Social media became a marketing tool a little over a decade ago, and isn’t about to go away. Used correctly, it offers many advantages to both large companies and small local businesses. Much of it is free to use with the exception of paid ads, giving your company a place to establish a profile and interact with customers without needing to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars of a marketing budget.
Instead, the cost of social media is time. These platforms depend on almost constant interaction with viewers to stay relevant in the rapidly changing landscape. With that commitment, companies without a dedicated social media team (or without the budget to pay professionals to manage their profiles) need to focus their available time on the social media platforms that will bring them the most return.
That raises the question of which are the best social media sites for your brand. There are dozens out there. From the standys – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – to the newcomers and niche like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. All take effort to build and keep a following. This series will cover the pros and cons of each platform and give you an idea of which will be the best fit for your business.
Options for Social Media
Social media sites come and go with some seeming to be fads and others well over a decade old. Both can have value to your business. Currently, these are the platforms most businesses use:
- Facebook – One of the largest social networking sites, Facebook is also one of the most enduring. It enables you to reach an extensive customer base and utilizes the idea of community and interaction.
- Twitter – With short “tweets” capped at 280 characters, Twitter’s focus is quick snippets of information. Posts often address in the moment topics, making it a fast paced site, and users often collect around shared interests and conversations.
- LinkedIn – Having started as a site for business connections, LinkedIn retains its professional focus. It is another of the largest social media platforms, but generally works best for businesses to business and business to employee services and offers fewer local possibilities.
- YouTube – Built around sharing content through video format, YouTube allows individuals and companies to post everything from music to reviews to how tos to news clips and more. Users interact through comments and subscriptions, as well as sharing videos among other social networks.
- Nextdoor – A platform for local networking, Nextdoor users assign themselves to a specific neighborhood group to interact and share information. If your business serves a certain geographic area, Nextdoor can be one of the best ways to reach customers in that location.
- Instagram – Primarily a mobile platform (and second only to Facebook in terms of mobile social media users), Instagram is predominantly used by women in the U.S. and tends toward a younger audience. It relies heavily on photographic content and short videos, so high quality photography is a must.
- Other Options – Sites like Pinterest, newcomer TikTok, niche Tumblr, and others offer a more limited audience base and different methods of communicating with visitors. Browsing what users are posting and engaging with on these sites can give you an idea if the content you could produce will fit here.
Few businesses can operate a profile on every social media platform, and even fewer will appeal to users of every site. Instead it is better to focus on one or two. If you are already trying to split your efforts among several sites, choose those where you get the most traction to prioritize. Alternatively, if you are considering where to launch your social media marketing strategy, start with some research.
Choosing Your Social Media Platform
Social media can be an innovative and cost effective way to bring in new leads and reach your existing customers. Like all marketing, your business needs to approach social media with a strategy. We’ll be brutally honest here. Simply throwing up content and hoping for that viral post is a waste of your time.
Instead, do some research. Follow along with our guide outlining each of the most used platforms. Then spend some time browsing each platform to see what is working for businesses like yours. You’ll want to focus your efforts on social media platforms that:
- Are used by your target audience, whether that is a certain age range, homeowners, men or women, or another demographic.
- Contain a type of content that you can produce in a similar quality, usually text, images, or video.
- Have an amount of interaction with users you can consistently maintain.
And as a final point, remember that social media, while valuable, should be used in addition to your website. Content marketing on a professional, branded site is the most effective way to get your business in front of clients. Social media works alongside your website, using your voice, providing links to your site, and reaching your customers where they are.
Professional social media management can ensure you’re getting the most out of your online profiles. At Great Leap Studios, we create content that resonates with your audience. Our social media work corresponds with your website’s content to reflect your brand across platforms. We also offer affordable pricing so you are still getting a great return on your investment in digital marketing. Learn more about our social media and content writing services by contacting us.