Sometimes I talk to business owners who are overwhelmed trying to navigate social media. They aren’t sure which profiles to have, where to spend time, and how to use the accounts to engage with their customers. And, even worse, sometimes people feel like they have to be on ALL the platforms, and they simply add to the overwhelm they’re experiencing.
But by choosing only a couple of platforms to use for your business, you can maximize your efforts on those, and avoid burnout from trying to do too much.
So which platforms do you choose? Let’s get a list together of the leading platforms to help you weigh your options.
Blogs aren’t always placed under the social media category. But it has a major impact on your whole social media plan. You absolutely should be blogging. No question. It’s not just a suggestion, it’s a rule. You can’t control when Facebook is going to change their algorithms again, and how it’s going to affect you, but you CAN control how much, what, and when you write on your blog.
In addition, your blog and your main website should be in the same place, (like rosemcchesney.com and rosemcchesney.com/blog, as opposed to two completely different domains) so all of your blog traffic is going to be traffic right on your website where they can also see your “free stuff” tab, and what services you offer, and learn about you…. It’s just a no-brainer. Your website should be the hub of ALL your activity, and the source of your original content should be your blog. And then your social media should always point back to that. So start there.
Facebook is increasingly tricky for businesses, because with always-changing rules and algorithms, it can be hard to keep up. And by “keep up” I mean stay connected with your audience, be available for likes/comments, continue to increase engagement, etc.
But there are two truths that make Facebook non-negotiable:
- It’s where the people are. The truth is that Facebook has over a billion and a half users, while most other leading platforms have 100-300 million users. It has a clear lead, and it is still growing. You need to go where the people are.
- I won’t always say “do what everyone else is doing”, but in the case of business and Facebook, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Even if you don’t tell people about your Facebook page, if they have your business card or read your blog or talk to you at an event, they will assume you have a Facebook page. There’s a reason you’re tempted to go straight to Facebook: it’s the most popular, most used, and probably the one you’re most familiar with.
In my experience, most people either love Twitter, or they hate it. And those who love it are most likely on twitter multiple times a day. I’m not entirely sure why that is, but everyone I talk to either uses Twitter constantly, or they don’t even have an account. If I’m honest, I didn’t care for it originally, but the more I’ve used it, the more I recognize its value.
Twitter has the unique ability of sharing information, holding conversations, and categorizing discussions, in bite-sized pieces. The beauty of them being bite-sized is that you can scroll through a very lengthy list of tweets in just moments. It’s a fast-paced platform, which is why it’s recommended that you tweet many times a day, and tweet the same links and tweets multiple times over.
My recommendation to you is to give Twitter a try. Learn to appreciate the value of boiling your message down to 140 characters. Practice using hashtags. Give it a healthy try and see if it works for you!
When Instagram started, it seemed that it was filled mostly with selfies and food. But over time, it has become a fantastic business tool.
Visual is key in marketing, and Instagram is 99% visual. It’s a perfect tool for sharing beautiful images of your work, your product, your behind-the-scenes, your customers’ experience with your products or services, and more. You can show them how stunning your business is with just a smartphone or tablet. The use of hashtags, short video, and Stories can provide edge for your business.
Pinterest is one of the largest drivers of traffic, meaning it is a highly valuable tool for getting your audience on to your website.
And it’s one of the top 5 search engines! I know I go to Pinterest before Google these days. Especially for a “how-to” question. Let’s say I want to know how to wash my feather pillows. Sure, I can google it. But if I search on Pinterest, my results will be real people’s experiences, not just what the biggest laundry detergent and feather pillow companies want me to find. I’ll find answers that are full of images and straight from real life.
Using Pinterest requires images of a certain size, so be sure to use images plentifully on your site and in your blog. Create boards and add pins directly from your site. Feature your products, pin straight from your blog posts, even from your web pages. Pins that are sourced directly from your site are going to lead people right back to you!
Keep in mind that most of the Pinterest audience is female, so if your ideal audience is male, it may not be the right place for your business.
As a business owner, you always need to be networking professionally. And the best online place to do that is LinkedIn.
In addition, it’s seen as a knowledge and information-sharing hub. You can use LinkedIn to update your audience on the latest news of your industry, and hold conversations with your network.
There are dozens more social media platforms available for you to use, some of which are industry-specific. The platforms I’ve described here are really the leading platforms. I recommend you pick 1-3 that are a good fit for your business.
And don’t forget to have a little fun!