Now that you are ready to begin your SMM journey and get your brand in front of a target rich environment, which platform is best for your business? How and what should you post—when should you post? Is there a social media platform that is better for your type of business?
Let’s dive in and explore each of the social media platforms that are ideal for companies and the benefits each can provide.
We’ll target the most well-known and widely used social media platform first.
Facebook is an ideal platform for any type of business. With around 2.8 billion users across the globe (about 210 million here in the U.S.), Facebook is a target rich environment. Facebook can help businesses build their brand awareness, grow website traffic, increase lead generation, and improve online conversions. These things can be done organically*, and with patience, or through advertisements on Facebook.
Facebook advertising allows for general and specific audience targeting. Know your product will only be used by individuals under 40, mostly female? Facebook will only show the ads to these individuals. Facebook advertising allows companies to target based on:
The ads are placed within a user’s newsfeed, to be seen while they scroll through to view posts from others, so they are primely placed in front of your specific target audience.
Ideal for what type of businesses? Having a Facebook account is important for ANY business. Having a social media account, especially one as well-known and well-used as Facebook helps to social proof your business. However, some types of industries are prohibited from advertising on Facebook like those who sell vaping/tobacco products or firearms. A business with a limited advertising budget or of a restricted industry may not get the most out of Facebook and should consider adding an additional social media platform to their organic marketing strategy.
*When we say “organic” or “organically,” we are referring to the functions you perform or the results you achieve without paying for them.
Instagram is a visual platform. On Facebook, users are encouraged to post/share text, video, images, articles, anything, really, and without much restriction as to how much you can write. Instagram focuses on sharing visual content—primarily pictures, art, and short video. Some text is fine, but it is usually accompanied by hashtags (#) to emphasize a topic or theme of the image.
This may seem restrictive but in reality, a visual platform is best. People remember only 10% of what they hear and about 20% of what they read, but they can remember over 80% of what they see.
The purpose of this platform may limit which businesses can get the most out of it. If your business has a physical product, Instagram can be the key to promoting your product and your brand. While those who are in a different line of business may not see as strong of results. Instagram can still be a great way to connect with your customers when you are in such an industry. Facebook business pages can be liked but the relationship is not two-way. On Instagram, businesses can be “followed” and can choose to “follow” their audience right back—furthering the connection between your business and your customer (and doing so organically!).
Instagram was bought out by Facebook’s creator and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, about a year and half into its inception. Now, it provides businesses a similar advertising platform as Facebook. The advertisements can be targeted to a more specific audience and the ads are displayed within the users feed so that they blend with other posts and are more likely to be viewed.
Long standing and still a major social media outlet for individuals and businesses alike. Similar to Instagram, accounts can follow and be followed back, which is beneficial for brands looking to grow their presence and audience base without having to put any financial effort in.
In addition, this entire platform is solely designed around instant communication (text and visual) and ideal for engaging current and new customers. Topics, keywords, and phrases can be “hashtagged” to bring the Tweet to an even larger audience. Users can search hashtags and more popular ones are considered “trending” and are recommended for users to check them out. This means you can search keywords relevant to your business or service, ensure you follow the same hashtags, so you trend on topic, and engage with an audience interested in your industry.
LinkedIn has over 550 million users and is mostly known as a social media platform for businesses. This platform is most ideal for a business that follows a B2B model or targets customers based on job titles (like an attorney or realtor) but could be used by other types of businesses to expand their business network in addition to their social one.
LinkedIn users can search for potential employers, potential business partners, or companies to do business with. It is an excellent means to display your experience in your role and your company’s experience in an industry while connecting with individuals and companies to become a part of your referral network.
LinkedIn does have an advertising platform that allows you to target specific job titles or industries. So, if your sales firm wants to increase your customer base, you can market to executive level decision makers within an industry you have experience making sales and skip the multiple phone calls looking for the right person to give your pitch to.
In addition to the above popular platforms, there are a few other social media sites that can help your business as well—check them out here.
With such a need for a digital presence, getting into Social Media Marketing is relatively easy, extremely affordable (sometimes even free, if you discount your own personal effort), and the Return On Investment (ROI) can be relatively high compared to other forms of marketing.