Should your business be on social media? A lot of business owners ask themselves this question these days. Perhaps your business is new, and you’re wondering if you’re “big enough” for social media. The answer is YES, you’re big enough for social media. If Grumpy Cat can have a Facebook page, then your business is big enough. Or maybe you’ve been in business for quite a while, and you believe that you don’t need social media. Well, I’m not saying your business is going to fail without social media, but could you do better if you reach your customers where they spend most of their time? The answer again is YES.
Why Should Your Business Be on Social Media?
You can use social media to promote your business for little money. However, much like business blogging, social media uses your scarcest resource of all: time. Even if you have the skills to be a social media maven, do you have the time to do so? This is why you should incorporate your social media plan into your content strategy. Social media is an opportunity to create original content or share relevant content in your industry. Both avenues showcase your expertise. The former normally leads back to your website, which is why you shouldn’t just curate other people’s content for your audience.
You should get on social media even if you aren’t ready to spend money on paid social media marketing now. Building an audience, however small, can give you some insight into who to target when you are ready to shell out the dollars Facebook demands as it’s due.
Which Social Media Platform Should You Use For Your Business?
Now right after you came to the conclusion that your business should, in fact, be on social media, I know you asked this question: “WHICH platforms should I be on? All of them? Two of them?”
The answer? It depends (I know, not the magic pill you were hoping to find when you clicked on this article). Really, when you consider where to invest your time and money, you need to ask yourself: Where are your customers spending their time online? You know the answer to this question if you’ve created your buyer personas like I told you to in this blog post a few months ago.
However, if you didn’t, here’s a refresher about what a buyer persona is:
“A marketing buyer persona is a detailed profile of a person who could represent a large percentage of your potential customer audience. These are used to humanize the customer and help them understand how to reach out on a personal level.” via What is a Marketing Buyer Persona?
So part of that detailed profile that you build when you research your ideal customer or client should include where they spend their time online. This will inform your decision regarding which social media platforms deserve your time (and potentially your dollars).
Facebook for Cat Videos? Sure, but Also Your Business
Facebook isn’t for everybody, but you should at least have a business page. Over 2 billion people worldwide use Facebook. Thanks to Facebook business pages, it’s also another place you can aggregate reviews besides Google. Depending on your business model, a highly engaged Facebook group tied to your business page may help you reach your ideal customer as well.
I won’t spend too much time on Facebook in this article, but having a Facebook page is important if you eventually want to do things like create Facebook ads and boost your social media posts to lead more people back to your website.
The Buffer podcast, The Science of Social Media, just published a quick episode that features some of the brand new changes Facebook has implemented for business pages, including helping small businesses encourage people to use the utility feature (subscribe, call, schedule, etc). Take a listen, it’s the first topic on this episode. They also cover some interesting Internet and social media trends for Gen Z.
Tweets Aren’t Just Something Birds Do. Your Business Should Be Tweeting Too
There are over 325 million active monthly Twitter users. They create around 500 million tweets per day. My favorite way that businesses use Twitter? For customer service!
Hubspot is great about responding to tweets relating to customer service issues. Mighty Networks was very responsive when I tweeted to them about the platform being down. They let me know they were working on it, AND let me know when they fixed the server error. How awesome is that?
IG Isn’t Just for Food. If Your Business is Visual (And Maybe Even If It’s Not), It’s for You Too.
“Instagram is a social network made for sharing photos and videos, famous for its digital filters that will make your scrambled egg dinner look like it was cooked by Gordon Ramsay” via Mastering Social Media: The Best Platforms For Your Business
Instagram can be a hard nut to crack. If your business is visual (or you can think of a unique visual twist), then Instagram is a social media platform you may want to consider. Instagram users are 60-70% female, 18-29 years old, and around 80% live outside of the United States. It also has around 700 million monthly users.
So if you can take photos of your product or service, then you should consider a strong Instagram strategy. IG doesn’t let you put live links into your individual posts, so you have to focus on creating a strong following versus slapping a link (that your followers will have to copy and paste) into your post.
The most impressive stat that Instagram boasts? Followers interact with brand content 10 times more than on Facebook and 84 times more than on Twitter.
Pinterest Isn’t Just for Crafts. If Your Target Demographic Includes Women, Get Pinning!
The numbers you need to know about Pinterest:
- 81% of the platform users are women
- Over 65% are 40 years old or younger
- In a poll, over 80% said they would prefer to follow a brand or store
- “5% of all website referral traffic comes from Pinterest, which is second only to Facebook.”
Pins (you “pin” images) last a really long time. I used to do fitness competitions, and my personal Pinterest account reflected that (lots of pins about weight training and dieting). I stopped pinning to my account in 2014. Before I revamped my account to reflect new hobbies, I had ONE pin that still received over 3,000 impressions and at least 10 click-throughs to the relevant blog post per month. That was with a couple of years of no maintenance!
The beauty of creating images for Pinterest (like the ones in this post) is that they share on the other social media platforms really well. So they perform double or triple duty!
Boob Tube? Nah, Millenials Like YouTube!
YouTube is like Facebook, in that the users number in the billions. About 80% of people in the 18-49 age bracket watch at least one video monthly. YouTube is split pretty evenly between men and women, and almost three-quarters of users view videos on their phones.
“More than 500 years of YouTube videos are watched every DAY on Facebook.” So video traffic can be a way to go viral on Facebook despite how hard it is to gain organic (i.e. free) traction on the platform any more. Great news for businesses? Most businesses haven’t figured out how to take advantage of video content marketing, which means you’ll be ahead of the curve!
Brush Off That Resume. You’ll Need It to Create Your LinkedIn Profile
If your business targets people in their professional capacities (ex: you’re a business coach) or your market is B2B, then you should be on LinkedIn.
Alright, go ahead, say it. “Ruthie, I tried LinkedIn, and I got nothing from it. It felt like a waste of time.” Well, you have to work LinkedIn with a strategy to get the best results (seeing the pattern here?). I’ve been working on my own LinkedIn profile and network for the past several months, and I’ve gotten business from it! At a minimum, you’ll want to keep an updated LinkedIn profile because 49% of decision-makers use LinkedIn for their businesses.
One More Time: Should Your Business Be on Social Media?
Sometimes business owners ask me this question because they feel like they don’t need social media, or even like they don’t need content marketing. The thing is, I can be honest when a business isn’t ready for certain services. Content marketing is a long game. So you should really only invest in it if you plan on being in business for a long time….. 😀 In all seriousness, there isn’t a one solution fits all for content marketing, so if you’re wondering how a content marketing strategy could help you achieve your marketing and sales goals, let’s chat!