The Growing power of Social Media

Social platforms are going from strength, unsurprisingly. They open up a realm of possibilities. But each platform requires a slightly different touch. 

In this article we explore the big 6 and share a few of our insights and thoughts on what not, and what to do...

 

The Big 6 Social Media Platforms

1. Facebook

 

Facebook is number one on the list, because it is the biggest. With over 2 billion users, as of June 2017, it has the largest blend of demographics of any social media platform. Facebook then is a great place to connect people all over the world with your business.

It’s not all sunshine and cookies though when it comes to using Facebook for business though.

Over the last couple of years Facebook have moved away from organic reach to paid advertising. What this essentially means is that to make any real headway now on Facebook, unless you already have a wide fan-base, you will need to budget for Facebook accordingly.

This being said they have an incredibly succinct and easy to use system that allows for very specific targeting of demographics which will allow you to maximise the power of your Facebook advertising.

A few things to remember.

Facebook was not designed for businesses, and overtly sales based promotions are generally not as effective as engaging on a human level with your consumer.

Facebook have been investing heavily in video over the last couple of years. So, to get the best results think about having native video on your page, this will help you gain a broader reach, and increase engagement.

2. Twitter

Twitter is all about quick instant news with around 328 million worldwide users. You can now share video, multi-image posts, polls, links, images or just text.

With the text being so limited you have to think hard about what you are saying. For me it’s all about enticing click-throughs with alluring headings.

Twitter’s real value lies in its ability for your posts to go viral: the more people share your posts and “retweet” your content, the more followers you will attain. Hashtags make a big difference in building momentum for your posts, so pay attention to what is trending today and include relevant hashtags.

I’ve read suggestions that you should post anything from 5 times to 30 times a day. But the general rule is all about consistency. The more you post, the more frequently, the more you will be seen. This is quite a demanding channel but when harnessed effectively you can (respectively) quickly and easily grow a following of thousands.

Don't simply share your own links or media; instead, make sure you are also sharing a lot of interesting, relevant content from other Twitter users and from around the web so your audience doesn't think you care only about what your business is doing. Look at Social media curation sites like Delivrit, through which you can automate a valuable stream of content to go out on your website, and of course scheduling becomes very important.

3. LinkedIn

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Probably the most important network for B2B businesses. It is aout connecting with business professionals in your field. The benefits range from promoting your online content using features like the groups, to finding new business prospects, or new staff.

LinkedIn allows you to target people by industry, job title, etc for example, you might search “CEO Speaker” to find people who are the heads of their companies and who also are active speakers. LinkedIn prioritizes relationship building more than any other. Don’t lead with a sales pitch; start by building a connection.

Read more about how you can start getting the most out of LinkedIn

4. Pinterest

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Pinterest is a fairly niche platform. Visually orientated it allows users to display content by ‘pinning’ to digital bulletin boards, which you curate and organise by category. Popular categories on the site are DIY projects, fashion, exercise, beauty, photography and food. This makes Pinterest an especially good marketing tool for businesses in those areas. 

The platform also has a series of special types of pins called Rich Pins, which brands can use to add special information to their pins, like product details and even location maps.

Every pin includes an image or video, and like Facebook, it is fairly low-maintenance in terms of post frequency. However, keeping your boards organized and search-friendly can be time-consuming.

When approaching Pinterest you really want to make sure your imagery is excellent. A quality image has the potential to be seen by millions if pinned by a highly-followed member.

5. Instagram

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Like Pinterest, Instagram is a visual social media platform based entirely on photo and video posts. The Facebook-owned network has more than 700 million active users, many of whom post about food, art, travel, fashion and similar subjects. Instagram is distinguished by its unique filters and photo- and video-editing options. It's important to note that this platform is almost entirely mobile: You can't take photos or create new posts on the desktop version. This makes it a difficult platform to harness for business, as all posts have to go through a mobile device.

This platform encourages engagement, with posts easily getting thousands of likes.

More artistic niches tend to excel on Instagram, and it may not be the best fit for your business, depending on your industry.

Because of the mobile nature and the artistic leaning of the platform it is important that the person running your account is committed to consistent posting, has a good eye for detail and some photography skills so the photos and videos posted to your account are high-quality.

Hashtags are again a very important aspect of this platform. With no character limit you are free to tag your image with as many relevant hashtags as you like which will help your image appear in people’s searches.

6. YouTube

YouTube is a video-sharing platform with over a billion users, where people can view, upload, rate, share and comment on content. Aside from being the second largest search engine, YouTube is owned by Google. So when it comes to search engine optimization, videos on YouTube become incredibly powerful.

The importance of Video shouldn’t be underestimated, not for your marketing, or for your SEO.

Created over a decade ago, YouTube has gone through numerous changes. For instance, users can now make money from Google AdSense, with the revenue dependent on the number of views on a video.

Many businesses on YouTube have a creative, visual or educational component. The platform is heavily driven by creativity in nature, so it's important to have a tailored video editor producing content. However, your business doesn't need a channel to market on the platform. There's a subculture of vloggers called YouTubers who publish frequent videos and often maintain large audiences. Often, businesses partner with YouTubers for product placement, because these users already have engaged audiences.

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