Social media: it’s become the tool for companies to drive engagement, awareness, and interaction online.
Today, 44% of local businesses depend on social media to generate brand awareness, and one out of every three users head to social networks to research brands and products.
It’s clear that social media is a tool your company should use. The question, then, is which platform (or platforms) to focus on. Here’s what you need to know:
The Top 4 Social Platforms for Businesses
While there are dozens of social networks currently available to users, most businesses interact with these four:
- Facebook. Facebook is the largest social platform with more than 2.32 billion monthly active users worldwide and, according to many social marketers, the one that delivers the highest ROI. While Facebook has been embroiled in privacy debates for the last several years, it’s still a critical place for your business to have a presence.
- Twitter. Today, 326 million people use Twitter each month. Ideal for delivering news and building a community, Twitter is a shorter-form platform than Facebook, but no less effective.
- LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the social network for businesses and professionals. Today, 46% of social media traffic to websites comes from LinkedIn. Ideal for connecting with industry professionals and sharing niche-specific content, LinkedIn is also a great place to build a professional network.
- Instagram. Owned by Facebook, Instagram is a photo-sharing platform that’s fantastic for businesses with products, goods, or services to display.
How to Determine What Platform(s) are Right for Your Marketing Strategy
When it comes to deciding on a social media platform, you’ve got to consider the following factors:
- Budget. Each of the above social platforms is free, so that’s not a barrier to entry. You may, however, want to budget for the services of a social media professional to help you develop a strategy and make your presence pop. In the world of social media, things have become a “pay to play” format in the last several years. Today, if you want your posts and content to be seen, you have to put a budget against it. Simply posting organically is not enough. Planning for this is critical.
- Goals. Each of the above platforms serves a different purpose. Twitter is excellent for connecting and engaging with customers; for example, while LinkedIn can be very effective for B2B businesses and the place to build a professional network. Consider your goals as you decide on a social platform. Since each platform is unique, your content must be also be unique.
- Workforce. Whatever you do, you don’t want to establish platforms you can’t maintain. Consider how much content you intend to create (remember that you boost engagement by keeping content unique to each platform) and make sure you have the human resources to support it.
Getting the Help of a Social Agency
If you want to make the most of your social media marketing budget, hiring an agency is the best way to do it. Keep in mind that the best practices for social platforms change almost daily, which is why it’s so critical to hire an agency to guide your efforts.
Agency professionals can help you identify the most productive platforms for your business and curate a presence that sets you apart from the competition.