One of the first questions we get asked by a new client is “What channels should I be on for my business? Do I really need Snapchat?” The right answer is… wherever your clients or prospects are spending time, THAT'S where your business needs to be. We've also learned that your business should be present where you and your team are most comfortable and will keep up with posting. If you've never tweeted a day in your life, then perhaps Twitter won't be your strongest choice. There’s nothing sadder than a social media profile that has three posts from 2016, and then... crickets. People will think you’ve shut down! So let’s break down your options among the major social channels to get your business covered on the web.
Which Social Media Platform is Right for My Business?
Facebook: Best for Referrals
You may have heard about all the changes with Facebook, but it’s still the best place for a small business to be on the web. You can show images and video, include links that go directly to your site, sell products, share events, and advertise to targeted groups. You want to point your happy clients to leave a review on your Facebook page, since whatever they write will be shared with THEIR friends, leading to more referrals for you! Tip: once you start posting, keep it up!
Twitter: Perfect for Links
Twitter is great for short, impactful thoughts. In fact, tweets are restricted to a character count of 280 characters. You can include links in your posts, so it’s great for pointing back to blog articles on your site. Hashtags rule here, so get good at including ones that are popular to help you get found for your industry or service. Be sure to research your hashtags. While you might think a certain hashtag is golden, it might not have the following or context you are intending for your post.
Instagram: Establish Your Personality
Instagram is like a beautiful magazine for your business....where you can’t read any of the articles. It’s all about the images or videos here - make them pretty, funny, or engaging. One of LAIRE’s favorite ways to use Instagram is to highlight our branding, provide quick marketing tips, and showcase our team. But know that if you’re trying to link back to your website or services, this is not the place. However, if you do need to point towards important information, you can use tools such as linktree to include links in your profile bio.
Pinterest: Drive Traffic
Pinterest has over 200 million monthly users and has become a new type of graphic search engine. Users look to the channel for inspiration, tips, and knowledge. So if you have blog content on your website (from tax tips, to types of roofing, to Texas sheet cake recipes), chances are there's a user on Pinterest searching for that topic, and you can drive great traffic back to your website when you create "pins" (aka posts) of your content. Happy pinning!
LinkedIn: Find and Make Connections
Are you B2B? You better have a presence on LinkedIn. It's a great place to show your business knowledge, publish articles, or link to your website services and content. With over 57 million companies on LinkedIn and 774 million members, you can align your company with the other companies and individuals you are looking for. LinkedIn has also stepped up its game with polling, stories, and article features to reach your audience with multiple forms of content. You can also target ads specifically to find your ideal clients and referral partners.
Snapchat: Ideal for Fun
Snapchat is good for bigger national brands, but probably not for your neighborhood dentist office or professional service. They do have great targeted ad options, and if you’re throwing a big event you can create geo-filters or a filter with your branding so all of the event's photos represent your business. Remember that all of the info you post disappears after 24 hours, so it won't work well for building a library of content.
Bonus: Google My Business for Search
This is the box that shows up on search as a summary of your business. It's not really a social channel, but the reviews that land here matter a lot This profile also aggregates and displays your reviews from Facebook and Yelp. A cover photo and business details are really important here, just like Facebook.
A final bit of food for thought, HubSpot’s State of Marketing Report showed that the primary approach to marketing used by companies is social media. Can you imagine the business you are missing out on if you aren’t utilizing these platforms? So go claim your channels, fill them up with content that represents the personality and knowledge of your business, and remember to be social!