Which Social Media platform is right for my business?

We all know Social Media is great for connecting with friends and family, or to search for people you haven’t spoken to in years! But can it also be used to generate business. So how do you go about doing it?

The key to using Social Media to sell your product or service is to have a plan!!

75% of people use Social Media before making a buying decision, so why wouldn’t you have a plan for how you use it? It’s simple and logical right? To grow your business using Social Media you need to onboard new customers, and that takes time, effort and a decent plan!

So how do you go about building a plan that will increase your followers and gain customers? Initially, you need to look at your business and confirm which Social channels are best suited to your offerings. Find out where your current customers spend their Social Media time and what influences them.

Most businesses in recent years have tried to cover all the mainstream Social Media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. But if you don’t have a team of marketers to cover these channels you could end up with issues that cost your business in the long term as you lose out to the competition, or simply target the wrong people.

In the ‘always on and always connected’ lifestyles that we lead, Social Media has meant people can share their thoughts and feelings with little effort, and it’s become the norm to follow, review and engage with your favourite brands. So, when you get a positive review, great! However… when you miss the post or don’t manage to respond within a short period it can become a real issue. So find the Social channels that are best suited to your business, and be prepared to respond in a timely manner when your customers and prospects engage you!

What are the right Social Media channels?

  1. Instagram

Over the last few years Instagram has surged in popularity and is definitely a contender to provide the best engagement for B2C businesses.

Instagram’s user base has grown rapidly since it was acquired by Facebook in 2014, growing from 30 million to over 1 Billion registered users today. These users include everyone from private individuals to large corporate brands, bloggers, photographers and everyone in between! The reason Instagram has become so popular is it offers its users a simple, straightforward image-driven way to follow and learn about things that interest them.

While more and more B2B companies jump on the ‘Instagram bandwagon’, those that have tended to benefit from the platform include Hair Salons, Cake makers, Graphic designers, Photographers; basically anyone selling something visual!

Photo by Jennifer Kim

The great thing about Instagram is that the paid adverts come into the feed almost organically, and they fit with the content the user is already interested in. Typically this type of advertising is more likely to get a positive response which, in turn, could ultimately lead to a sale.

Things you should consider about before starting your Instagram account:

  • Is your product or service visually appealing and easy to photograph?
  • Are you able to show regular day-to-day experiences (people want to see what
  • you’re up to)?
  • Do you have the ability to share daily progress such as reviews, fitness progress updates, recipes, etc?
  • Is your ideal customer is between the ages of 18-29?

 

  1. Facebook

Facebook has long been the standard for Social Media marketing and advertising for businesses selling to consumers. Even though this year Facebook has been hit with controversy, there are a reported 2.19 billion daily active users on the site allowing companies to reach plenty of prospects and customers. If you are yet to set up your Social Media channels and your business sells to or supports a customer directly, then Facebook should be your first port of call. Having a Facebook Company Page filled with updates, images, offers and recommendations will quickly make your company look established as well as showing potential new customers how you engage with your clients.

As a Facebook advertiser, you can take advantage of the great level of data the platform collects from its users. Facebook gives you the opportunities to advertise to potential customers based on their location, demographics, interests and past purchases, as well as their preferred format – video, offers, images, collections and more.

Facebook is a great place for growing brand awareness and selling online; it allows you to respond to customer inquiries for everyone to see, but also allows you to hide inappropriate comments and respond directly to the writer via private messaging feature.

To recap – use Facebook to:

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Build a community of loyal customers, supporters and followers
  • Help with customer service and support
  • Online selling.

 

  1. Twitter

Twitter has great success with B2B companies. While there are more than 320 million individuals using Twitter every month, the attention span and short communications can be challenging to engage customers (unless you’re a celebrity or a highly established brand)!

Smaller companies should consider using Facebook over Twitter if you’re looking to provide customer support using Social Media. Even with the extended number of characters you can use to write, Twitter still limits you; especially if you have a complex issue to resolve. In addition it can be hard to keep on top of the tweets, so if there is a negative post, it may get missed by you and result in an unhappy customer.

If you are a fan of Twitter then consider using it as a platform for brand awareness, to advertise sales and events and to re-share posts from Facebook, Blogs, Instagram and other Social platforms.

 

  1. LinkedIn

If you’re selling business to business or looking for particular engagement with a customer type, then LinkedIn could be for you. LinkedIn has become one of the top publishing platforms on the web, and as most users tend to be educated, experienced or keen to learn, the content typically receives a much deeper level of engagement – positive  and negative!

When posting on LinkedIn, be sure what you are sharing will be acceptable to the readers. Even though there is a new trend for more lifestyle orientated promotion on the platform, LinkedIn is still predominantly a site for professionals who are generally looking at it to further their working life/careers. Therefore the stories and posts they want to read about are educational, rather than offers and sales. When using LinkedIn think about how to educate your connections using blog posts, sharing posts from other people and companies that fit with your market. Be a ‘Guru’ in your industry and people are more likely to come to you when they are looking to purchase services and offerings that you can supply.

LinkedIn does allows you to direct message potential customers; a great tool if used correctly! When using direct messaging, ensure you mention the reason you have chosen to contact them, why you thought they might be interested in your product/service, and how it would support their day to day life.

LinkedIn could be for you if:

  • Your ideal client/customer is a professional, educated and between 25-60 years’ old
  • You can produce blog posts, updates and good image/graphics
  • You’re offering is a higher priced product or service, especially if it’s complex.
  1. Pinterest and Google+

Pinterest is a great way to be found organically as is Google+. Google+ realistically is useful for helping your content get found on Google – more of a necessity if you will.

If your business involves creating digital content, blog posts, etc. or you are updating your website then sharing this on Pinterest and Google+ does makes sense. Thereafter, linking back to your website will only enhance your opportunity of driving traffic back to your site.

Pinterest will often work for your business if your ideal customer is into Crafts, Fashion, DIY, Cooking, Beauty, Art, Hair, Travel, or is planning a big event like a wedding for example.

It can be easy to get sucked in to the plethora of boards, posts and pages that interest you, so if you do take this route be sure to create boards that make sense to your ideal customer, keeping your branding clear and obvious without spending too much time on it.

Pick the right Social Media Channels for your company

Keep in mind what your team or you can handle, and where your ideal customer spends their time. Review the Social Media channels that make the most sense for your customers, products, and services – do your research and start slow. Remember, once you start, it’s a tap and you need to keep the content and posts coming to keep your audience engaged.

Photo by rawpixel

When it comes to Social, there is no one size fits all but here at Digital Luminance we can help ensure you get it right. Click here to drop us a line and discuss what’s right for your business.

 

Jeff Lunn

Author Jeff Lunn

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