People are always online. This isn’t news to us. In our age of digitisation, people have found ways to be socially active on the internet from nearly anywhere and everywhere – updating their Facebook statuses in a coffee shop, doing some online shopping in the bathroom, or even posting photos on Instagram while lounging on a beach thousands of miles from home. The recent upsurge of social networking platforms and apps over the last couple of decades has made connecting and networking that much easier.
Whether you are a social media guru, a marketing professional looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on the benefits of social media, it’s helpful to know what your social media options are and how to leverage them to your advantage. This will allow you to maximize your brand reach, set clear objectives, and achieve your social media and business goals.
So let’s take a look at a few of today’s most popular social media platforms:
This is by far the largest social networking site in the world and perhaps one of the most widely used. Facebook was actually the first networking site to surpass the landmark of 1 billion user accounts. As of 2019, Facebook has over 2.38 billion monthly active users (MAUs). While Facebook is more commonly known as a platform for staying connected and interacting with friends and family, it is also widely used to market and promote businesses through ads or personalized pages.
Instagram is a social media app that allows you to share a wide range of content such as photos, videos and stories. Across the globe, Instagram has over 1 billion users, 500 million of whom access it daily. No matter who your target audience is — age, gender, occupation — you’ll be sure to reach them through Instagram. With an average of 95 million photos and videos posted daily, the tricky part becomes finding the right strategy to ensure that your business stands out among the masses. As a brand, it’s important to have an Instagram business profile – It will provide you with detailed analytics of your profile and posts so that you can develop a clear understanding of what strategies work best for you.
LinkedIn is undoubtedly one of the most popular professional social networking sites around, with over 400 million members. It is available in over 20 languages and is used worldwide by all types of professionals. LinkedIn works as the ideal platform to build a strong brand, connect with different businesses and find and recruit ideal candidates.
Over the past few years, Twitter has developed to become a platform with no limits – from online shopping to advertising to news updates. Interestingly enough, due to the high amount of customer service requests seen on Twitter, Salesforce refers to this platform as “the New 1-800 number for Customer Service.” With over 335 million MAUs, the unique aspect of Twitter is that it only allows you to post “tweets” with a maximum of 280 characters – so creativity is key!
Before you jump in feet first, it’s important to know that many businesses actually sink when it comes to their social media success. Establishing a social media presence isn’t as simple as it may seem. The biggest mistake many companies make is to create a bunch of accounts on various platforms and not understand why they are using that platform or how it works. And then, once the social media account has been set up, they have no clue what to do next.
Of course, the size of the social media sites isn’t the only factor to consider. You should also think about whether the social media platform is a right fit for you and your business. Does it fit your brand image? Does it cater to your target audience? How many social media sites can you reasonably manage at once?
In order to achieve your goals with a social media strategy, you must identify them first. You must also ensure that those goals are in synch with your overall business strategy.
The Formula for Social Media Success:
1. Clear objectives and strategies
This is perhaps the trickiest aspect of establishing a social media profile. To help you out, here are a few common objectives that many companies aim towards:
I. Increase website traffic: Your website is perhaps one of your most valuable marketing tools which makes it essential to generate traffic to your site, especially if you are aiming to increase sales and draw new customers. Creating the right content and building the right brand image through your social media profile is key to achieving this.
II. Increase sales: If your business is sales focussed, this is definitely your ultimate objective. Every strategy you create should be steered towards ultimately increasing your sales, and therefore your profits.
III. Increase newsletter and email sign-ups: Email marketing is a key ingredient of any marketing strategy and it’s a great way of enticing your existing customers through updates on your latest offers or exciting company updates.
IV. Improve customer service: Customer service has never been as demanding and sensitive as it is today. With the upsurge of social media platforms, many people will complain or praise about a product/company on social media before picking up the phone or sending an email. This makes it crucial to develop procedures on dealing with complaints quickly and effectively.
2. Consistent frequency
It is important to decide on the frequency of your posts on every platform and stick with this number. Do not overwhelm your followers with a sudden surge of posts when they have become accustomed to your silence. Most studies find that between 1-2 posts a day is optimal. Always keep in mind that quality content beats high volumes of mediocre content any day of the week.
3. Clear visual style
In order to create a brand image, you need to strategize on how and what you will be posting and exactly how you want it look. Creating a clear visual style will not only build your brand image but will set the tone of your profile. If done correctly, this will be key in attracting the right audience to you page/profile.
When you combine these ingredients, social media platforms can and will deliver huge results for your business.