You probably know social media is an important tool for growing your business, but there’s a good chance you might be a bit overwhelmed with the number of different platforms out there. Not to mention the learning curve involved in trying to master them all!
There’s no doubt the world of social media and internet marketing is a fast-changing landscape, but as the internet has begun to mature there are a handful of platforms that can definitely create results for the people who stay the course and try to master them. In this post, we’ll identify four of the big social behemoths, why they have the potential to create a lot of leverage when marketing your business, and which one might be the best for you to focus on.
Focusing on one when getting started is absolutely key here as well. Trying to learn too many different platforms at once is a sure-fire way to overload yourself with information and become paralyzed. That’s the last thing we want. We’ll show you the pros and cons of each platform and which one is most suited to your style and your business. Then it’s up to you to commit – because any one of these has the potential to transform your business in special ways.
- Google’s favourite son – YouTube
YouTube is thought of as a social media platform, but it’s also a very powerful search engine – so this aspect shouldn’t be overlooked.
YouTube can therefore be an excellent tool for marketing a small business. By researching keywords using a service like KWFinder, you are able to find all the relevant topics that your customers are searching for and create killer video content to answer all their queries – and make your business the go-to source for the best and most trustworthy information in your industry.
By optimising your video and deploying content marketing techniques, you can achieve higher search result rankings for your videos – resulting in greater visibility, more views, and more potential clients.
Your videos will act like little salesmen working round the clock for you as your potential customers continue to find them, allowing you to start to build relationships directly from your channel or send them over to your website.
The best thing is, you can get started relatively cheaply with YouTube. Most smartphones can record high-quality video, and you can pick up a decent microphone for as little as £30.
If you’re someone who enjoys being on camera then YouTube could be for you!
- Facebook’s favourite daughter – Instagram
You possibly already know the basics of using Instagram: posting regular content, trying to get good engagement on that content, swapping shout-outs and using hashtags etc.
These are all good strategies for growing a personal account. But, when it comes to a business account, creating compelling content for your customers isn’t quite as easy.
The best form of marketing is usually by referral, which means the best type of content to create for your business is often created by your audience. User-generated content is the most compelling content you can create – people seeing how your customers interact with your products and services is a very powerful way to attract them towards your brand.
Being a very visual platform, it is an ideal place for beauty professionals to market their business, for example. When Direct Line spoke to an award-winning nail artist business, for example, they stressed that Instagram was perfect for showcasing their best work. If your business is similarly visual, and already has some good customer reviews or testimonials, then Instagram could be the ideal platform for you to focus on.
- A blogger’s best friend – Pinterest
Pinterest is a very popular platform with “Mommy” bloggers, most likely due to the fact that approximately 70% of its users are female.
Visual search is becoming increasingly popular and, as a “visual discovery” search engine, Pinterest is the only social platform to allow its users to search using images.
Like YouTube, Pinterest is basically another search engine masquerading as a social media platform, which makes it another great source for getting lots of free traffic.
According to the social media posting tool Hootsuite, over 80% of people use it to decide what to buy. According to Pinterest themselves, 55% of people are looking for specific products to buy and many will make a purchase on the back of the content they’ve discovered from their favourite brands on Pinterest.
If your business has a strong graphic element to it, with lots of vibrant images, then Pinterest could be an excellent solution for you.
The platform tends to work very well for people in the arts and crafts niche trying to sell jewellery on Etsy, for example.
- The best business networking tool – LinkedIn
Gone are the days when LinkedIn was seen as just a tool for B2B companies. There is a mindset shift with people on the platform that makes it a far more transactional environment compared to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
People on LinkedIn tend to have a far higher net worth than the other social media platforms, so you know they mean business and will have cash on the hip!
Unlike Facebook, it is a great platform for getting organic reach – meaning your posts could get discovered by a lot of people. They are also crying out for video content, too, so adding some videos to your posts could really pay dividends.
It’s a quickly expanding platform with two new members joining every second. So, if you are looking to target young professionals, then this could be a great place to market your business.
So there you have it: our roundup of the best social media platforms for businesses right now.
It’s also worth mentioning that, with the exception of Pinterest, all these other platforms have a big focus on video at the moment.
Video is fast becoming most people’s preferred way to consume content online, and it’s estimated that over the next couple of years as much as 90% of that content will be through video.
So, whether you are thinking about creating your own videos, or having someone do it for you, video is really a medium that you can’t overlook when it comes to creating content to market your business.
All of the strategies mentioned above are for free traffic, but it is also worth noting that all these platforms have very powerful paid advertising solutions as well.
Diversifying where your traffic comes from is always a good idea, and with paid traffic being such a powerful tool, it’s probably worth thinking about adding it to your marketing arsenal as well.