If you’re operating a business, you know how critical it is that you maintain a substantial digital identity—and if you don’t know that, then here’s your reminder. From grocery shopping to banking and everything in between, consumers are increasingly carrying out their lives primarily in the digital realm. Thus, if you want your brand to be noticed, you better make sure it’s visible from multiple views—both online and off. Social media plays a huge role in cultivating that strong digital presence—and it offers the opportunity for organic growth that benefits your budget. That being said, you may have pondered which social media platforms are right for your business.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Vine, Reddit, Tumblr…the list goes on and on. You want to make your brand’s digital identity prominent, but where do you draw the line with your social media efforts?
You may have been told by friends and colleagues that you NEED to be on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram, or YouTube. But one important thing to realize when assessing your social media presence is, not all social media platforms are right for your business, and that’s OK (cue title).
The fact is, depending on the type of business you are marketing, certain social platforms simply may not make sense for your brand. Different social media platforms serve different niches and purposes, and if your customer base doesn’t fall into that niche, then why waste your time maintaining a presence there?
You might be thinking, “Even Facebook?” Yes, even Facebook might not make sense for some businesses. Recently, at a marketing seminar, another marketing group was talking about its client in the ship building business. With Facebook being a standard for most businesses, the group created a Facebook account for the client. However, for this client, Facebook just didn’t make sense. The clientele the ship builder geared itself toward were mainly other industrial-type businesses—not individuals on Facebook. For that reason, the group said, LinkedIn actually made more sense for this client.
The bottom line is, if you’re not seeing much of a response on a particular social media platform despite your best efforts to garner followers, it may be time to make the call that the platform just doesn’t appeal to the clients you are targeting—or the customers already patronizing your business.
Going back to the idea that each social platform has its own niche in the overall social media world, here’s a breakdown of who some of the most-used types of social media accounts will and will not benefit.
- Facebook: At the time this blog is being written, Facebook is the most widely-used social media platform on the planet, as more than 2.2 billion people are active on Facebook. That being said, this social media platform makes sense for the overwhelming majority of businesses. Unless you serve a very specific niche (like the ship builder) that is NOT active on Facebook either, then you want your business to have one to appeal to the maximum number of followers. Read more about Facebook for marketing here.
- YouTube: Video is taking over the internet—literally. It is estimated that by 2019, video will account for 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic. YouTube itself has almost 2 billion active users, which is almost one-third of total internet users. What are we saying? We’re saying that being present on YouTube is also up there with Facebook among the social media platforms that your business should pay attention to. No matter what you’re selling, almost any brand can have a representative of the business stand in front of the camera and talk about your products and/or services. Even better—give a demonstration, or a quick “how-to.”
- Twitter: Twitter can be a tricky one. With more than 336 million monthly active users, your initial thought may be, “Yes, I want to be there.” However, keep in mind the makeup of those 336 million Twitter users. For one, it’s a younger, more urban demographic. If that fits your target client base, then great! However, if your clientele is older and/or more rural, they may not be on Twitter now, or ever. Twitter thrives off of communication. Rather than broadcasting your information and leaving it, being successful on Twitter as a marketer requires you to interact with other users consistently. Read more about Twitter for marketing here.
- Instagram: Instagram, which boasts about 1 billion active users, is all about what is visually appealing. Restaurants, clothing boutiques, real estate agents—all of these types of brands have visually-appealing products, meaning they thrive in the Instagram setting. That’s not to say that you can’t thrive if your product or service is less-than-photo-worthy. You just have to get creative. Post places that you’re traveling to. Post about office events and celebrations. Post the view out your office window. When does Instagram not make sense for your business? Similar to Facebook, if your clients are other businesses who are not on Instagram, then it may not be worth the effort. Read more about Instagram for marketing here.
- Pinterest: Pinterest has around 200 million monthly users that comprise a pretty specific—and useful—set of demographics. For example, half of all U.S. millennials use Pinterest, and 68 percent of U.S. women between 25 and 54 use the social platform. Pinterest is a place that people go for inspiration—for cooking, weddings, holiday decorations and more. Not only can you share your own creations on Pinterest, but you can cultivate boards that showcase pins that you believe are relevant or interesting, instilling consumer confidence in your brand for its good taste. If your client base consists of women, younger social media users or a combination, then you might consider adding Pinterest to your brand’s social media arsenal.
- Google+: It was supposed to be Google’s “answer” to Facebook, but that admittedly didn’t happen. Being Google’s social media platform, Google+ has its place in helping you rank in search, but as a viable social media platform to connect with current and future clientele, it can be iffy. After all, it only has about 111 million “active” accounts, the percentage of which are actually used on some type of regular basis is likely far lower. So why would you use it for marketing? Like we said, it is Google’s social media network, so being active on it can give you slight, but positive points in the bucket for SEO. Read more about Google+ for marketing here.
- LinkedIn: If you’re a B2B (business to business) company, then LinkedIn could be your social media savior. LinkedIn is a social media network for professionals—both as individuals and as business entities. Statistics suggest that LinkedIn is even more important than Facebook for B2B marketers. Lead generations, product launches and talent recruitment are all activities that LinkedIn fosters for its users. Read more about LinkedIn for marketing here.
In deciding which social media platforms are right for your business, keep in mind the audience you are trying to target and the content you are pushing out. There’s certainly no need to waste your efforts trying to maintain a presence on every type of social media if it doesn’t make sense for your business’ intentions and goals.
Need help setting up and maintaining your social media accounts? The McNutt & Partners team can help. Call us at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.