What channels should I use?
Today we are going to be talking about social media for businesses. There are a lot of business owners and companies in general who aren’t always sure what channels they should use. What makes sense in your personal life, may not make sense for your business. Likewise, what makes sense for Sally’s Flower Shop down the road, may not make sense for your realty company and vice versa.
When you add the task of social media management to your running list of things to do at work, it can be a little overwhelming – especially with so many social platforms. That’s why today we are going to discuss the top 5 social channels for businesses, to help you start thinking about your overall strategy and determining which social media platforms should take priority on your task list.
You may be unfamiliar with Brand It, what we do, and who makes up our team, so before we dive into the Top 5 Social Media Channels we are going to discuss today, we’d like to just give all of you a quick rundown of our office.
Brand It was established in 2004 by our owner, and creative director, Twyla Hayes –we have been in business for over 13 years! We have a very wide variety when it comes to our client base – however, agriculture has always been at the heart of our business…Which is why the farmhouse where our studio is located is the perfect fit for us. We are located on the Hayes Homestead sesquicentennial family farm, which was established in 1865. Our new, but old studio space has the perfect combination of charm and creativity to allow us to be collaborative, yet still stay in touch with cutting-edge design and technology. Make sure you continue to check back – we are planning a fun tour of the office so that you all can get a sneak peek into how we work!
Brand It is a full-service marketing agency with a combined 100+ years of experience in the print, media, web & campaign industries. So, what exactly do we do? We develop & manage logo & web design, direct mail & email campaigns, social media, copy-writing & more –you name it. We consider ourselves the “marketing arm” for many of our clients, handling all of their marketing pieces –from strategy to tactical execution.
There are 6 marketers and designers that make up the Brand It Team:
- Twyla Hayes – Creative director and Owner
- Carla Leingang – Website developer
- Leanna Schulze – Graphic designer
- Michelle Hill – Office manager
- Rachel Hayes – Social Media Manager + Copywriter
- Marie Miller – Social Media Manager + Tech Support
Which brings us right into today’s topic: social media channels for your business. I think most of us know how incredible social media channels can be for businesses – but sometimes it can get confusing as to which channels you should really invest your time in. Luckily, all of the top 5 channels we are going to discuss today are free to use, but they do have paid advertising options specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences (but we will talk about that another day). It’s important to know that even though these channels are free to use, it doesn’t technically mean that you should be on EVERY network. It’s important you choose and nurture the social platforms that work best for your business so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.
Before you go and sign up for a social media account, there are 2 things you must first consider:
- Who is your audience?
- Where are they hanging out? – if all of your current and potential customers are active and engaging on Facebook, but silent on Twitter, focus your time on growing your relationship with them through Facebook
Once you’ve determined where your audience is spending their time, you will have a much better handle as to where you should be promoting your business.
Now, let’s take a little bit of a deeper dive into the TOP 5 social channels for businesses. First up:
- Over 1.8 billion active users – the biggest social network on the web. It is a great medium for connecting people from all over the world with your business.
- Facebook Insights (which are available once you reach 100 followers) allow you to gather information about your followers to learn more about their demographics, interests, and behaviors.
- Targeted Ads – While this site is free, there are also targeted ads available where you can create ads that are showed to a very specific, targeted audience which increases your odds of creating a conversion
- LinkedIn is a little different than Facebook because your business doesn’t always have to be on Facebook, but it is VITAL that YOU are! If you are the owner or CEO of a company, you are the face of your business and need to put yourself out there as such. You should have a profile so that you can show off your credentials, build authority and trust, and connect with potential clients, partners or even future employees.
- As a business, LI is a great tool for recruiting and finding your next hard-working employee to join your team. You can share career opportunities through your business page, or anything that pertains to your company culture.
- Over 320 MILLION active users
- With Twitter, you can share short text updates (140 Characters or less) along with videos, images, links and more. This is a great channel to easily interact with others by mentioning their usernames in your posts. Twitter is known for allowing bother businesses and individuals to QUICKLY connect with people all over the world.
- Because of its wide reach, Twitter is not only a great way to market your business, but also an effective channel for handling customer service. For example, if you maintain an active Twitter presence, customers who are also active on the platform will seek you out to express concerns or share their praise.
- If you have interesting content, Twitter is also a great tool for quickly spreading the word. Retweeting and sharing other users’ content is incredibly simple. Hashtags help boost posts, and if a user with a lot of followers retweets you, your content has the potential to go viral.
- If your customers are hanging out on twitter – you want to be there joining in on the conversation!
- Instagram is really cool because it is a VISUAL social media platform based entirely on photo and video posts. This Facebook-owned network has more than 600 MILLION active users.
- Instagram allows users to post photos and videos with unique photo filters and video-editing options. This platform, unlike many others, is almost entirely mobile. There is a web version; however, you can’t take photos or share new posts on it.
- So, who exactly is Instagram for? Instagram is a place where more artistic niches excel – so before you sign up for an Instagram account, you want to make sure it is the right fit for your industry. Now, this isn’t to say if you aren’t an “artist” per say, you shouldn’t be on Instagram! Not at ALL! Instagram is also a great place to share what is going on behind the scenes at your business and really humanize your brand.
- Have a company-wide picnic last weekend? Snap some photos, use Instagram’s editing feature, and post for your customers and followers to see.
- You can also use Instagram to latch onto different hashtags that make sense for your business – which can aid in increasing your overall following.
- Video-sharing platform with over a BILLION users
- Many businesses on YouTube have a creative, visual or educational component. The platform is heavily driven by creativity in nature, so it’s important to have a tailored video editor producing content. However, your business doesn’t need a channel to market on the platform. There’s a subculture of vloggers, called YouTubers, who publish frequent videos and often maintain large audiences. Often, businesses partner with YouTubers for product placement, because these users already have engaged audiences.
And that covers the top 5 Social Media channels your business should consider being on. Remember, this does not mean you should be on all 5 of the channels we discussed today. If you want to create a successful social strategy, you should familiarize yourself with how each network runs, the kinds of audiences you can reach on that network and how your business will successfully use each platform.
Find out WHERE your audience is, and really familiarize yourself with that network and begin sharing helpful, interesting content.
Social media is a forever evolving entity so your strategy will also be ever-changing. You may start on Twitter and find that you aren’t getting any traction. Move to YouTube, and then find a big jump in engagement. Social strategy will largely vary by business and industry.
So remember to take it one step at a time, continually evaluate what is working, and keep moving in the direction that is engaging your audience and leading qualified leads and customers back to your business.