There’s one great reason to take a deep dive into the business social media sites available today: time and money invested in your business social needs to produce results in return.
The good news? Our social media pros have compiled a simple guide to the social platforms you need to know about. PLUS quick takeaways on making each perform for your business too.
We’ll guide you through the ‘best for business’ options and how to use social for your organisation too.
Skip to section:
1, Types of Social Media
2, The Most Used Social Media
3, The Top 10 Social Media Apps
4, Best Social Media for Business Marketing
5, Best Social Media for Small Business
6, How to Use Social Media for Business
7, Summary: Work Smarter to Unlock Social ROI
8, How We Can Help
What Are the Different Types of Social Media?
The first thing to know? ‘Social media’ means much more than people imagine.
Your first thought for social media might be Facebook or Twitter? But your audience might not agree.
You may find your customers on some main types of social platform…
Social sites: Like LinkedIn or Facebook
Sharing sites: Especially YouTube
Messaging: The mighty WhatsApp is a likely destination for your audience
Microblogging: Including Twitter
Forums and blogs: Such as niche hobby forums
News–sharing platforms: Do your customers use Reddit?
Ultimately, going where your potential buyers are found is key. Using audience persona images can help focus the right messages to the right people in the right places.
Our quick takeaway: Focus your efforts on the places your audience are already spending their time. Don’t put clicks between yourself and possible leads.
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What is the Most Used Social Media?
In a way, stats showing the most used social media are irrelevant for your business. The real question is: which social media platform is used by my audience?
Platform popularity will vary by country, age group and niche interest.
However, globally Facebook sits ahead with 2,196m users, with YouTube growing fast at 1,900m.
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have 1,500m and 1,300m respectively while Instragram’s strong youth following helps a 1,000m total active users.
Surprisingly, Twitter sits far below these big-hitters with 336m users while LinkedIn’s userbase sits at 294m.
Dwarfing many of these is China’s WeChat platform – with 1,040m users – showing the importance of thinking audience over size when it comes to social media.
Our quick takeaway: Using the audience demographics in your existing social channels, plus Google analytics info for your website, will show where your audience are found. Broad popularity can’t match the value of a well-matched customer segment and the right content to the ideal social platform. How? Read on.
What Are the Top 10 Social Media Apps?
Turning away from basic ‘most used’ stats, there are 10 main social media apps to consider for your business.
These cover traditional social – specifically, Facebook and Linkedin – plus messaging by way of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The mighty YouTube can’t be ignored, while top photo-sharing app Instagram is worthwhile consideration too.
Some more specialist apps – Pinterest, SnapChat and Tumblr – may be home to your audience.
Meanwhile, the fast-paced Twitter platform could be a way to reach the people you need quickly and easily.
We’ll take a closer look at all these platforms below.
Our quick takeaway: A modern business can look past the ‘most popular’ stats to examine these 10 social platforms as a place to talk with potential buyers. Building a community means putting down foundations where the right audience will grow your brand.
Best Social Media for Business Marketing
Let’s examine at the top social media sites for business marketing using the expertise of our in-house social team.
We’ll include platform-by-platform tips for making your time spend on each count for your business.
Facebook: It might be losing prominence, but it’s a great platform for reaching customers in a social space. Facebook users are relaxing at home, thinking about holidays or their next car. Talk to them!
Our quick takeaway: Facebook will reward you for using their latest features for your content. Explore Facebook Canvas, use native video and read up on the latest Facebook algorithm to get the best possible reach.
Linkedin: The quality of content may be dipping, with video now overused and quantity overshadowing quality, BUT for B2B LinkedIn holds its own.
Our quick takeaway: Invest time and money in great content to stand out from the white noise.
WhatsApp: Chances are, your customers are already there. Go where they want to be found.
Our quick takeaway: Find out more about WhatsApp Business, before your competitors.
Facebook Messenger: A powerful tool for talking with your audience in a relaxed, immediate setting.
Our quick takeaway: Find our more about Facebook Messenger chatbots to discover a way to answer customer enquiries rapidly, at any time of day and no matter how busy you are.
YouTube: Simpy redefines online video-sharing, that’s why your younger customers may be spending much of their time here.
Our quick takeaway: Think…useful, quality, timeless and on-brand content to impress and engage.
Instagram:An open goal for younger or artsy audiences and for tactile, lifestyle products. Brings your brand to life visually.
Our quick takeaway: Show the real life behind your brand and your people to really reach others.
Pinterest: Find a niche to make it yours using high-quality photography.
Our quick takeaway: Go niche, go niche, go niche. Quality traffic and engagement is worth every minute spent.
SnapChat: If your potential customers are there, go there too.
Our quick takeaway: Explore features like filters and make SnapChat part of brand events to let people get involved.
Tumblr: An ideal place to blog with visuals, if you can segment, present and maintain your offer in the right way.
Our quick takeaway: Make it interesting, make it suitable and make it visual to gain a following here.
Twitter: Think of it as a micro-blog, where fast-paced and snappy content can gain traction very very fast.
Our quick takeaway: Work on your clear, sharp, easy tone to stand a chance of content spreading like wildfire.
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What is the Best Social Media for Small Business?
A short answer: it depends on your customers.
For ‘desire’ products in a social setting – like selling cars to a broad age group – Facebook remains popular. Recent algorithm changes mean Facebook makes you work harder to be seen, but quality and relevance will still gain traction.
Facebook is also used for brand-building and sales/ lead generating as features like Canvas adverts make products look great and conversions easy.
For B2B awareness, LinkedIn is a great place to start conversations and show thought leadership in your specialist sector.
If you receive customer enquiries, exploring 24/7 chatbot availability on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger can put you one step ahead of your competitors.
For promoting products and sharing useful content, YouTube is unbeatable; especially for some younger age groups.
Lifestyle products and ‘behind the scenes’ photos look great on Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Tumblr. We’d recommend Instragram as a great place to start.
And Twitter is somewhere you might find local customers PLUS other businesses nearby if you are a B2B organisation.
Our quick takeaway: The best social media for small business? Adapt your efforts depending on your type of business (B2c or B2B), your product and geographic spread.
How to Use Social Media for Business
There’s more to life on social than simple ‘likes’.
Really making social platforms pay their way means a keen sense of customer segment PLUS working using a clear customer journey on social.
This means customers interested in your product can find support with:
Awareness: A customer just discovering your product doesn’t want demands to ‘buy this NOW’ pushed onto their page. Quality, useful content with an introduction to your brand is what’s needed.
Interest: Product information, deeper discovery or your brand – vitally – enagement with your business happens here.
Evaluation: Comparison, assessment of your business and consideration of customer testimonals etc will happen during the evaluation stage.
Decision: Are you placing barriers between the customer and a purchase? Is ordering/ making an enquiry simple and inviting?
Retention: Using great content, help your customer to become an advocate of your brand with content designed to help with their produce AND be part of your customer community.
Social media is a community for potential buyers and brand advocates, somewhere they can find the information they need and convert when they need to convert.
Our quick takeaway: Think about what segment of your customers are on which platform, when and why. Use customer journey mapping to make sure they have the content and path-to-purchase they need. And aren’t being pushed to buy at the wrong time.
Summary: Work Smarter on Social to Unlock ROI
A common problem with business social media use happens when organisations simply ‘do’ social media.
Being present on a social platform isn’t enough. Posting the same thing, sporadically, across every platform isn’t enough. Constantly using social to ‘hard sell’ your audience isn’t enough.
Creating a useful, enaging community for your segmented audience, with a clear customer journey-to-purchase, requires a sense of the pros and cons of each platform.
Our guide outlines the right audience for the right social media too, and more, meaning a great starting point for your results-driven social media strategy.
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How We Can Help: the ProfileTree Difference!
We’re a small team, based in Belfast County Antrim NI, who built our own business using the very latest in SEO and content marketing thinking. We did this to show our clients what we did and how it worked…complete with stats include live updates.
The ProfileTree team includes web design, development, SEO, video and content writing specialists who love two things: exploring new methods to benefit from the latest digital changes, and making real results happen. So, the benefits of a Freelance SEO Consultant with the bonus of a expert and varied team.
We’re proud of how far we’ve come, using the techniques we’ve tested ourselves to help clients, and proud of the work we’ve achieved with those customers.
We can help you with…
Video Production: We use years of video production expertise to bring your brand to life through superbly professional video capture and editing.
While others stop there, our specialisms in SEO and marketing mean your customers won’t just see engaging, quality video but can find and interact with your videos and your messaging.
Search Engine Optimisation: A great brand, great content…even a great website…isn’t enough. Being seen by potential customers means more chance for your audience to talk WITH your brand and become part of your story.
We built ProfileTree on SEO and content marketing, meaning we can bring our big picture expertise together with your brand for great visibility and engagement.
Content Marketing: If you haven’t already seen the power of content marketing, we’ll show you why there’s a goldmine of audience engagement waiting for your brand.
That’s because a new generation of customers are prepared to give unprecedented loyalty to your business if you’ve used time and skill to maintain a worthwhile conversion. The good news? We can help.
Web Development & Website Design: Why do our clients love working with ProfileTree? Because we create the right site for their business goals, for their marketing strategy and with one eye on digital changes in the present and future.
This way, a customised website with its roots in the needs of your business can work hard, and react fast, for the benefit of your brand.
Artificial Intelligence: Staying ahead of the latest technology online means being ready when your customers change how they want to engage with your brand.
Not only do we help understand how tech like chatbots and voice search can boost your business, we’ll continue to translate the big changes into results.
Digital Strategy: Making sure your brand meets your customers online in the right way – with the results your needed for your business – means making all the elements of your online world work with each other towards your goals.
A piecemeal approach, without clear outcomes and your audience firmly in mine, is a world of missed opportunity. We’ll help you grow online instead.
Digital Training: We’re a different kind of agency with a different kind of opportunity for your business. Why? We built our business on the digital methods we now pass on to our clients.
We’ll even show you LIVE results from our own trials of our techniques. Ready to grow?
Social Media Services: While your competitors are simply ‘doing’ social media, your business could be wowing customers with content that truly engages and creates lasting relationships.
By unlocking the power of your audience being able to see – and react – the right message on the right channel, the reward of customer loyalty and even creating brand ambassadors awaits. We’ll show you how.
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