What is the best social media for business? More importantly, what is the best social media platform to market your business?
“With 92% of business owners recently indicating that social media is important to their business (up from 86% in 2013), this prediction appears to be on track. Businesses are continuing to re-allocate budgets away from traditional methods of advertising towards social media and other inbound marketing strategies.
“A major concern among business owners remains measuring the ROI for their social media efforts. Other issues that may be hindering the effectiveness of social media for some businesses include a lack of education and trained personnel – making it difficult to efficiently carry out day-to-day social media tasks (never mind strategizing or tying social media into wider business goals).” – Forbes
The Best Social Media For Business: Know Social Marketing Basics
Marketing begins with research, including social marketing for business. There will never be a one “one size fits all” to any business or industry. Marketing begins with “Who are we?” and “Who is our ideal audience to communicate with and convert as clientele?” Market research, when conducted thoroughly, will investigate the social media habits and preferences of their target audience.
While over 90% of small businesses use social media, but do they use it correctly? It is important for companies, particularly small ones and start-ups, to focus their attention on the social media platforms that will allow them to best reach those they would like to see as clients. Here’s a rundown of the top 8 sites and how best to use them.
What business should leverage it: Businesses that are primarily B2B driven, consultants, executive & business coaches, public speakers, business related authors, corporate recruiters, HR department and those seeking employment. LinkedIn truly is the best social media for business. The most likely demographic profile is Male, 45-54 years, Earns $150,000+, and has a Grad school education.
What to share: Your blog posts, curated content from other sources, business related quotes, inspirational quotes and meme’s, job-postings, company descriptions and employer/employee research.
Frequency of posting: Once or twice a day week, Monday through Friday. Best time is Sunday around 6 pm.
What business should leverage it: With over 4 billion videos viewed per day, brands and individuals who market with video content and ads can reach almost anyone, educating others, giving visual explanations or sharing their expertise.
What to share: Short videos, under 2.5 minutes, make for the most consumed video content. But product reviews and detailed instructional videos can be up to 15 minutes.
Frequency of posting: Once or twice a week.
What business should leverage it: Everyone – from individuals to the largest multinational corporations. Think of Twitter as the fastest new service that has instant global reach.Twitter is accessed by more than 50% users via their mobile phone. I refer to Twitter as “texting on steroids.”
What to share: Conversational topics, links to blog posts, and anything else that adds to the topic being discussed. Tweets that are around 110 words and contain photos or videos will get more views and retweets.
Frequency of posting: 8 times per day, with most of your posts occurring between 9 am and 4 pm.
What business should leverage it: Everyone who wants to be involved in social media. This is the most basic social media platform. To some people, Facebook is the internet. Did you know that about 20% of all photos taken in the world will end up on Facebook?
What to share: All types of online content, events and ads.
Frequency of posting: Twice a day.A bit more is OK if you are posting news related items.
What business should leverage it: Fashion, food, design, travel and anything DIY. Eighty-percent of the audience is female, so this is a very targeted social platform for that demographics. As of august 2012, Pinterest became the fourth largest traffic source in the world. Moreover, over 25% of Fortune 100 companies have a Pinterest account.
What to share: Creative, attractive and highly visual content.
Frequency of posting: 6 to 8 times per day.
What business should leverage it: B2C companies, brick-and-mortar outlets, especially stores, dentists, chiropractors, restaurants, coffee houses, sports bars, florists, home improvement and travel/tourism related industries. Yelp can be blessing because 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
What to share: Location-based business search and reviews.
Frequency of posting: Whenever information changes. You should always be asking satisfied clients to share their experiences as reviews.
What business should leverage it: Lifestyle, food, fashion, personalities and luxury brands. Instagram is very popular with people between 16 and 25, with 90% of them being under 35 years of age and 68% of them are female. A whopping 93% of prestige brands are on Instagram.
What to share: Share visual content, including short videos (less than 15 seconds).
Frequency of posting: 2 to 3 times a day.
What business should leverage it: Brands already on the other major social networks, B2B networking, bloggers. All your blog posts and content should be shared on Google+ as soon as they are posted on your blog or YouTube. This social media platform favors males, with 62% of the users being male.
What to share: More formal and professional than Facebook; Hashtags have major search value
Frequency of posting: Twice a day. Between 9 to 10 AM is good, as well as after 7 PM.
Social Media For Business: Getting Your Employees Involved
Businesses know social media can heavily influence and audiences’ buying decision. In fact, more than 75% of U.S. consumers report that social messages directly influence their decisions on which brand to do business with. But you can’t influence a audience that is not following you. Businesses without a significant social following effectively find themselves shouting into a chasm when they post across their small social networks.
Many companies in this position, however, are overlooking a powerful word-of-mouth resource that’s already on their payroll. A brand’s employees represent’s an internal social marketing militia which is rarely tapped and exceedingly powerful.
Let’s suppose a mid-sized company new to social media is able to gain an audience of 1,000 Twitter followers on its corporate account: significant but perhaps not the critical mass needed to drive sales. Now let’s suppose that that same company has 100 employees, each of whom has an average audience of 100 Twitter followers. If all of those employees share the company’s updates, the potential reach is now 10,000 Twitter users – a 10X increase.
At a larger company, the gains would be even more dramatic and impacting. Imagine a Fortune 500 company with thousands of staff. Of course, employees should never be obligated to share corporate social media updates from personal accounts as this kind of sharing should always be voluntary. But by all mean, encourage it! This is the best social media for business as it is generating internal word-of-mouth.
Organic, word-of-mouth messages from friends are often seen as more trustworthy than social media blasts from corporate accounts. When employees share messages, companies not only expand their social media reach, they also generate more trust and engagement.