April 11, 2016
Updated: January 2020
Does it feel like a new social network pops up almost daily? Feeling pressure to be "everywhere" and running to keep up?
If you've wondered which social media site is best for your business, it's no surprise.
With a variety of platforms to choose from, knowing where to spend your time can be difficult.
So, what social media platform should you invest your effort and money into?
Here’s everything you need to know about the top 6 social networks and how to leverage each one.
You'll learn where to begin, what to analyze, and what the value (and true ROI) is - no matter your industry.
There's no denying it. Facebook is the reigning social media King.
With 2 billion users now on Facebook, overlooking it is a mistake.
And while it might have been the network you connected with your family and friends on, it's now a place where consumers connect with their favorite companies and brands.
Compared to other social networks, Facebook’s role lies in helping companies build strong brand loyalty, a solid reputation, and better relationships.
In that, businesses establish themselves as an authority in their specific niche through quality (and engaging) content.
Want to attract the right people to your Page? Start by building out your "About" or social media bio.
Once you've done this, it's time to get the conversation started. Share content that encourages dialogue and interaction.
Red Bull is a great example of a brand that's established a personal connection with their customer base.
They don't simply push energy drinks but instead create an experience around the drink itself.
The brand’s adrenaline-filled images and videos capture people’s attention, imagination, and inspiration.
Twitter is another social media site that’s appropriate for any business or vertical.
With over 300 million users, Twitter offers a unique opportunity to engage in real-time. No matter what type of content you're looking to share, Twitter has an audience for you.
And its brief 280 character format makes it simple and straightforward. Yet, many businesses still feel stumped at where to begin.
Here's a Few Easy Ways You Can Use Twitter
The NBA is a perfect example of a brand that's nailed the Twitter strategy.
With every post, they add context and conversation around the brand. Plus, they're timely. Something anyone can borrow from and incorporate into a Twitter strategy.
Compared to many B2C customer-oriented social platforms, LinkedIn focuses on cultivating B2B relationships.
Whether you want to make industry or vendor connections, LinkedIn is the place to be.
Far from the "static resume" many thought it to be back when it first launched, LinkedIn has evolved. Maintaining a presence on LinkedIn allows you to:
Mashable has made great use of their LinkedIn Company Page by understanding who their audience is. Rather than wildly sharing content, they've narrowed down their offerings.
Their mix includes content focused on business sales, productivity, work/life balance, and sustainability.
3 Ways You Can Use LinkedIn
1. Publish long-form content to LinkedIn's publishing platform. Not a blogger? No problem! LinkedIn makes it easy to write content designed with your connections in mind.
And just look at the benefits! When you publish a long-form post on LinkedIn:
2. Join a LinkedIn Group relevant to your business or niche. It's a great way to establish rapport and build credibility.
Share great content, get involved in the conversation, become a part of the community. Connecting with like-minded individuals will help grow your sphere of influence.
3. Enhance your LinkedIn profile to make the right connections.
Neal Schaffer's LinkedIn profile is an excellent example of how to make the most of this space. (read more here on how to maximize LinkedIn for your business)
Want to connect with your target market through the power of visual marketing? Pinterest is your answer.
Just take a look at the statistics and you’ll see that no matter the age, demographic or industry - your audience is spending time on Pinterest.
Sure, you might think Pinterest is just an online scrapbook, but you'd be wrong. Pinterest is an inspiration station - showcasing products and passions through appealing imagery.
The biggest difference between Pinterest and other visual networks is its lead and traffic generating opportunities. While Facebook is great for building relationships, Pinterest is the network to grow traffic, leads and sales.
Sephora is an example of a brand that has mastered Pinterest marketing. Sephora uses Pinterest to share beauty tips, tutorials, and inspirational looks.
Plus, they involve their followers in a way many businesses haven't figured out how to do through user-generated content.
They've built a loyal and highly engaged following through creative and consistent pinning.
And while engagement is great, the challenge for many businesses is knowing how to use the platform to get found.
Want to create and pin content that helps you stand out on Pinterest?
Visual marketing has taken the world by storm. And with that has come the massive popularity of Instagram.
Like Pinterest, Instagram centers around visual content. Users and brands alike post photo and video that inspires, delights and encourages interaction.
Instagram allows for a more personal connection. Rather than company marketing speak, Instagram shares the human side of the business.
And in a short amount of time.
Because after all, people are busy and no longer have the desire to read long messages and texts. What they do have is a quick second to glance at an attractive image, read a quick tip or inspirational quote.
Showcase your business, service, and product through snackable and shareable content.
GoPro is by far one of my most favorite brands on Instagram. The versatile camera company has taken complete advantage of our visual appetite.
Their page is full of awe-inspiring photographs of real people doing amazing things. Moreover, most of the content GoPro posts are user-generated.
This has created an audience that's involved and engaged, building brand loyalty through eye-catching content.
Looking to make better connections with your potential clients? Video and live streaming are where it's at.
But the daddy of all videos is still YouTube.
Just take a look at the statistics and it's easy to see, YouTube is a must for anyone generating video content.
Whether you're a small business owner, entrepreneur, startup or a local business, Google Small Business shows how to get seen, get found, and get your business in front of the right audience.
Steal a page from their book and share relevant, interesting, engaging, and helpful content that puts answers in the hands of your audience.
Now while I haven't mentioned Live Streaming - Periscope, Facebook Live, IGTV, and many others - there is power in each platform.
The key is identifying where your target marketing is hanging out and your time is best spent.
If you want to succeed in social media, you need to plan for it.
Stop wasting countless hours trying to be everything to everybody. Focus on the process and strategy for each social network that matters most to your business.
What social networks will you incorporate into your marketing? Take the opportunity to use each one to magnify and expand your online presence.