Marketing Guide: 5 Best Social Media Platforms For Business Owners in 2016
Managing social media for your business is an imperative these days – your business simply can’t afford not being present anymore. However, there are a lot of social media networks out there and deciding on what to use and what not can be difficult.
What are the benefits of one social network over the other? Who will I find and where? How do I get started? Can I do it alone or do I need a professional? Is it worth the money and the hassle?
Every business owner faces these questions. A couple of years ago they were biggies – today, they are no-brainers.
Social media is definitely worth it. If you do it right, you will spend minimum amounts of money to:
· Increase your visibility and reach
· Connect with your audience and turn them into business evangelists
· Improve your standing in the search engines
· Increase your sales and revenue
I’ve put together a list of best social media for business – at least in my book. These tools helped me and tons of other business owners grow our business, sometimes globally. I truly hope they prove useful to you as well!
Quora might look like an odd first choice for the uninitiated but it’s an excellent tool that professional marketers often use to draw the spotlight on their business.
It is a question and answers network; people turn to it to find more information about a particular subject or to ask a question if the answer is not readily available.
Here’s how you can put it to good use:
· Actively seek out questions that are related to your industry and answer them to the best of your ability.
· Use the question as a starting point for a blog post that you will write up and publish on your own blog – add links to in-depth articles on your blog in your Quora answers.
· Connect with users and industry professionals to stay in the loop.
· Fill out your Quora profile – make sure that people know what your business is and what qualifies you as an expert for certain topics.
With over 100 million unique page visits per month in 2016, Quora is steadily growing since its humble beginnings back in 2011. To become a pro and make it work for you check out this marketer’s guide to Quora published on Kissmetrics blog.
With over 1.6 billion active users in 2016, Facebook is the largest social network out there and the best social media for business. If your business is not present on Facebook then you’re probably bleeding potential earnings. Set up a profile now! It doesn’t matter if you’re a dentist practice, a restaurant, or a car repair shop – there is money to be made on this site.
Managing social media for business, especially Facebook, is not easy – there are a lot of ins and outs to take care of – but get it right and you will reap a boatload of benefits.
· Increased visibility and exposure for your business and your offers.
· Building a community of people who can potentially turn into best ambassadors for your brand.
· Easier communication with your customers – Facebook Messenger app is becoming a go-to platform for customer care.
· Ability to target whoever you want whenever you want with your ads – both globally and locally.
Facebook should be the cornerstone of your social media presence. Almost everyone with an internet connection uses it so finding your target audience there will not pose a problem.
This might come as a surprise but Snapchat is an excellent marketing tool. It has over 100 million daily users and nearly 18 % of people with social network presence state that they have a Snapchat account.
It’s especially useful for businesses targeting the ficklest of demographics – teenagers and young adults. Let’s face it; these guys are jumping ship when it comes to traditional social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. It’s mostly because their parents are there but it’s also because they’re fed up with being advertised to on every step.
Your business can be one of the few cool businesses that adopted Snapchat as a means to connect with them. Keep in mind that you can’t make lists on Snapchat. People have to add you as a connection so your strategy is imperative – use Facebook and other social media networks to advertise your Snap-code and offer Snapchat-unique content. Be helpful, in-tune, and unique and you just might capture the hearts and minds of future big-spenders.
Marketing on Snapchat can also go horribly wrong. Don’t get caught with your pants down – study how these brands use Snapchat to appeal to their target audience and find an idea that will also become news-worthy.
For some reason, small and medium businesses are still reluctant to use Twitter as a means of online communication. Some business owners believe that there isn’t all that much to be said in 140 characters. I find that rather baffling, to tell you the truth. Here’s what you can do in that limited space:
· Reach everyone who is following you instantly – at ZERO cost!
· Inform your followers about new products releases and news about your company.
· Keep tabs on your competition.
· Use tweets to help your search engine ranking (tweets are indexed by Google).
· Drive up sales through special Twitter offers and by being constantly visible to your followers.
Twitter is the ultimate mobile social media network – nearly 300 million people access it daily from their smartphone. If for no other reason, your business should be present there because of the impressive Twitter usage numbers – trust me, you won’t regret it. Also, check out these Twitter tips and become an expert in managing this social media for business in an instant!
Of course, any post listing the best social media for business wouldn’t be complete without YouTube. With over a billion monthly users and over tens of million hours of videos watched every day, YouTube is currently the second largest search engine in the world, right behind Google.
People today don’t have much time – we’re bombarded with content and ads on every turn and reading everything we’re interested in would be an around-the-clock job. That’s why we’re turning to video content. Millennials especially are more into visual content and if they are your target audience then YouTube is the place to be.
You can use YouTube however you want but there are some general guidelines I’d like to offer to make your start that much easier.
· Give your brand a face – it might be you as the CEO, your marketing manager, your junior developer, or a paid actor – heck, it can even be your mom! Find someone with a bit of personality and appeal and establish them as your brand face.
· Don’t make ads – instead, focus on creating content! Things like interviews, Q&A sessions, how-to videos, and other helpful content will bring in more audience than a boring self-promotional video.
· Transcribe your videos – other than being helpful to the hearing-impaired, the transcription will help you a lot when it comes to SEO.
· Add a call-to-action to your video – remember, you’re marketing your business. Be fun and engaging but invite people to visit your web page, connect to you on other social media sites, or try out your product.
This short list doesn’t do justice to the social media world, by no means. There are tons of other networks you can use, depending on the type of business you’re in. There’s Yelp for service businesses, Instagram for highly visual businesses (or those targeting visual audiences), LinkedIn for B2B businesses – the list goes on and on.
I’ve singled these out because they allow you to tap into different markets and encompass everything from natural advertising and customer care to video and meme formats – both long-from and short-form communication.
If you want to chime in, make sure to drop down by the comments section and let me know about your favorite social media for business. You’ll be hard-pressed to find something I haven’t tried but I invite you to give it a go!