Social media presents a communications landscape that can help your business boost its online presence. Before businesses can capitalize on this landscape, however, they must understand how each social media platform can benefit their business.
Not every social media platform will work for every business, which means it’s important for businesses to understand their audience and what they hope to achieve from their social media presence before choosing which platforms to use.
Some businesses may also find that lesser-known channels yield the best results depending on their goals and audience.
Establish an Online Presence to Remain Visible and Relevant
A robust online presence can help many businesses remain relevant in today’s world; it gives you the chance to connect with your target audience, forge essential relationships, and promote products and services.
Social media can also help you collect market research and ensure your brand remains visible among your competitors.
According to a 2019 report by author Simon Kemp, 57% of the global population is online, averaging about 6.5 hours online daily.
According to Kemp, the global digital community will spend a combined total of more than 1.2 billion years online this year alone.
This represents a huge marketing potential for businesses to promote their products and services via social media.
Top Social Media Platforms Are Effective
With more and more people turning to social media to connect with businesses, social media presents a huge opportunity for businesses.
Popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter may seem like the “go-to” channels for businesses. While these channels have the most users, businesses shouldn’t think they are the only options.
Facebook Dominates Social Media
When it comes to social media domination, Facebook is the number one global social media platform. In fact, it has become a standard that all other platforms are compared to.
Facebook has more than 2.3 billion active monthly users with an average of 1.4 billion daily users. Activity on Facebook remains high — Five accounts are created every second, more than 300 million pictures are uploaded daily, and videos receive about 8 billion views per day.
Businesses can leverage Facebook to:
- Strengthen their customer service efforts
- Share information with their followers
- Reach out to customers and other businesses directly
- Support their marketing and advertising strategies
As one of the most widely used social media platforms, Facebook can help businesses reach a wider audience.
Twitter Creates Brand Awareness
Twitter is a great avenue for increasing brand awareness and engaging with followers.
The number of registered users on Twitter is above 1.3 billion with more than 320 million active monthly users and 100 million daily active users.
The easiest way for a brand to use Twitter is by starting a hashtag campaign or creating a Twitter poll. The other is to tweet frequently and consistently.
Twitter allows businesses to connect with younger generations and share short and interesting content to drive traffic to their website.
Instagram Is for Visually-Driven Content
Instagram is a photo-sharing platform that has rapidly changed beyond personal use today.
It has more than 1 billion active monthly users with daily use amounting to over 500 million. On average, about 40 billion pictures are shared with about 4.2 billion likes given regularly.
Many brands today are using Instagram to promote their products and services.
Niche Social Media Sites Are Also Valuable to Businesses
Besides Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, other social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, and Quora can help your online presence grow.
These other platforms are often overlooked and underappreciated as they are less straightforward, more niche-oriented, and have fewer users. However, if properly used, they can offer a wealth of opportunities to engage potential users.
LinkedIn Connects Professionals
LinkedIn was designed specifically for professionals.
It allows businesses or professionals to connect with other businesses or professionals, share posts, and post and search for job opportunities.
Pinterest Is a Social Media Digital Scrapbook
Pinterest's entire platform is built around images that are searchable using keywords and hashtags.
Businesses can use Pinterest to post photos of their products with a link to their website or contact information.
Reddit Runs on Votes and Comments
Reddit is an online forum that values content through up-votes and down-votes. Favorite submissions are featured on the front-page.
It allows users to post videos, images, links, questions, or answers and receives up to 14 billion page-views per month, making it the fifth most visited site in the U.S.
Success on the platform depends on finding the right strategy for your business’ marketing needs.
There are quite a few businesses that have succeeded on Reddit, largely with the help of AMAs (Ask Me Anythings).
For example, Elon Musk launched an AMA on Reddit about SpaceX, a rocket company.
These AMAs allow leaders of businesses to connect with consumers and answer questions related to new projects or products.
Although Reddit is not a mainstream social media platform, it offers businesses with the unique opportunity to connect with their customers and engage in a two-way conversation.
Quora Is a Q&A Forum
Quora does an excellent job of helping businesses rank on Google for a variety of topics and satisfying users with thorough answers to questions.
Quora hit 300 million users in 2018 and is a great site for recommendations, answers to questions, and advice. This site is ideal for businesses trying to connect with their customers and acquire feedback.
Businesses can track conversations related to their expertise and answers questions as they appear. This will help establish that business as a thought leader in its industry.
For example, even Quora uses Quora to answer questions users might have about its platform.
Businesses can answer questions that already exist on Quora, or if they have an answer they want to provide for a specific question that someone hasn’t already asked, they can create their own.
Quora is a resource for users to find answers to their questions, so it’s important for each question to be keyword-optimized.
Social Media Requires a Well-Thought-Out Strategy
Over time, social media networks have risen to become tried and trusted marketing channels. However, this doesn’t mean you should rush into using them.
Just like any communications medium, social media has benefits and drawbacks, requires a plan. A successful social media strategy also requires a thorough understanding of its pros and cons.
Social Media Can Help Businesses Connect With Their Audience
Social media is popular because it has been proven to be effective.
Other benefits include:
- Acquiring customer feedback in real-time
- Collecting marketing research
- Engaging with customers to create brand loyalty
- Promoting products and services
- Instantly sharing news and announcements with customers
- Improving your ranking on search engines such as Google
Businesses can use social media to connect with their target audience easily and immediately. While social media is a powerful tool, it doesn’t come without drawbacks.
Social Media Requires Constant Monitoring and Managing
Social media is constantly evolving which means businesses must constantly monitor their social media strategy and adjust as needed.
What was trending yesterday might not be successful tomorrow, next week, or next month.
Other challenges include:
- Measuring the actual ROI (return on investments) of social media efforts (i.e., whether your target audience is acting on your message)
- Budgeting enough time and resources to manage social media accounts and campaigns
- Making sure you’re prepared to handle negative reviews
Social media is constantly changing and requires an immense amount of commitment and dedication to maintain momentum.
The Success of Your Social Media Presence Is a Product of the Time You Invest in It
Social media can be a powerful tool in influencing your brand’s perception. It allows for regular interaction with followers, journalists, and thought leaders.
This interaction can boost your profile, improve your public image, and give your brand the online presence you’re looking for, but it needs to be nurtured to flourish.