Social media platforms are a great way to reach new clients and to represent your own business. But it does take time if you want to successfully use social media as a marketing tool to continuously advertise your business.
This is why you should think about what you want to achieve with your social media presence and who your target group is, before randomly opening up accounts on different platforms that will only grow cold after a little while or won’t help your business in any way.
It is also important to realize, that each platform demands unique or at least purposely altered content. Publishing the same picture on every channel simply doesn’t work – and not only because of different image sizes.
I created a little guide to help you find out, which social platform is the right one for you.
Probably the biggest and most popular social network is Facebook. Founded in the United States in 2004, the corporation currently counts 2 billion users worldwide. Perfect requirements to reach a lot of people you might think, but Facebook has transformed from a social platform that allows people to get in contact, into a giant advertising machine. Big businesses put a lot of time and money into their Facebook pages, with editorial teams working day and night on unique content.
Since Facebook is getting a lot of money through advertisements, the businesses that spend a lot on the platform generally get to reach more people. You see, not all your Facebook friends see all of your updates. It’s rather Facebook’s own algorithm that determines who gets to see what.
You should keep these aspects in mind, before starting your own Facebook page. Yes, you can potentially reach a big number of new clients, but you should be aware that this is only achieved through a lot of work, time and financial investments.
Facebook is THE RIGHT Platform fOR YOU, IF…
…you want to advertise a local business in your area
The Facebook ads are an amazing tool for reaching very specific target groups and thereby connecting with the people in your area.
…you can create unique content for Facebook and not just link to your website
Posting links that will guide users away from Facebook onto an external page will be met with lower reach, since Facebook wants to keep the users within their own platform.
…you want to get feedback from your clients
Facebook is a great opportunity for clients to get in contact with businesses to criticise but also to praise. This type of feedback is essential for the success of your company, because it lets you know what your customers like and what they think could be improved. To be able to use this feedback, you should actively connect with your clients on Facebook by liking and replying to their comments and by answering their questions without letting them wait for too long.
Instagram is now also part of Facebook’s portfolio, which explains the rather intransparent algorithm behind the app, that frequently changes and therefore requests a lot of flexibility in planning your strategy for the platform.
InstagraM IS THE RIGHT PLATFORM FOR YOU, IF…
…you have a lot of high-quality photos and videos
Instagram is a visual platform for sharing images and videos. That’s why an account only makes sense, if you regularly have new and high-quality images and videos for your business.
…you offer a product or service, that falls into the interest spectrum of Instagram users
Let’s be honest: an accountant office will probably not be able to increase their income on Instagram, even if they have the most beautiful and appealing pictures. But the target group for an accountant simply is not as active on Instagram. Topics that do work, however, are photography, fashion, interior design, travelling, food, fitness and lifestyle in general.
…you are able to invest a lot of time into the platform
To be successful on Instagram, you need to post a lot, at least twice a day. Additionally, you should use Stories and IGTV to show your followers what your every day life looks like. It also helps to be active on other accounts as well, meaning that you like and comment on other people’s pictures to make your own profile more visible.
The video platform YouTube is owned by search engine giant Google and was founded in 2005. According to a recent statistic by Brandwatch, one billion hours of video content are being watched on YouTube every day. This is more than on Netflix and Facebook combined.
YouTube is the right platform for you, if…
…you have access to a lot of video material
YouTube is a platform for moving images and wants to be treated that way. Also, if you end up only posting a video once every quarter or so, then your channel is a nice add-on, but you won’t be able to increase your subscribers. To push your channel, you not only need catchy headlines and entertaining content, but also a lot of it.
… you have fun shooting your own videos
You don’t need high-quality videos on YouTube per se. The platform is rather about allowing everyone to shoot their own videos with only a few gadgets like a webcam or a laptop camera. It’s what’s in it, that counts! So you don’t have to hire a video production team, but can start shooting using your own camera instead. It is crucial though, that you have something fun, new and interesting to say in your videos.
The short messaging service Twitter has reached fame worldwide in part due to Donald Trumps questionable tweeting habit. You can update your status in short messages ever since 2006, when the company was started. They also introduced grouping topics by using Hashtags (#), that are now being used everywhere, including Instagram and Facebook.
Twitter is the right platform for you, if…
…you have a lot of news concerning your business
Twitter is a very fast medium and is oftentimes being used as a source for current news. If you only introduce one new product every year, you will probably not have a lot of news to keep the Twitter-verse interested. But, if you do have exclusive information to share or if current news are relevant to your business, Twitter is a good way to communicate that to the world.
…you have a lot to say
…and are able to wrap it in short, at best humorous tweets. You should be a communicative person, otherwise Twitter doesn’t make any sense for you.
The instant messaging service was founded in 2011. On Snapchat, users can upload short videos and images, that are only available for 24 hours. After that, the content will be deleted.
Even though Instagram has launched a lot of features that are very similar to Snapchat in order to establish their leadership over the app, the messaging services still has high user numbers. In May 2018, ten million people used Snapchat every day. Most of the users are very young, placed somewhere in the target group of 13 to 35 year olds.
Snapchat is the right platform for you, if…
…you want to reach a very young target group
Since the age structure of Snapchat is very young, this platform is ideal for companies that want to reach a younger target group.
…you have fun creating short story lines
Snapchat and Instagram Stories are very similar, however, Instagram’s feature has developed more into a possibility to show your followers your every day life, whereas Snapchat users tend to use the channel, to post stories that have been specifically developed for that purpose.
My personal favourite amongst the here listed social platforms is by far Pinterest. Here, you can organise and save pictures and videos in different boards, creating your own mood board or inspiring image galleries. The platform was first started back in 2010 and has turned into more of a search engine, since users can be passively active. This means that you can search for images within the app, save and pin them, without ever having to upload your own images.
Pinterest is the right platform for you, if…
…you have access to good image material
Similarly to Instagram, Pinterest also works with images. In order to distinguish your account from others though, you should come up with a special design to use on your pictures, so that users can recognize your posts, even if another user has repinned them.
…you offer helpful content on your website
Tutorials, recipes and how-to’s are especially popular on Pinterest. If you offer anything in that department on your website, you can create additional traffic through Pinterest.
…you fall into one of the most popular topic categories
This includes DIY, fashion, food and drinks and design, but there are also a lot of smaller niche areas, that do have a very active community on Pinterest. It’s best if you do a quick research, if there is a demand for your product or service on the platform in advance.
LinkedIn is an international business and networking platform. Here, you can connect with your co-workers or business associates and stay in touch.
LinkedIn is the right platform for you, if…
…you don’t want to sell a product to a direct customer, but to business partners
This is called B2B or business to business and describes nothing more than offering a service for other businesses and not for consumers on the street.
…you are looking for employees
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to represent your company and to showcase a unique working environment for potential new employees. Through the platform, you also have access to millions of highly-educated and qualified workers.
…you want to network, learn and connect
You can find new contacts via groups, that are forming around certain specific topics. By actively taking part in those groups, you can stay up-to-date on new trends, learn new perspectives and be invited to events where you have the chance to network, represent your business and have in-person conversations.
MORE TO READ
The third part dives into the question of how to choose the right content form for your content.
After you have set your individual content marketing goals, the next big step is to actually develop a content strategy as the basis for your success.
Why should companies invest in content marketing? Part one of the series: What is content marketing?