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Everyone knows by now that a business needs to be on social media, and many of them to be successful, but many still don’t know which their particular brand, business or niche belongs on. Tips vary of course from source to source; here are ours – gathered by years of experience and from experts everywhere.

Which Platform Is Right For My Business?

How to know which social media platforms to use depends on what your business does, because the two work in tandem. There is one platform among them all which seems universal however, and that’s Facebook.

The public relies on a business having a social media page or profile for contact information, reviews, news about anything new and upcoming, and it gives them a direct way to give feedback or send a message.

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Facebook

Having a Facebook business page is a given – when to choose the others comes down to taste, presence, and activity.

Twitter

While Twitter is where all the ‘happening’ people are, it’s not suited to all companies. If your company has a constant flow of updates to projects or is able to host conferences, Twitter is a place you’d want to be. It’s a place to post quick quips or about the status of something, be it how the day went, news about something coming, or a promotion for your business or person.

Twitter relies upon a constantly changing feed of new information via status updates, and not all companies want or need to invest the serious time it takes into being on Twitter successfully.

Linkedin

LinkedIn has become the premium social media “B2B” platform. LinkedIn connects professionals in much the same way Facebook connects the average visitor, and gives them tools which allow them to endorse another person’s speciality and a lot more.

If your company is going to do business directly with other higher ranking professionals, networks with professionals in various corporate verticals or requires their authority to purchase, then this source can do wonders. Often, successful people say that it’s because they bothered to ask, when so many would never dare. People are still people, which is why LinkedIn continues to pair successful professionals through networking – because it works. Being there requires little upkeep, but it is necessary to keep some active blog posts or articles going to provide some history, or it’s just a blank profile with no substance to push it in rankings.

The only trick with LinkedIn is researching the keywords for one’s own industry to ensure they appear in their title and description to get the most search hits.

Pinterest & Instagram

Both of these platforms rely on imagery, with very little text, if any at all. Companies which don’t have the option to create great visual impact, for example someone who sells nuts and bolts, may not see any return publishing photos on these platforms. However, a florist, for example, would do quite well on both platforms because beautiful flowers whether arranged or natural create a strong visual impact.

The key difference between the two platforms is what they mean to a marketer:

  • Instagram has more influencers of all levels. If you are just starting out, then seeking a micro-influencer is a good bet, and they can be easily found on Instagram. They’ll do the work largely for you, but you’d have to link to their shout-out videos on your Facebook page or elsewhere. Not all companies suit influencers either, like the hardware store owner.
  • Pinterest favors marketers and gives them more free tools to promote their content than any other. While Instagram is more about photos or short videos, Pinterest has a wide variety of everything from recipes, to infographics, how-to’s, wedding color schemes, and nearly anything else a person can think of. It’s easier to be on Pinterest, but requires some upkeep to keep things current and being pinned by others. It’s less restrictive than Instagram in terms of the ‘visual content’ posted, as it can be a wider variety of things.

Youtube

Many businesses don’t even think about being on YouTube because they don’t want to create videos. It could be that you don’t want your face on YouTube, or don’t like how your recorded voice sounds, or that you freeze up on camera. There are thousands of reasons people dislike the thought of being part of YouTube, but creating videos doesn’t have to be your own voice, or a real person’s image. There are plenty of things a company can use for content creation inside YouTube which will get viewers to tune in – it could be something as simple as a tutorial about whatever it is the company is selling or is great at.

The handful of others out there, Snapchat, WhatsApp and others like them, are shifting so much, that there’s no reason to need to be on either of them unless you know for a fact your specific niche market leverages those platforms. For the advertising budget spent, in general the money goes a lot farther investing in the ones mentioned prior.

! Important Considerations !

1. Where the Crowds Are

Facebook has been the undisputed champion of the people since the fall of MySpace and AOL. Once businesses realized the marketing potential of Facebook as they began to allow advertisers into their space, the stampede had begun.

Now, people all over the world expect a business to be on Facebook as a standard and depending on the industry, sometimes others. How to tell where the crowds are for your business isn’t always immediately obvious. It may make more sense to be on Instagram or Pinterest if the business is highly visual in nature, or does well with photos. It may be less beneficial to companies which offer things like car parts for instance, though many can and do show up on those sites to list the parts on offer, even if only in part. That’s how important it is to be where everyone else is.

2. Don’t Spread Yourself Thin

It’s not possible to be on every social media platform there is, and it’s also not even reasonable for every business. There is no point in maintaining a presence on a site which will do nearly nothing for sales. It takes just as much time to research where to be as actually being on any of those sites, and also plenty of dedication to keep up with trends, changes, and what just doesn’t work anymore. Another hurdle to look for is knowing when privacy and copyright laws change, which have very recently transformed the landscape of marketing and advertising online.

This is a lot of work for a single person to do, it’s even a lot for a team to do. To do it well means putting 100% of their time at work into social media posts, marketing, designing, strategy writing and re-writing, research, content gathering, image sourcing, performing checks and balances to ensure quality, and all the many other tasks the job entails. It has become a full-time profession with good cause; even if once upon a time a person could do it alone, it is no longer the case unless that person built up their following back when Facebook first allowed advertisers through.

3. Client Exposure & Communication

Where to be present on social media is a huge question every business looking to market to prospective clients needs to answer before they can start any social media campaign.

A Universal rule of thumb on all platforms is to limit the amount of text written, expect for perhaps one of them which would be the ‘hub’ or central social media platform where the most of your social media presence focused. This will be where the majority of your prospective clients are. If one of those is Facebook and/or Twitter, those are the best places text-based posts.

If your business has any type of visual aid, or you’re able to portray your business well through imagery or display, then Pinterest and Instagram are both great places to be. Pinterest is ideal right now especially, having welcomed marketers and rewarded them greatly for being there prior to them going public.

LinkedIn is more for professionals to connect with one another, for connecting to customers if your market is B2B, and for some content sourcing at times but not necessarily to communicate with clients unless your prospective clients are those professionals.

4. Down to Demographics

You need to try and focus your target audience as much as possible in order to prevent a dilute demographic that’s too large and may not yield great results in terms of engagement or ads (depending on your budget).

Identifying common traits about your prospective leads/customers is possible through demographics tools available on each of the social media platforms which typically provide analytics and other data about their users. Google is a massive company and likely the largest in terms of data both available, sought and maintained – sometimes a clever search on Google can turn up great things. But you’ll likely need more than this source to determine your ideal target market.

Most companies can accurately guess their target market by knowing their friends, co-workers, and other professionals in the industry and estimating the “average” based on that data, and this is a great starting point. Some things may need to be guessed initially as it won’t be immediately available – for example a person’s salary – though you can get close with sites like GlassDoor. What a person’s salary is, for example, may help to determine if the person is the manager or the right person to approach with an offer. Demographics can offer plenty of data to a company, but maintaining that data and then using it to market successfully is definitely part of the full-time job listed prior.

5. More Efficient & Less Costly Management

It’s apparent that the work involved in social media management is a big job, and certainly not something done particularly well by just anyone – asking your secretary or in-house admin staff to manage your social media management on top of their current daily duties may turn out to be far more costly and/or less profitable than having someone skilled with social media take care of your online presence. With this in mind, it may be far more worthwhile for you to employ the help of experts who work within the industry to ensure a solid social media presence so that you or your staff can focus on what they’re good and and have been hired to do in the first place. There are many such services available that will represent your business values and ensure good engagement to your audience through providing high quality content.

Time vs Money – is it worth doing in-house?

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Your time is worth more than any other commodity, and at some point doing it all yourself or having someone in-house do it is ultimately going to cost more in terms of productivity.

At Magi.Social we offer social media management services which are niche-specific to your industry and written by native English speakers. We ensure every post shines like you want it to, and is classy, professional and most importantly, valuable to your followers.

If you’re serious about seeing results from your social media presence, want to grow your audience, and don’t want to have to slog for hours getting it done yourself, we encourage you to check out our plans – we have something to fit every budget and objective!