In 2017, you’d expect most people to be all over Social Media but when it comes to businesses that isn’t always the case.
Whilst large organisations will typically have all bases covered, smaller business owners who are juggling many different aspects of their day-to-day operations may need to be a bit choosier about which social media channels they sign up to – particularly when time is a major factor.
In order to make life a bit easier for you, we’ve put together a priority list of Social Media channels which as a small business, you ideally need to have a presence on – and most importantly, keep up to date with.
This was always going to be the number one mention – with over a billion active users a month; this is not a channel that anyone in business can ignore. Even if you find Facebook a bit too intrusive to use for your personal life, putting your brand in front of a global audience of this size for free surely can’t be a bad thing?
Not all of Facebook’s features are free – for businesses, Facebook encourage you to use their advertising service. Although it is a paid-for service, it is actually a very cost-effective way of targeting a much more relevant audience for your product or brand than other traditional media channels.
Can you really promote your business in 140 characters or less? Well, yes if do it in the right way.
If you can look past the fact that Twitter may have become infamous for the night-time rantings of certain politicians or for the trolling of celebrities, it is still relevant for businesses as a way of engaging with potential customers.
Whilst Facebook will generally only let you engage with those who like your page (aside from advertising), Twitter allows you to have a conversation with anyone. Making use of relevant hashtags and getting involved with Twitter networking groups such as #BizHour or #SmallBizHour can help to guide the conversation in the right direction.
Facebook and Twitter provide a good mix of personal and business accounts, however LinkedIn is purely industry-led. It differs slightly from the other networks – instead of promoting your overall business, it’s very much a self-promotion tool, so it’s you that needs to have a presence as opposed to your brand (although you have the option of putting your business on here too).
Think of it as an online version of your CV – you can list your qualifications, work experience alongside your skills and areas of expertise, but it also gives you the chance to chance to connect and network with other users.
Some people view it as a way of finding new opportunities on an individual level but if you are a business owner or key contact within your organisation, you can use it to develop your brand awareness and increase your trust and authority within your industry.
Owned by Facebook, Instagram has become increasingly important over the past few years, particularly with the younger audience. If the target demographic for your brand is anywhere between the ages of 18-30, then your business really should be using Instagram.
It’s the most visual of the social networks with all posts revolving around an image or short video so it’s an ideal way to promote products particularly if you are in the food, fashion or retail industry. Like Twitter, Instagram is a haven for the hashtag-lover so make sure you utilise these to your advantage. The phrase “less is more” doesn’t often apply here with businesses using as many hashtags as possible to get in on the action. (Whether this is the right action to take or not, I’ll cover in a later post!)
YouTube is not just for watching back-to-back videos of cats doing silly things (admit it, we’ve all done it), it can also be a useful tool for your business. After Google, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine so if you’re keen to get your business in front of a larger audience then perhaps you should think about a video marketing strategy.
If you’re just starting out with your small business, it doesn’t necessarily need to be something on your priority list, but it should be something to think about as part of your long-term marketing plan.
As a small business you may not always have time to manage your social media channels – Wily Fox Creative can help you to manage these to ensure that you are maximising your presence and engagement with your customers.