This article covers the top 5 social media platforms for business and what our recommendations are for getting started with a social media strategy today.
We’re officially going into 2020 and the world of social media is like the Wild Wild West. You’ve probably been told that you need to be on Facebook and Instagram (which is true), but what about the other platforms? Do you really need to be on them all? And what’s the deal with Facebook and Instagram’s social media engagement lately?
The thing is, you don’t need to be on all of the different types of social media platforms out there, however, a lot of them are free and offer huge value to your business growth.
Here’s our input into the top 5 free social media platforms for your business. The pros, the cons and how they create value for your long-term business goals.
The 5 Best Social Media Platforms for Business Owners: Should You be on Them & Why?
1. Instagram – Probably Definitely.
You’re familiar with this platform, no?
If we wrote this article in 2013 it would read very differently. Facebook was a hot commodity (and one of the best ways to gain exposure) and Instagram was something that was used for personal photos of friends and family.
Fast forward to today where Instagram is arguably one of the most effective social media platforms for not only showcasing your life, your energy and your personal style, but also a platform to showcase your brand, build an engaged audience, grow your business, and it’s free.
Instagram has become one of the most popular apps because, unlike Facebook, you can grow *somewhat* organically. You can engage through Instagram stories, IGTV videos and direct messages. You can create a visually stunning feed with bespoke brand aesthetics, and believe it or not, you can build an authentic and highly engaged community.
If you aren’t thinking about Instagram as a way to support, grow and showcase your business then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Though we predict that the Instagram business growth trends will soon become like Facebook (pay to play) and will require a marketing budget, it’s still a platform that you can access large reach with minimal ad spend, if done right.
The Downside Instagram requires strategy, regular posting, amazing content, an optimized account and some real brand awareness in order for it to be an effective social media platform for your business.
If you’re still in the baby stages of building your brand and business, I highly recommend downloading our FREE Instagram audit here. We go into the 12 major things that create successful Instagram platforms, and offer up a 5-step technique to gain authentic followers, by the hundreds, every month.
2. Facebook – Sure, Why Not? But be Prepared for Ad Spend
Should you even be on Facebook anymore?
Simply put. Yes.
But, unlike 2013 (the year Facebook joined Fortune 500 BTW) Facebook isn’t as simple when it comes to marketing. We usually warn people that if they want to grow their business using Facebook, be prepared to invest some major moula $.
In 2018 Facebook announced that the goal was to turn the app back into a social platform that was less focused on businesses and more focused on human connection.
“The News Feed would now be even more focused on your family and friends. This meant your own statuses and photos would be seen far more, but it would near kill off organic reach for companies, charities, and organisations.” – Brandwatch
Facebook made it harder for businesses to gain visibility. This meant less organic content from business in your feed and more social sharing.
Keeping these algorithm changes in mind, it doesn’t mean that your content won’t be seen by your audience, it just means that you have to get creative with the content you are putting out there and maybe consider throwing a little bit of ad budget into your Facebook efforts.
Facebook still has value and it’s still a free app, so why not use it? Check out these 3 tips for getting your content showcased in your audience’s feed:
- Share viral content. We highly recommend downloading the Save to Facebook Chrome Extension and using it to save viral content that pops up in your personal feed. Use the viral posts to encourage your followers to share and comment in order to build up engagement and exposure.
- Create content that solves problems. Everything you post should be designed around solving you audience?s problems through the content you put out there.
Always offer entertainment. Social habits require businesses to find new and creative ways to be entertained. Ask personal questions, post puzzles, use your polls and quiz option, get user feedback? think of interesting ways to keep that audience engaged.
3. Twitter – Maybe, But You’ll Probably Be Okay Without it
If you are just launching a business and looking to promote it online, we suggest you start with the first two types of social media platforms in this article. Most businesses will intuitively start with Facebook and Instagram.
But then there’s this pretty major platform out there that you’ll question its value to your overall business success, and that’s Twitter.
Do you really need to be on Twitter? Most likely not. Is it a valuable social media platform? Sure, any social media platform is valuable if you know how to make it work for you.
Twitter is a great platform to create a voice, to share thoughts, emotions, news, and show up in a relatable way. If you want to express personality with your business or brand, or if your business or brand fits into the realm of sharing small pieces of information, Twitter might be a great platform for you.
And again, Twitter is free, and you can connect it to your Facebook account so that you have an effortless way to share your content without going to the extra trouble of scheduling it in.
Learn how to connect your Twitter account to your Facebook to auto-post here.
4. LinkedIn – Depends, but Probably Most Definitely Yes!
If you aren’t thinking about building out a LinkedIn strategy for your brand or business, now is the perfect time to start.
A huge component of building a business is the ability to network and make connections, and LinkedIn is where it’s at for building up those connections with other likeminded professionals (OR with your clientele).
Gone are the days where LinkedIn is just for job postings. It’s now arguably one of the most valuable social media platforms for business owners because it has been designed for lead generation and business communications.
“That’s the real power of LinkedIn for business: the ability to tap into existing connections and grow your brand through word-of-mouth. It’s also the top-rated social network for lead generation.”
The downside Setting up a business account on LinkedIn must come from a homepage, which is often your personal page. So, most people create their personal profile and connect as a business owner or CEO. The other downside is you have to invite people to like your business page and that’s the only way to really grow it (for now).
However the case, LinkedIn is a great platform for building content, sharing information, building out campaigns, connecting directly in private messages, and using sponsored content. You can write blog posts and articles directly on the social app and last bit, it’s free.
Check out InTouch Tool to generate multiple connections and day.
5. Pinterest – If you Offer a Product or Informational Blog Posts, then 100% YES
Think of Pinterest as a search engine!
250 million people are using Pinterest to search for tips, tricks, advice, and so on, just as they do on Youtube and Google.
Pinterest has been touted as one of the top search engines, and it’s only growing. Though it’s such a great tool for boosting SEO, driving traffic and making sales, it’s one of the least popularized social media methods out there.
Here’s what you need to know about using Pinterest for your business:?
- Not everyone uses it. Pinterest’s target demographics are predominantly women over the age of 25. These women are searching for recipes, shopping and gathering inspiration and information. So, if your business doesn’t fit this sector, skip Pinterest.
- Even though it seems like you can just schedule some pins and find success with Pinterest, it actually takes strategy and a lot of time. Most people who successfully use Pinterest for their business spend hours every week ensuring they are pinning in the right places.
- Pinterest’s promoted pins can be quite cost-effective. You can promote a pin for as little as $3/ day and depending on your Pinterest strategy your pins can reach quite a large audience.
Pinterest is one of our favourite tools for e-commerce companies, nutrition and food companies, information-driven platforms, blogs, fashion, home design, lifestyle and travel. But consider your demographics and where they are gathering their information before spending time building out a Pinterest strategy.
So now you know of the top 5 social media platforms for business but setting them up and finding success with your promotions takes time and energy. It also takes some strategic planning. If you are looking for a strategic approach to your online promotions, you can check out our services list here.