There are a few things to consider when choosing your social media platforms. Here are 11 tips about social media platforms to help you decide what’s right for you . . .
Tip#1 Know Your Target Audience
Before attempting to use any social media, make sure you know your target audience. It is also helpful to develop a marketing persona with a story behind it and use that to learn what social media platforms might this person be using and why. Will you want to use a messaging platform or highly visual platform? Where is your persona shopping and when?
Let’s take a look at 10 popular social media sites and see who uses them and why –
Twitter is the 140-character count communication method, which you can interact with customers, monitor conversations and see what the competition is up to. Who uses it? A very broad sector of population worldwide uses Twitter for their news, trends and communications. This is a platform that must to kept up with by tweeting daily, responding to notifications with retweets, follows and keeping track of the analytics. Twitter is not a place to display product lines or try and direct market followers, but it is good for –
- Using #hashtags in your tweets to gain viewers and followers and stay trending
- Reaching a large audience fast
- Staying in touch with new trends and news in your industry
- Using as a customer relationships tool
- Fast and easy way to share your useful content
- Easy to set up and get started
Pinterest involves making great images and works well for e-commerce sites. It is quick and easy to set up and doesn’t take a lot of time to keep up with the platform. Through your pins you will gain exposure. The nice thing about Pinerest is you don’t have to pin everyday so if your time is limited, Pinterest maybe for you. The demographics for Pinterest are less broad than Twitter. I have heard people say mostly women use Pinterest but don’t believe it. True, there are a large number of brides and party planners pinning but there are also car enthusiasts, home builders, designers and tech pinners to name a few. If you choose Pinterest to feature your brand, make sure you give your boards catchy titles and viewers can also clearly understand titles what your board is about. Carefully tag your pins so you get credit when they are re-pinned. If you are lucky, your board can go viral and be seen by millions of pinners. Include backlinks to your website and make sure your pins are colorful and of excellent quality.
It is estimated that over a billion people use Facebook. This alone puts it into a large and diverse demographic. Using Facebook to target your audience means you should create a business Page. It is essential to update the page on a regular basis with useful posts. Facebook Ads is another paying means to reach your customers. Make sure you have the time and resources to keep up. People can browse through your products, leave messages, run promotions for followers and develop a community around your business.
This is a valuable site for business people. It is not a site to directly sell your product but a site that will help build professional relationships. Join as an individual and as a business, sign up for groups in your industry or start your own group, contribute useful information you come across, make important contacts, answer questions. Groups are a fast way to get exposure to thousands if it is a large group. This is another easy platform to set-up and not a lot of time is necessary to successfully use LinkedIn. Linkedin is a way to establish your self as an industry expert.
Tip#6 Social Media Search/Review Sites
Viewers use these sites to find restaurants, locate specific types of retail, and make travel plans. Pick your search sites carefully, use sites that have been around and are well know that people use frequently like Yelp! The advantage of using these sites is customers can write reviews and you receive instant feedback about how well your products or services are working and how your customer feels about your company. Even if it’s bad, it’s good to know so you can make corrections. Some popular search sites include Yelp, Digg, City Search, Stumble Upon and Google Places.
Instagram is great for mobile users, easy to upload photos from your smartphone and apply various filters to make your photos unique. The larger demographic for this platform is younger ages teens through young adults. It can be used to post snapshots of your business showing the human side of your company. Share your Instagram feed on your Facebook page, sell products and get shared by other Instagram followers.
Tip#8 YouTube vs. Vine
Just about everyone has at one time watched a YouTube video. YouTube is an easy way to put tutorials on your site. Make your video on a smartphone, upload to your YouTube account and embed the code on your site and you have instant tutorials on your website. Certain products and services lend themselves better to this type of format. Vine, on the other hand is a 6 second commercial that can be looped. You need to be creative and quick. Share your Vine videos on your Facebook and Twitter timelines. Vines are meant to be fun videos showing your audience something they will want to see. If your Vine goes viral, we may see you on the Today Show!
Tumblr is another microblogging platform and social networking site you can sell products on. Like Pinterest and Instagram, it is a visual site, mostly with a young demographic. You can easily post videos, links, music, and text and of course photos. If you have multiple types of media you want to post to your site, Tumblr is a simple way to accomplish this.
This app is quickly becoming a very popular messaging app with teens and young adults. Snapchat is a video message you can send which will self-destruct in a few seconds after it is sent. Why would you want to use this? This is quick way to send messages to followers, it doesn’t matter what time you post snaps, it’s not effected by a timeline, your snaps stay open until your followers have time to open them, then they disappear. Great way to tell a story, show a product in action, add humor. You can draw on snaps, giving a compelling reason to follow you with your witty, fun snaps.
Used by over 300 million people, Google+ can provide many search ranking benefits to your business. This is a platform that you must keep up being interactive with users and update your page as needed. There are too many services and benefits on Google+ to mention here but Martin Sherrington has a wonderful comprehensive guide at www.martinshervington.com/what-is-google-plus/.
There are many social media platforms out there, choose the right social media sites by –
Knowing your target audience
Develop your marketing persona
Find sites that lend themselves best to your persona
Do your homework and you and your business will have Social Media Success!