Have you heard that social media is a good tool for your business but you aren’t quite sure where to get started?

Or maybe you started with a hiss and a roar, but have fizzled out the longer you try and keep going?

Social media is a big beast. There are so many different platforms to use and many different things that you can do on each one.

It can be confusing to know which is the best one to use for your business and when to use it. So here is your basic guide to the different social media platforms and how you can use them effectively in your business.

 

The Big Four Social Media Platforms…

Facebook

Facebook is like the Head Chef of social media. Most people have a Facebook account, in fact the platform recorded 2.23 billion active users in the second quarter of 2018. No matter who your ideal client is, you can usually find them on Facebook.

It has become a great platform to gain awareness for your brand and to advertise your products. Facebook’s paid advertising is a cost-effective way to get your business in front of the right people as you can use their targeting capabilities.

You can post all kinds of content on Facebook, but the posting algorithms favour content that is native to Facebook – meaning that it is posted within the Facebook platform and doesn’t link to an external source like your website. Video is HUGE on Facebook and something you should definitely be utilising for reach and engagement.

If you are only going to focus on one social media platform to begin with, then I would recommend Facebook. This is because of its popularity, the advertising capabilities and the ability to network in online Facebook groups.

 

Instagram

Instagram is Facebook’s Sous Chef. Owned by Facebook, it is a highly visual platform without the need for many words. Insta feeds are full of gorgeous images and are a great opportunity to showcase product images, pictures of amazing food, inspirational quotes, people and other visual elements.

Instagram is dominated by hashtags. By using relevant hashtags or business specific tags, you can allow people to find your content. There is an art to using a mix of well searched tags and lesser searched tags, and how many of each you should use.

You can utilise paid advertising on Instagram and it is linked to the Facebook advertising tool. Instagram is a fantastic platform to use if you have lots of beautiful images to showcase.

 

LinkedIn

Once thought of as the dud of social media, LinkedIn is fast growing in popularity. As it is designed as a platform for professionals it is great for B2B contact.

You can use LinkedIn to really build your authority and expertise by posting articles, business updates, sharing relevant content, and also using video.

LinkedIn is a bit of a dormant giant. You can make connections with those in your own industry, complementary businesses, or someone you worked with 12 years ago. Unlike Facebook, you don’t make ‘friends’ on LinkedIn, you make connections that could be mutually beneficial to grow your network and your brand awareness.

You have the ability to have a personal profile and a business one, so use that to your advantage. LinkedIn is especially helpful for B2B businesses as it is all about professionalism, but that is not to say you can’t make an impact with a B2C business as well. You just have to find your angle.

 

Twitter

Twitter is a huge platform overseas. It is the platform of choice for many high profile businesses, celebrities and even politicians to spread their message to the world. A tweet is capped to 280 characters (recently doubled from 140), so your message needs to be short, sharp and on point.

The shortness of the messages has made Twitter a popular, easily consumable platform. It’s lofty heights have not yet reached New Zealand, but it can still be a valuable platform to have your business on if that is where your people hang out.

 

Important Things To Remember About Social Media

There are a few key things to remember when it comes to social media. They are…

  • There are more platforms than the four mentioned above, so research which is the best for your business
  • It is better to do one or two platforms really well as opposed to spreading yourself thinly across all of them
  • Choose the platforms that your clients use so that you can reach them in a familiar environment
  • Posting consistently will help your engagement and following
  • Post the kind of content that is useful for your ideal client
  • Vary your content across the different platforms you use so that your clients get a different experience and don’t get bored of seeing the same stuff everywhere

 

Social Media is huge and not something you can nail by reading just one blog. So check out the coming posts on other aspects to help you get a handle on how you can use this powerful tool effectively in your business.