So, which social media platform to use for my business?
I get asked which social media platforms to use for their business, should they be on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn…? I say you don’t need to be on every platform. But you need to consider at least two, which will help broaden your reach (test to see where your audience is, as not everyone is on the same platform). Social Media costs less than traditional marketing (I used to work in marketing before social media came along and it was expensive). It’ll give your business the opportunity to more exposure and also allow a business a “customer service” style communication tool. Customers then feel they are being heard. This might help, I wrote a previously on the pros and cons of each of the platforms, have a read and see which ones you feel would work for you and your business. I do social media and website training on one to one, paired and in groups/workshops. At my training sessions, most people want to be on Facebook for their business, after that they can become unsure of what other platforms to be on. We discuss what type of business they have, the demographic of customers they have. For example, if they attend trade shows, networking events, industry awards, local events and more… from there I always say don’t rely on just Facebook.
Think about Twitter…
I felt I should answer a popular question in and out of training sessions I get asked: “Why do I need to be on Twitter?“. To be honest, I feel most businesses should consider trying Twitter because it’s the most viral of the social media platforms. It will really help your brand/business expand it’s reaching, more than say just relying on Facebook, which a lot of businesses do as their first online presence port of call (especially if they don’t have a website). Twitter is a microblogging communication tool. This allows people/businesses to use short posts called “Tweets” (to communicate in 280 characters or less) with their friends/followers. This is great for businesses to use to broadcast their latest news, offers, events, blogs and more! Here are a few things to consider when it comes to starting out on Twitter:
- Try to have your Twitter page name the same as your domain name and your other social media account names.
- What’s your Twitter Handle? That’s the username of your account for example mine is @FITsocialmedia_ (it can only be fifteen characters long) and try and keep it similar to all your other social media usernames.
- Have a great “Bio” so that anyone who sees it understands what you/your business is about with a link back to your website and add your location.
- A good profile image (photo of you or logo) and cover image (showing your business, products or services off).
- Look at what’s trending (this is shown on a desktop to the left of the screen and on a mobile, it’s shown when you click on the search icon).
- Following other relevant accounts and hopefully, they will follow you back.
- Using relevant hashtags in your tweets (these are topics with the “#” sign in front of a word – e.g. #Coffee #SocialMedia #Business etc…) to your business will elevate your brand awareness to others.
- Tagging other accounts in your tweets (to do this you put “@” sign in front of a name or business name – e.g. FIT Social Media becomes @fitsocialmedia_ or Coca-Cola becomes @cocacola) notifies those accounts and they might decide to follow you!
- Create Twitter Lists (Public and Private ones) these are great as the public ones can be a list of accounts you follow related to what your business for example; @dovechocolate has 25 lists which cover charities, cooking and entertaining, food love, candymakers and more). Private lists can be useful as you can add accounts to a list such as competitors or a VIP customer list etc..).
- Vary your tweets, watch your spelling, grammar and keep your tone of voice in line with your business.
- If adding a link to an article, blog or video make sure you shorten the URL (eg: use a tool such as BITLY) otherwise it will use up valuable character space.
- Don’t forget to add emojis, images, videos, polls and gifs to your tweets keep your followers engaged!
- It’s nice to be nice, so “like” other tweets which you do like and “retweet” (share out) tweets which you like and think your audience would be interested in – sharing is caring! Those accounts you have liked and retweeted will be notified and could do the same for you AND could follow you too!
- Look at following some Twitter Chats/Twitter Hours (public Twitter conversations built around a specific hashtag) and engaging on them. Here is a guide on understanding Twitter Chats.
Facebook is a great social media platform for business, but don’t just rely on it as your only social media presence. Twitter is conversation driven and with the use of relevant and related hashtags to your business or industry you can extend your reach online. I know that some of the small businesses I deal with say they like using Instagram and LinkedIn as they work for them. I agree with them, but more and more of them are going to events, trade shows and award ceremonies, which would have an event hashtag, which hopefully at the time will trend on Twitter. By being on Twitter at these events and using the event hashtag it helps a business get noticed. So guys, as the saying goes “don’t’ knock it ’til you try it!” Give Twitter a try!