It is difficult to imagine life without Google, Facebook or LinkedIn but if you go back 20 years you’ll find a world without these now massive global organisations. With their revenue today combining for nearly $80billion, it is difficult to imagine running your business without them.
In 1995, you would promote your business with radio, newspaper and TV adverts or through word of mouth. Today you have to also consider your website, SEO and a seemingly never ending list of social media channels which all require different styles and forms of content.
So which social media platforms should you prioritise for your business? Here’s a brief guide to five of the top networks:
Facebook has nearly 1.5 billion active monthly users. Businesses are not allowed to have a ‘friend’ profile under Facebook’s rules but instead create a ‘page’. It is ideal for companies looking to target B2C (business to customer). Content can be posted in video, text or image formats and Facebook offers ‘Insights’ to show you how many times your post has been seen, ‘liked’ or commented on. Insights also provides more detailed demographic information about your audience such as average age and the locations of the people that like your page. However, the organic reach of posts on Facebook has decreased in recent years resulting in an increase of businesses paying for advertising on the platform. The average reach of posts which don’t pay for their promotion is currently around 8% of total audience.
Twitter is a micro blogging network which allows users to type message up to 140 characters long. It is extremely fast paced and focuses on fresh content and present news. Users are able to look up and engage with a variety of ‘trends’ which other users are discussing, often using hashtags to summarise the trend.
Companies promote their brands and products on the platform and share their news. It is suitable for businesses looking to sell B2C and B2B (business to business) by mixing fun and serious posts in one feed.
LinkedIn is the biggest business oriented social platform and allows users to create a profile, upload their CV and connect to other professionals as well as following companies. Company pages can post information and news articles as well as providing a brief overview about their company size, type, contact details and links to their website. LinkedIn is predominately B2B focused.
Google+ is Google’s social networking platform which was launched in 2011. It allows users to sort their contacts in to ‘circles’ of friends, family, acquaintances or custom circles. Google+ teaches Google the search engine about your business and can have a dramatic impact on your company’s Search Engine Ranking There are three main types of pages that can be set up:
- Social Networking pages set up as a personal profile similar to Facebook.
- Google+ Local which provides information on your business such as opening hours and location
- Google+ Local Business provides the best of both worlds. Users are able to display information about their company and brand whilst also engaging and posting information.
Pinterest is a platform that offers users ‘pinboards’ to share collections of virtual content and is great for showing off visual and creative products to your customers. Pinterest has an extremely unique demographic in that over 80% of its users are female. It therefore presents an ideal platform for businesses looking sell to B2C to women.
You are able to promote your ‘pins’ to reach new customers. Pinterest argue that their customers spend about 20% more over time compared to customers referred from other social media channels.
(Stats obtained from Google, Facebook and LinkedIn directly unless otherwise stated)