Social media plays a major role in our everyday lives, both personally and professionally. As businesses and brands start to integrate social media into their marketing and advertising campaigns, it is imperative that they understand how to use each channel effectively.
Here’s a breakdown of five popular platforms and how you can effectively utilize each one to grow your brand.
Facebook may be considered the grandfather of social media platforms still in use today. Founded in 2004, it is still the most popular social media platform in use today with roughly 2.8 billion active users.
In order to be successful on Facebook, you have to be active. This means posting at least once a week, but three posts a week is what’s recommended to ensure you’re maximizing potential reach and keeping engagement high. Peak posting hours are between 1 and 4 p.m. although another good time is from 8-9 a.m. when people are just beginning their workday. Knowing your specific audiences preferences will help when deciding on a posting schedule.
A few good reasons to have a brand presence on Facebook are to engage with new and existing customers, target potential customers and keep followers up-to-date on what is happening with your business. One advantage to creating a Facebook business page is that it’s free! Having a Facebook business page can also help improve your company’s searchability by increasing your search recognition when someone looks up your company. Facebook advertising is another great way to build brand awareness. Advertising on Facebook can be pretty affordable. You can choose to spend as little as $1 a day for impressions, but the more you spend, the more your content will be seen. This is a low-cost marketing strategy and allows you to measure different posts’ success. With Facebook advertising you can choose your targeted audience and targeted location.
Facebook has a wide demographic, which is great if you are trying to reach a wide variety of audiences. The ever popular, yet hard to reach, 18-34 year old demographic reigns supreme on Facebook, but the insights show that users range anywhere from 13-65+ and from countries around the globe.
Types of posts can range from a status update to a photo upload or a video post. Sharing meaningful information will get your audience interested and entice them to interact with your posts, increasing your engagement rate.
Instagram is known for sharing photos in tiny boxes but the platform has expanded to offer much more in recent years and is quickly becoming a business favorite. Instagram launched in 2010 and hasn’t stopped growing and evolving since its inception.
A few tips for creating a solid Instagram profile is to include a bio about your company with keywords in it. This can give your audience a quick idea about the page they are viewing. Including a link to a website in your bio can also increase awareness of your brand and drive your audience to your website.
One of Instagram’s most popular features is its “story” function which allows users to post an image or video that disappears after 24 hours. This allows for a more casual post that doesn’t require a lot of time and effort into creating and doesn’t clutter up your audience’s newsfeed. Instagram has also created more interactive features for stories like polls that your audience can engage with and feel more connected to your business. Utilizing the story function on Instagram can help grow your audience by using hashtags and locations. By tagging your location you can have a chance to get featured on the Explore page and extend your reach.
According to Louise Meyers and her social media tips, it is recommended to post at least once a week, with three times a week being the preference. However, in order to get optimal results, posting once or twice a day is best. Frequency of posts is crucial to staying prioritized in Instagram’s algorithm. The more you post, the better the chance your content has to be seen. Planning your content in advance can allow you to post multiple times a week without worrying about finding last-minute content and allow for valuable and engaging posts. Once again, consistency is key to get Instagram’s algorithm to work for you and will give your audience more opportunities to interact with your content.
Twitter is another one of the most popular social media platforms and is known as a form of microblogging. Twitter has an estimated 350+ million active users. The amount of tweets someone should post a day varies depending on the type of account and who you are asking. One consensus from Louise Meyers is that 3 to 30 times a day is sufficient, due to a tweet’s lifespan, which is very short! Tweeting more often helps keep your content seen in your audience’s newsfeed.
One way a company can utilize Twitter is to share industry news and engage with its audience. Hashtags can allow you to reach an audience outside of your following. Creating engaging content can result in your tweets being liked or even retweeted by your audience. Try incorporating fun content like using visuals, gifs, polls, and links. Depending on the following size of your brand, a less is more approach may be the way to go for bigger brands.
One of the newest players in the social media game is TikTok. This is a video-based social media sharing platform that consists of videos ranging from 15 seconds to one minute long. Due to the nature of the content shared on TikTok, the possibility of a post going viral is far more likely on TikTok than on any other channel.
By using trending hashtags on videos, specifically #fyp (i.e. for you page), you’re able to attract new viewers to your content creating recognition among new customers. Additionally, brands are able to capitalize on TikTok trends such as dances to humanize themselves and appear more relatable, again increasing recognition, awareness and loyalty.
Many companies have realized TikTok’s potential and have begun using the platform to create challenges and campaigns, oftentimes with the help of an influencer. Last Halloween Chipotle teamed up with TikTok influencer Addison Rae to create the #Boorito challenge to give away free burritos for one year. Campaigns like this can help companies gain business and grow their presence online.
LinkedIn has established itself as the go-to social channel for businesses and professional networking. With an estimated 740 million members worldwide, nearly half of whom make more than $75,000 annually and have a college degree, LinkedIn is a great place for B2B brands to target decision makers and influential people in their respective industries, making it the ideal channel for lead generation.
Louise Meyers also recommends for companies to post at least two times a week on LinkedIn and for optimal results, once a day, with mornings being the ideal posting time. According to Brafton, writing blog posts, posting from third-party sources, and adding images that relate to your brand are how a post on LinkedIn will succeed. Using LinkedIn ads to target your audience can help increase traffic to your page. With LinkedIn ads you can target the level of job experience and the industry your target audience works in as well as target their interests.
What is the Value of Social Media for Brands and Businesses?
When used effectively, brands can experience significant growth, recognition, and often times conversion through social media. Consistency is key, sticking to a posting schedule is an important factor to any brands success online. With each business’ goal for social media being different, it’s nearly impossible to tell you exactly what will work for your specific audience, product, or service, but using these tips as a guide will certainly give you a leg up on your competition.
Find what interests your audience and play around with different types of posts and see which types of content perform better. While there does need to be a strategy behind your social media efforts, there is also great room for creativity and experimentation so have fun! Find what works best for your brand and run with it. Now that you’ve learned the basics of these five social media platforms, are you ready to utilize them for your brand?