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Your specific business and who your target audience is, will largely determine the social networks you’ll want to reach. Generally, domestic customers, i.e. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) type businesses will tend to do well on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram. Whilst commercial customers, so Business-to-Business (B2B) companies will want to add LinkedIn to the mix. In either scenario, don’t forget Google’s own social network! Every business should have a Google My Business account.
If you haven’t yet defined your business goals, why your company exists, what you seek to achieve and how you seek to achieve this. Then now would be a good time to sit down and write a business plan. This should underpin anything you do. If you already have this, then great! Let’s get started on looking at the different social networks.
With over 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a great platform for reaching lots of people and provides good social proof for your business. It’s free to create a business page for your company but Facebook also has paid advertising opportunities which allows you to really target your audience. You can hone in just on business page admins for instance, target people who live in specific geographic locations and other demographics and psychographics. Facebook
LinkedIn is a must have if you’re a B2B business. An absolute must! you can laser target people who work within and own business based on role. If lead generation is your goal then LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to generate highly targeted warm leads for your business. We find it really useful for building up solid working relationships through their chat functionality.
If immediacy is important in your business then Twitter is very important. This can be an often overlooked platform for small to medium businesses (SMEs) but if your industry is constantly changing for instance, and you need to update your target audience quickly about breaking news, then Twitter can be a fantastic platform to achieve this.
A fantastic visual platform for businesses who need to use photos, imagery, graphics and so on. They say a picture can paint a thousand words. If you audience respond well to images, then use Instagram. But use it in conjunction with Pinterest below.
Pinterest is all about images, graphics and photos. This platform is very popular with our clients where visuals and aesthetics are important. It’s a great social network for planning. Our interior design clients especially love this platform as it helps them get their point across in just a few visuals. If you’re wondering whether to use Pinterest or Instagram then we’d say use both, one analogy we’d use is in travel – Pinterest is the planning you do from the travel agency brochure before you go on holiday (or vacation), whilst Instagram are the holiday photos you take once you’ve reached your destination!
Google My Business is, in our opinion, a must have for any SME, especially small local businesses. It includes Google Maps and local “three pack” search. Google Plus is pretty much out of favour in 2020 but Google My Business is pretty much essential to any small to medium sized enterprise. An often overlooked feature of Google My Business is that you can create blog posts on there, there’s also a feature during the current pandemic that you can specify your company or organisation’s Covid-19 policy. Google My Business is a platform that you should spend a decent amount of time implementing into your digital marketing strategy and optimising as you go.
Although we’d consider YouTube to be more of a search engine for videos than a social network, we thought YouTube needed to have a place in this guide. After all, when you see social media buttons placed in the header or footer (or both) of a website, you pretty much always see YouTube alongside Facebook et al. So, as far as we’re concerned, it needs to be in a post about which social networks to use. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and video ranks really well in Google SERPS (search engine results positions) so it’s really worth spending a lot of time on this platform whether you’re B2C or B2B.
If budget is no option then we’d recommended using all of the platforms that we’ve mentioned above. But budget usually is a factor that constrains our decisions in matters like these. So let’s try to narrow this down a bit, as it’s usually best to have laser focus on just a couple of platforms rather than doing a mediocre job of trying to implement, post to, interact with your target audience on and maintain each platform. For a start, we’d recommend you use a social media management platform to help you with your social networking accounts. Hootsuite is a popular one which is used by many Social Media Managers and so is Sprout Social. These handy social media management tools, can help you to track conversations across social media, schedule posts and provide analytics so you can test what’s working and what’s not. If you know what’s working then you can do more of that, whilst discarding things that you’ve found don’t work. Remember, digital marketing is all about testing hypotheses and see if they work for your specific business.