Which social media sites are best for businesses?
In today’s world, having a social media presence is a key part of successfully promoting your business.
We spend so much of our free time flicking through apps on our phones, tablets or computers that, as a business, this is something that you should be looking to take advantage of when promoting yourself.
But, thanks to the prevalence of social media platforms, for the uninitiated, it might be difficult to know where to start.
The most popular social media sites that businesses should know about are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
As of January 2017, the sites had the following amount of monthly active users worldwide:
- Facebook: 1.86 billion
- Instagram: 600 million
- Twitter: 317 million
- Snapchat: 300 million
- LinkedIn: 106 million
- YouTube: 1.3 billion
Those numbers put the reach in stark relief. With that many people forming such a large audience, it’s something that brands really can’t fail to exploit.
To help you decide on whichever platform is best for you, we’ve put together a brief explanation of each platform and its potential benefits.
Facebook is the world’s most popular social media site with over 1 billion daily active users. Of those 1 billion users, over 307 million are from right here in Europe.
One of our clients, the Feversham Arms and Verbena Spa – a North Yorkshire hotel – uses Facebook to promote its offering by giving potential guests an idea of what the hotel is like as well as promoting offers and services that they could make the most of during a stay.
With a mix of visuals and words available, Facebook works as a great selling tool thanks to its consumer focus and, with so many daily users, there’s a vast amount of people who could potentially be viewing your business’ page.
Instagram is a great social media account for creative businesses to be using, as the app works like an online portfolio, which can be viewed by people all across the world.
Over 40 billion photographs have been shared onto the app from users documenting different aspects of their lives.
Here at Pic PR we use the app to give potential clients an insight into how we operate as well as the sorts of projects that we could be working on for them. And while not prolific posters, it all helps to boost our profile, humanising what we do and adding personality to our brand,
Visuals are key for businesses that use social media as well as being an easy way to get good engagement with the public.
Instagram is the ultimate in visual social tools, offering a nice dose of escapism that visual-savvy businesses are well placed to take advantage of.
Twitter allows you to have on going conversations with users from across the world whilst also sharing your own content within a “Tweet”, or more simply put, a post.
The site has 13 million UK users and comes in very handy for marketing and ad campaigns. One neat feature is that you’re able to search for words or specific terms that are trending or mentioned within your geographic location – something that comes in very handy for targeted campaign.
By using this you can create content which will best suit your followers and therefore increase engagement.
Twitter offers particular appeal to brands looking to reach a mix of business contacts and consumers as it’s a platform frequented by both.
One possible downside to Twitter is the 140-character Tweet limit so you will need to be precise and to the point. This can be a challenge – but it also helps you to streamline your message and make it succinct.
Snapchat is an app allowing you to share photographs and videos, which will disappear 24-hours after being published.
1 million videos and photographs are shared each day and you can use the app to show your followers projects that you’re working on as well as behind the scenes snippets of how your business operates.
Once a snap has been taken you are able to add doodles and captions which is a great way to let personality shine through to the 71% of users who are under 34 years old. Branded filters enable you to put your commercial stamp on content though, while still engaging in a creative way.
The app also allows you to send photos and videos to users that last for up to 10 seconds, which you can collate into a story. If you’ve got something exciting going on at head office, or you’re at an important conference/exhibition then it’s a great way to showcase what you’ve got going on.
LinkedIn is a business and employment social networking site that was founded in 2003 and has over 106 million active users each month.
The network allows companies to have their own pages, which can be used to share news and thought leadership pieces from key people within a business using the articles section of the site.
With over 3 million active job listings, another great thing about LinkedIn is the connections tool that helps to find people who you may be able to work with on any current or future projects, as well as proving an excellent recruitment tool to find people with the right experience to support your business.
Another extremely popular site that businesses can exploit is YouTube. Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day, which means it’s great for showcasing any video-based projects that you have worked on, be these in-house videos, or work created for clients.
One handy feature of YouTube is its analytics; this is a tool that allows you to find out more about the demographics of your viewers such as their age, gender and average time spent watching videos. You can use then use this data to get a better understanding of the sorts of videos to share with your followers to maximise engagement.
So, there we have a brief overview of some of the most well-known social media sites that can help to promote your business. There are others out there, and it’s worth exploring any that you think might be relevant. Our advice is think about what you want to get out of a social media site before deciding if it would be suitable for your business and then plan accordingly. Social media is now a permanent fixture of modern life and all businesses should be embracing its potential.