Do you know how to make social media work for you?
As a business owner, you may have begun to recognize the importance of having a social media account. In this digital age, getting your business on social media is at this point a prerequisite, and if you haven’t, you need to start thinking about it yesterday.
Social media can be one of the most effective marketing tools to elevate your brand’s image, draw potential customers, and keep in touch with your current customer base.
However, not all social media channels are created the same, and not all of them may be useful to you.
So, before you start investing your time and hard-earned dollars into the social media void, it's important to make a plan.
And with so many social media sites out there vying for your business, doing your research is a top priority.
This article serves as a guide to help you decide which social media platform is the best for your business, so you can make the right investment.
Facebook is the Queen Bee when it comes to having social media followers. It has over 1.4 million active users in Jamaica, and approximately 2.6 billion monthly users worldwide. If you want to spread your brand’s reach to as many as possible, Facebook is the way to go. You can share a variety of content from images, posts, polls, and images.
It also has a great search function that enables customers to find you if they are looking for a related item or industry.
This is done by linking keywords in the customer’s search to related Facebook content.
For example, a search with the keyword “insurance” will be linked to pages, places, people, posts, events, videos, links, etc on Facebook related to insurance.
The user is then able to filter results based on each category. Although not as advanced as Google search, the search function on Facebook makes it a great tool for attracting potential customers on the platform to your page.
In addition, Facebook is also more low maintenance than Instagram or Twitter, where you have to post regularly to keep your followers entertained.
- Massive Reach of over 2.6 Billion persons worldwide
- Share different types of content such as posts, videos, updates, and events
- Easy for potential customers to find your page due to Facebook’s search function
- Respond to customers’ messages
- Create and advertise company events to your target audience
- Customizable templates for your business (options for different types of businesses)
- Easy to set up and use as a virtual storefront for your business
- Low Organic Reach on each post
- Not as popular among teenagers(13-17) Recommended: All Businesses
Instagram is all about the visuals and is one of the largest photo and video sharing networks behind Facebook and Youtube.
For restaurants, photographers, event planners, beauty salons, barbershops, or any business that has large visual appeal, listen up, Instagram is your business’ best friend.
In addition, persons can purchase goods directly from Instagram using their recent Instagram shopping feature. This provides an online storefront for potential customers to browse your products, get more information on it, and be guided to your website to complete the purchase.
Posting creative and engaging content showcasing your products will draw a crowd, but it has to look attractive or be engaging.
“The average Instagram user under the age of 25, spends a total of 32 minutes a day on the platform, while those older spend about 24 minutes daily.” – 60 Instagram Statistics Marketers Need to Know
Instagram is more fast-paced than Facebook, and users spend a lot less time on the platform in comparison to other social media handles. To keep up, you will have to be active and have frequent, eye-catching posts to build your follower base.
A Good Rule of Thumb: Post at least 3 times a week
A Better Rule of Thumb: Do NOT trade the quality of posts for frequency.
- Gets the most active engagement on visual content than other social media platforms
- Shopping feature allows customers to browse and purchase products from the app
- 500 million active users
- Popular among teenagers and young adults(13- 35)
- Not as popular among the older crowd(50+)
- Requires active posting and constant brand reinforcement
Recommended: Brands Focused on Visual Appeal
Twitter is the King of encouraging conversation and building interaction. Twitter is all about being concise, moving fast, and having something important to say. It is perfect for large essential services that need to give important short updates such as national agencies, banks, or the government. It’s also great for large, corporate businesses who want to join the conversation with their customers, for example, restaurant chains.
In addition, Twitter is ideal for persons who need to keep trending or “in the loop” such as celebrities, influencers, or politicians.
Twitter is all about what is trending and moving quickly, as a result, it can be challenging to stay relevant and keep up. It is not recommended for small businesses as it can be difficult and time-consuming to keep persons engaged.
To stay active on Twitter, it is recommended to post daily.
- Makes it easy to join the conversations with customers
- Great for posting important updates
- Hard to stay relevant
- Not great for making a lasting impression Recommended: Large or Essential Services
“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy” - Jeffrey Gitomer, The Little Red Book of Selling.
Youtube is a great platform to share informative content linked to your products. Persons love watching videos, and Youtube is one of the best platforms for sharing video content with a wide audience. For example, a hardware store could have a DIY series or a restaurant could have a series showing the head chef making popular recipes.
It is a great option if you want to increase visibility, increase your business’ reputation as an expert in a certain field, and lead persons to choose you as their desired business provider. PROS - Great for content-based material that requires showing a skill/expertise - YouTube’s suggested videos feature makes it easy for users to discover new content on YouTube so there is a large potential to go viral - With Over 2 Billion active users, YouTube is still the people’s preferred choice for video content CONS - Requires more time to produce valuable content because a higher production quality is expected
- Lots of competition for viewers/subscribers
- Takes time to build a significant subscriber base for active engagement
Recommended: All Businesses
Although a lesser-known social media tool, Linkedin has great influence in the business community. It is the world’s largest professional network, with over 690 million users worldwide. If your clientele is mainly business professionals, Linkedin is the place to be. It is a highly respected site and allows you to brag your professional history, educational experience, and awards without coming off as proud or showy. It is perfect if your skills are the main selling point for your business such as lawyers, doctors, insurance agents, or financial advisors. PROS - Great for increasing brand credibility among the business community - Great for reaching out to business-minded professionals and industry experts - Good organic reach - Have proof of your skills and connections by other business professionals - Recruit skilled job candidates
- Low monthly active users(250 million) compared to other popular social networking sites
- Specific to the business community
Recommended: Professionals selling a service; Business to Business companies
AN IMPORTANT UNDERDOG #6 Google My Business
Although not a social media tool, it is imperative to highlight the power of Google My Business. If your business has a physical location, you must have a Google my Business account. Repeat, if your business has a physical location, you must have a Google my Business account. Why? 70-80% of persons search for a business online before making a purchase. You likely might have done this before. The search engine you were probably using? Google What shows at the top of the search results? Locations for stores providing the exact service you are searching for near you, pictures of the business, and reviews. The Google My Business account is a free service that puts your business on the map, literally and figuratively, and shows your business to persons searching for exactly what you are providing near you. It’s simple to use, and once it’s set up, you barely have to look at it again, unless it’s to check your reviews. Checking and responding to customer reviews, especially negative ones, is key to maintaining your business’ credibility. It is truly an underdog that you cannot afford to miss out on, even if you are not ready to enter the social media train just yet.
- Requires little maintenance
- Visibility on the world’s largest search engine, Google Search and on Google Maps
- Quickly share business updates, events, or offers
- Share customer reviews and testimonials
- False information/reviews can be shared by anyone and alter your rating - Takes more time than other social media platforms to set up an account Recommended: ALL BUSINESSES
Make the Right Choice!
Now that you know all the pros and cons that come with each social media platform, have you found the ones that are right for you? Let's do a quick recap: For visual businesses, Instagram is your best friend. Youtube requires some effort but is a great tool for increasing your brand’s reputation. All Businesses need to have a Facebook page and if you are a business-to-business company, Linkedin is a must. For stores with a physical location, ensure you have a Google my Business account that is constantly updated with any changes or updates. When used correctly, social media can be the most powerful addition to your marketing strategy!
Your Social Media Action Plan
Now that you have the knowledge, it is time to put it into action! Download your Social Media Action Plan to help you figure out where to start.