Which social media platforms should you choose for business? | Part One

 

Ever seen a website or brand promoting a ton of social media platforms where you can engage with them?

They’ve got the links all over their website, and they promote their Facebook fan page, their Instagram profile, LinkedIn page, LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, Pinterest boards, YouTube channel, Google+ page, and Tumblr blog.

How do they do it?

And are they even doing it well?

How do they manage nine social networks by creating valuable content, images, videos, infographics, podcasts, blog posts, and more – week in, week out? And above all, is there any benefit to it?

Are they measuring metrics? Are they driving traffic to their site, achieving engagement, and assisting SEO? 

Update: follow the rest of the blog series right here!

Part TWO asks a few important questions to help you choose the right social networks

Part THREE focuses on advertising, and how you should spend your $$$!     


Which social media platforms should I use for business? Just because a social network exists, doesn't mean you have to use it!


What’s worse is when you do decide to click through to these networks, and you all you see are a bunch of pages that haven’t been updated in over a year. That awkward moment when:

  • You visit a LinkedIn Company Page and the only post there is from 2013
  • You visit a Twitter profile and see that egg avatar, four followers, and two Tweets from February… 2014.
  • A Pinterest account with only two boards and single-figure followers

It’s sometimes baffling that brands – even big brands that soar on another platform – bother to keep these outdated, dead accounts.

First thing first: it’s LOUD out there in the social media realm. There are more brands than ever before churning out content on a daily basis. It takes more work than ever before to talk to your customers through social media.

This evolutionary change begs the following question:

If you can’t manage a social network well, then what’s the point of managing it at all?

That’s a fair question, right?

(I thought it was.)

So how to you choose which social networks to which you should dedicate your time? How many should you choose? Which ones? And what about social media advertising? Luckily, we’re here to help you answer some tricky questions.

Let’s firstly take a quick look at some of the most popular platforms. There are many more out there, but we will focus on:

Facebook

We can’t look past the social network giant, which boasts over a billion active monthly users, and is set to reach an astonishing $14 billion in ad revenue by the end of the year. 

Organic reach is down to a pitiful low, so if you're not making the most out of Facebook ads (even with a modest budget) you might be losing out on traffic and sales.

You can focus on on-page engagement (like Likes and Comments) or you can drive traffic to your website, a deal, a new blog post, a video, and more. 

 

Twitter

Twitter has more than 100 million active daily users and has recently opened its advertising platform to Australian advertisers.

Twitter takes a bit more work than Facebook when it comes to creating social media posts, for two reasons:

For starters, you’re restricted by that 140-character limit. To combat this, copy and paste each post you’ve created (for your other networks) into an online character counter (this no-fluff counter is my go-to), shorten a link (using goo.gl, bit.ly, or similar) and work on whittling your post down to less than 140 characters.

Secondly, you will probably find that you need to post more on Twitter than on most other social networks.

Twitter posts have an incredibly short life-span – about two hours, and down to minutes depending on the number of people a user follows.

Social Bakers refers to a study that found the business sweet spot to be between 4 and 15 Tweets per day.

Granted, that’s a pretty wide range, so start with four, and if you’re not seeing measurable engagement, crank it up a notch. Tweetdeck is a great tool to schedule Tweets days in advance.

(And for what it’s worth, we Tweet a minimum of four times per day, and up to about ten times per day.)

 

LinkedIn

The professional social network is great for personal networking as well as sharing company and industry news. Around five million Australians have a LinkedIn profile, and more than 3 million companies have a Company Page.

Advertising is notoriously more expensive on LinkedIn, but with amazing targeting capabilities (including the exact position and even company name!) it sort of makes sense... 

 

Google+

Some say Google+ is dead, and stats around what constitutes an active user are murky: an action taken on YouTube (which is owned by Google) counts as a G+ interaction, as you have to have a G+ account to interact on YouTube. See? It’s a bit sneaky. Either way, there are about 300 million active monthly users on Google+.

 

A slight detour to remind you of what happened to Google+ in July... 

At the end of July, Google announced that users would no longer have to create a Google+ account to engage on YouTube.

G+ never became the social network Google envisioned. It couldn’t compete with Facebook and Twitter. According to Google insiders, they never anticipated that users would find the product confusing.

So to clarify, Google is “formally [retiring] the notion that a Google+ membership is required for anything at Google… other than using Google+ itself.”

 

YouTube

The greatest stat for marketers is that “the number of hours people are watching on YouTube each month is up 50% year over year”.

 

Instagram

Instagram has had a huge few years. They introduced videos, were bought by Facebook, and began advertising.

Insta boasts 300 million active monthly users and 75 million active daily users Not bad for a network that’s only five years old!

With an almost exact user division (49% female and 51% per cent male) many brands have found success here.


Pinterest

About 73 million users (both male and female!) use Pinterest to seek inspiration, anywhere from wedding dresses and cakes to styling, home decorating, technology, food, fashion, travel, humour, Christmas, and almost everything else in between.

So what do these stats mean?

Well, they mean that there are lots of people using these social networks. There’s no denying that!

What they don’t mean, though, is that each of Twitter’s 300 million active users cares about you, your brand, your product, or your industry. 

Next week, we're going to run through a few questions you need to be able to answer about your business to determine the social networks you might start using. Join us in a week, and let's see if you can answer the questions. 

Follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with this blog post series. See you in a week!

Update: follow the rest of the blog series right here!

Part TWO asks a few important questions to help you choose the right social networks

Part THREE focuses on advertising, and how you should spend your $$$! 

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