What are the Best Social Media Channels for Your Business?
Many of us have more social media profiles than we actually need. How many times do you write on Twitter? How often do you update your Instagram? Do you really interact on Pinterest? Social networks are a continuation of our personalities, so you’ll become a Twitter personality only if you are as witty as Monty Python.
The same is true when you use social media for business purposes. Consider your channel depending on your product, industry and the people you want to have listening, following and interacting with you. L'Oréal is a very illustrative example: whereas its Facebook is full of film stars’ pictures and tips on the perfect make up, its LinkedIn explains how to run a business in the beauty industry or the chemical process behind a cosmetic product.
Here's a list of the most popular social networks and how they may help or hinder your business:
1. Twitter. Are you able to catch people’s attention in fewer than one hundred and forty characters? Brevity is Twitter’s calling card, although nowadays it seems more famous because of its uncertain future. Despite this, in January this year the network had 332 million active followers according to Wikipedia. Twitter seems to work better with comedians, politicians and celebrities than businesses. This hilarious fake profile of the Queen has more than a million followers, whereas the BBC only has 452k.
2. LinkedIn. Many people only use it when hunting for a new job, which is a big misconception. Add LinkedIn to your life to be part of groups and enlarge your professional network. In relation to business, LinkedIn isn’t the best channel for the hospitality sector or retailers; however, if you’re not selling a physical product this is the space. BlackRock financial services, with almost a quarter of a million followers, and Evernote software are two great examples.
3. YouTube. The perfect way to host videos if you sell education or you need to instruct your customers. On the Intelligent Point of Sale YouTube channel you can find instructions about different features and benefits you’ll have from the intelligentpos® EPoS system every time a new version is released. YouTube is also an excellent place to feed your other social media channels. If you run a clothes shop, why not share the fashion show of the latest collection you’ve fallen in love with?
4. Google Plus. It’s really difficult to find one specific success story. However, some believe that an active Google Plus page can help your website rank on Google. If you schedule your posts with a content management system like Hootsuite, Buffer or HubSpot, why not share some of this content on Google Plus too and cover your back?
5. Instagram. The largest photographic revolution of recent years has already 400 million users as of September 2015 (data from Statista). It’s the perfect tool for people with a beautiful product such as retailers, fashion designers, artists or restaurant owners. One of our customers, Steampunk Coffee, who runs a café and a food truck, is the perfect example.
6. Pinterest. If your work is related to any kind of design, this can be very useful to gather whatever inspires you, which is an excellent way to attract people with similar tastes and interests. But if you’re approaching it with the idea of promoting your product, we strongly recommend you go to Instagram instead.
7. Facebook. Arguably the most important of these seven “kingdoms”, Facebook had 1.44 billion followers in May 2015. Nowadays you need a Facebook account just as you require a telephone and email address prior to opening your business. Before publishing any content on your company page, explore your competitors’ pages and analyse what works (and what doesn’t) to build up a good idea about what’s working in your field.
Perhaps by now you have more questions than when you started to read this article. Great! Many people don’t stop to reflect on how serious this challenge can be for their business. If you’re eager to know a bit more, we recommend reading The Art of Social Media, by Guy Kawasaki, a short, but very substantial, book with the basics of this discipline clearly explained. And his advice definitely works: he has more Twitter followers than Madonna.
Note from the author: This article was written in February 2016 and based on the data available at that time.