Social media marketing is an excellent method of expanding awareness of a brand, to a broader array of potential customers. Social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter receive huge volumes of traffic - which can be driven back to your main website, thus boosting your audience. With so many different channels to choose from though, how can you possibly decide which ones are the best for you? Each one has a slightly different focus, which could either make it critical to your brand or completely irrelevant.
An ideal channel for engaging with the public, with a huge variety of local groups which could enable you to develop awareness of your brand at a local level. There are limitations however, as a company page needs to be administered through an individual account and many groups prohibit posts by businesses. With such a large and diverse user base, Facebook remains a key B2C marketing tool for sharing a wide variety of textual or visual content.
One of the most widely known channels; though interestingly enough Twitter actually has fewer users than LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. Twitter is an excellent real time information sharing platform and allows companies to network with customers and corporate clients. Connecting with relevant influencers and securing a retweet can instantly expose your brand to a wealth of new customers. Avoid linking with your company Facebook page, as this would lead to duplicated content and penalisation by Google. The character limit means Twitter is geared toward concise communication, visual content and website links.
Widely regarded as the “professional social media platform”, LinkedIn is great for establishing company credibility, and also for reaching a corporate audience. Perfect if you want to share industry news and articles about your products or services.
Activity on this platform has been implied by Google to have a positive impact on where a company ranks in their search engine. It is certainly important to sign up to Google My Business; ensuring that your location, contact details and opening hours appear in Google search results.
An ideal visual sharing platform; perfect for businesses specialising in aesthetically pleasing products, perhaps in fashion or food. Hashtags and handle tags can be used in a way similar to Twitter, connecting with relevant influencers who can “regram” posts to thousands of followers. Avoid linking posts to Twitter as this would lead to duplicate content.
Around 80% of Pinterest’s 70 million users are females, many of whom are said to have disposable income. Pinterest contains a huge community of fashion, food and design enthusiasts so would be optimum for businesses with a focus in those areas. Highly useful for showing off product catalogues with a purchase link for users to follow.
A visual blogging platform that works in a similar way to Twitter and Instagram; with tags, shares, followers and news feeds. What makes Tumblr more unique is the level of customisation possible, which allows users to create a page in keeping with the image of their brand. Tumblr is perfect for visual storytelling - even if you’re not a particularly aesthetic brand, you could still use Tumblr to take people behind the scenes and enhance the transparency of your brand.
The most popular video network in the world, YouTube allows you to put across a lot of information in a short amount of time - ideal for communicating with new audiences who may not want to invest a lot of time in finding out about your company. Visual product based companies can use YouTube as a dynamic showcase, while companies of all types can upload simple vlog posts to update followers. The proliferation of high quality camera phone technology in recent years has opened up the availability of video media, but be careful when uploading video content. You still want to ensure that video content is well edited and in keeping with your professional image.
Hopefully this brief introduction to some of the most popular social media platforms will help to clarify which ones would be the best for your business. Integration is key, and a consistent message across each channel will strengthen the image of your brand. With that in mind it would be more beneficial to focus on having effective use of a few select channels rather than sporadic use of eight or more.
By Ben Rider, Thunderbolt Digital.
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