Should you use social media for business? Yes indeed! Should you have an account on every platform? There is no need for that. Your social success mostly depends on the type of business you run and how much time and effort you intend to put into your strategy.
Want to create an enviable social strategy? Familiarize yourself with all of the social networks at your disposal, figure out which features will work best with your business and focus on the platforms that best reflect your business’s mission.
Social Media for Business
Facebook is the biggest social network in terms of name recognition and total number of users. With over 1.39 billion active users, Facebook is a great medium for connecting people from all over the world with your business. And Facebook is not only the biggest network, it’s arguably the most versatile one.
Since Facebook has a wealth of options for any type of organization, it’s a great starting point for your business, regardless of your industry. You can use it to share photos, videos, important company updates and more.
Twitter is another social network where mostly anything goes. With Twitter, you can post short text updates along with videos, images, links and more. You can also easily interact with other users by mentioning their usernames in your posts, so Twitter is a great way to quickly connect with people all around the world (the platform has more than 500 million users worldwide). Twitter is not only a great way to market your business; it’s also an effective channel for handling customer service.
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, and if a user with a lot of followers retweets you, your content has the potential to go viral.
But with Twitter, it’s important to remember to find balance — don’t simply share your own links or media; make sure you are also sharing a lot of interesting, relevant content from other Twitter users so your audience doesn’t think you only care about what your business is doing.
This platform consists of digital bulletin boards where users can save and display content they like in the form of pins. Users create and organize their boards by category. Pinterest is very visually oriented (every post has to be an image or video), and like Facebook, it is also fairly low-maintenance as far as post frequency is concerned. However, keeping your boards organized and search-friendly can be time-consuming.
Pinterest’s users are primarily female, and popular categories on the site are DIY projects, fashion, exercise, beauty, photography and food. That’s not to say that businesses outside of these categories can’t succeed on the platform, but it does make it a great marketing tool for businesses that do work in those areas.
Instagram is a visual social media platform that is based entirely on photo and video posts. The network, which Facebook owns, has over 300 million active users, many of whom post about food, art, travel, fashion and similar subjects. Instagram is distinguished by its square photo/video post format that makes each post look similar to a Polaroid picture. This platform, unlike the others, is almost entirely mobile.
Instagram is another platform where more artistic niches excel, so again, it may not be the best fit for your business depending on your industry. If you want to succeed with Instagram, it’s important that the person running your account has a good eye for detail and has at least basic photography skills so that the photos and videos posted to your account are high quality.
Tumblr is the most difficult social media platform to use as a business, but it’s also one of the most interesting networks. Tumblr allows several different post formats, including text posts, chat posts, quote posts, audio posts, photo posts and video posts, so you’re not limited as to what kind of content you can share. As with Twitter, reblogging is very quick and easy, so if a user with a lot of followers shares your content, it’s possible to go viral fairly quickly.
Tumblr currently hosts more than 200 million blogs, and the majority of these blogs are run by young people. But this means that businesses that don’t cater to young people’s interests or aren’t relatable to young people in some way are not poised for success on the network.
The way humans think and consume information is changing. Take a look at this infographic to find out what brands need to know about visual social media.