primarily on the site for industry news and networking opportunities. So when you share industry-specific information, your target audience is most likely on LinkedIn.
Conclusion: We recommend all businesses have a LinkedIn account.
To find out if you need to update your site’s social media strategy, schedule a free 30 minute, no-strings-attached marketing consultation with our team.