Thu, Apr 2, 2015

Which Social Media Platform Should Your Business Use?


Which social media platforms are best suited for your business

Does your business need to be on social media? Definitely.
Is it a must? Definitely.
Do you have to? You bet.
Do you need to have an account on every social platform out there? No, you don’t.

You only need to be on the social platforms that are relevant to your buyer persona.

I get asked these question so many times by clients, and because it such an important detail, I thought it may be helpful if I lay out the basic use of the most popular social media platforms available on the market at the moment.

Before I begin, here are a list of questions that I want business owners or marketing executives to think about;
  • Describe your buyer personas. Try it. Try it now. Describe your buyer persona in writing.
  • Now, which social platforms do your buyer personas use?
  • Can you create compelling content to be used remarkably on these platforms?
  • List 5 reasons you want to be using on social media. What are your goals?
  • Do you have the required resources to manage your social media effectively? Including reputation management?
  • Will you be putting in time and effort into your social media management, It’s a commitment!


Once you have given thought to the questions, it is time to familiarize yourself the most popular social networks on the market today, and learn how social media can benefit your business. This list is not the complete list. There are other platforms online. However, these are the ones that I use the most with a wide array of clients. Which social media platform should your business use?

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Social Media Prospecting

Facebook
The most widely used platform on social media, Facebook is optimum for consumer-facing businesses. Despite the fact that Facebook has started to make it extremely difficult for businesses to reach audiences organically, paid ads or posts are very effective in building your fan base or shouting out a promotion or event. Worldwide, there are over 1.39 billion monthly active Facebook users (MAUs) which is a 13 percent increase year over year. (Source: Facebook as of 1/28/15) What this means for you: In case you had any lingering doubts, statistically, Facebook is too big to ignore.

Twitter
Twitter is very much so my favorite social media platform. Yes, I have a biased here! It is a great tool to use for content sharing, and to drive traffic to your website. It is also a brilliant tool for participating in industry-related conversations. It is defined, quick to the point, and I would say, the fastest way to get information out. With Twitter cards too, you can really play with content in wicked ways. Twitter, I like to say is for the intellectual brands. It’s information based and is loaded with extremely useful information. According to Jeff Bullas, there are over 241 million monthly users on Twitter and the figures are just continuing to increase by the day. So what that means for your business is the possibility of reaching a whole lot of people.

YouTube
Do you have video content? 2015 is all about video content. People don’t read so much these days, and would rather watch a short video clip. So if your business is one where you an easily create video content, then Youtube is a good one for you. Sneak tip: go for the how-to video - it’s always a winner. YouTube has more than 1 billion users. The number of hours people are watching on YouTube each month is up 50% year on year. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. YouTube is localized in 75 countries and available in 61 languages. Half of YouTube views are on mobile devices. More than a million advertisers are using Google ad platforms; the majority of these advertisers are small businesses. It is quite obvious what this means for your business.

LinkedIn
In my humble opinion, presence on LinkedIn is essential for B2B companies and those that want to connect with professional services or are on the hunt for recruiting hand selected candidates. LinkedIn is a super great tool to use for lead generation, and also a treating tool for qualifying prospects. As a business, you can set up a company page that follows the LinkedIn business page best practices. LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 347 million members in over 200 countries and territories, and over 3 million businesses have set a company page on the platform. 1 out of 3 professionals on the planet has a LinkedIn profile. 

Google+
Rule of thumb - when in doubt, Google It. You can never go wrong with Google. With all those spiders crawling around everywhere, Google+ is a great place to have a company page, or if you are a blogger or influencer. When you search in Google, a large number of the search entries are in fact posts on google+ pages. It is great for visibility and reach. I must add that the communities are super helpful and useful too if your company has content that you want to share with a wide audience. There are communities for almost every topic you can think of. There are about 2.2 billion Google Plus profiles online. But not all of them represent active users. For example, in 2015 only 4 to 6 million users have made any public posts.
 
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Pinterest
If your business has a visual side to it and you are want to connect with women, then Pinterest is a great choice for you. The majority of Pinterest subscribers are women who love to be inspired by viewing images of almost every topic out there. From fashion to retail, to home decoration, to wit through memes, to jewelry, travel destinations, real estate projects, baby clothes, hair styles, home accessories, and so on. Basically anything that can be sold via a visual. There is also a Pinterest plugin that allows the user to “Pin” the image straight from their browser. This is a priceless tool, as it is a great way to have your images shared. Pinterest has about 70 million users. Out of this number, 56% of them are females and the rest of 44% are males. There are over 30 billion pins on this platform. 

Instagram
 

Disrupt or be disrupted #innovation #disruption #disruptive #reinvent

A photo posted by IDS Inbound Marketing Agency (@ids.agency) on

 
Another brilliant platform to be on if your business is one that uses visuals, strong visuals. Instagram has a great set of filters that give you space to create with your visuals. It is a very bright way to communicate with your customers or fans instantly. No need for long articles, edits or posts. None of that. It’s as simple as a great photo related to your brand, polished up with a filter, and bam, it’s shared with #hashtags too. There are now plugins that allow your photos to be reshared by your followers. I love to use Instagram to showcase the voice of the company, the company culture, the mood, the personalities, the sense of humor, the workspace, the behind the scenes, the human side of online businesses. There have been over 20 billion photos shared on the platform. Instagrammers share 70 million (plus) photos and videos each day, and the number of registered users has reached 300 million monthly active users. Instagram has 50x more engagement than on Twitter.

Vine
Vine makes video fun. Users can watch, create and share short looping videos -- anytime, anywhere. Through these videos, called Vines, people have an entirely new medium to express themselves and their creativity. Vine empowers anyone to share stories with the world and is a space where people can connect, entertain and be entertained. A great way to use Vine for your business is to find influencers to your buyer persona, and have them create Vines for you. It’s fun, it’s new, it’s fast and it’s dynamic. Vine has 40 million users, and 100 million people watch Vine videos monthly. This equals  almost 12 million videos added a day. Top Viners have a lot of influence.
 
Foursquare
Foursquare's main strength comes from its users. They have the power to write a personal recommendation, and share it on different social media platforms. Nowadays, usually by seeing where their friends are going and the places they regularly frequent, they would be more likely to visit if the recommendation is positive. As a business using Foursquare you have to claim your business, and once this is done you are then entitled to a venue page, which you can run promotions and offers on. It's super useful. I strongly recommend that if your business is B2C to use Foursquare. More than 1.9 million businesses have claimed their locations to connect with their customers.  More than 55 million people worldwide, who have checked in over 6 billion Check-ins, with millions more every day.

To add to the Foursquare statistics, last Monday, March 25th 2015, Twitter announced that it has partnered with Foursquare. Beyond the product implications for Twitter, this deal highlights an aspect of Foursquare that the company is eager to tout: Namely, that Foursquare is sitting on a mountain of data that is valuable enough for a social media giant like Twitter to pay for it. Congratulations to Twitter and Foursquare on their new partnership.

I hope you find this useful. Please do let me know which social media platform you like to use your businesses, and why? I would love to hear your experiences, positive or negative, Leave me a comment below.

Enjoy the rest of the day.

Ranya Barakat
Ranya Barakat    

Ranya is an entrepreneur with over a decade experience in pulling up her sleeves and getting S*** done. She is specialized in inbound marketing and inbound sales.