What social media should your business focus on?

Social Media

Social media platforms are a great way to spread the word about your business, but not every platform is suitable for every kind of business.

In this guide, we’ll explore the most popular social media platforms and explain which is the best match for your business.

Google My Business

If you haven’t heard of Google My Business, i would put some time into finding out about it and getting registered. Don’t confuse Google my business for Google Plus, as Google plus was a failed attempt at a facebook clone and in effect is dead, but Google’s business-focused social network still lives on and is vastly important.

It’s suitable for all kinds of businesses, but it’s especially useful for business that serve a specific local area (Google loves local search, so having a present here will help greatly in your visitability) either via a physical premises that people can visit (such as a café), or without a premises that people can visit (such as a plumber).

Why is it so useful to these kinds of business?

Because Google My Business allows you to be included in Google’s local search results, as shown in the example below.

Other benefits of Google My Business include displaying your opening times, photos of your business and the ability to gather customer reviews. Why not search for your business on google now and see if you’re registered? If you’re not it’s straightforward and easy to get started. Just click here to get registered

Summary – Good for everyone

Facebook

Facebook is the leading social network on the internet and if your business is focusing on people it’s perfect place to be (who’s business isn’t), even if you’re interested in corporate clients the likelihood is that the key decision maker will have a personal facebook account.

That in itself is a decent argument for setting up a Facebook page for your business. You probably already have a personal page, but do you have a business page? If not you’re missing a great opportunity to engage with your customers (and potential customers). Another great reason is Facebook’s ad platform, which many small businesses find is an excellent way to drive sales because of its powerful targeting options.

If this is something you’re not sure about there are many other businesses out their that specialise in facebook marketing. If you need someone to manage a campaign, expect to pay around £400+ a month for company to look after the advertising and then your ad budget on top.

Then there’s the fact that having a Facebook page for your business allows you to collect reviews, and gives you another way to gather feedback from, and communicate with your customers.

It’s a great all-rounder and its reach alone means you should strongly consider using it.

Summary – Good for everyone

Instagram

Instagram is owned by Facebook but it still has its own social media niche – namely images, think of it as show and tell.

That means Instagram is great for businesses that have strongly visual brands and products! Think fashion, or restaurants, cafes, photographers. (It’s a cliché, but pictures of food still do well on Instagram.)

Unless you can think of a clever angle, Instagram probably won’t work for businesses without a strong visual element (accountancy, or copywriting, for example.)

Instagram also has an ad platform which allows you to reach a new audience for your business. It’s a platform that’s especially popular with younger, fashion-conscious people, so if that’s your target audience, that’s where you should be targeting them.

To get started with Instagram for Business, you first need the app on your preferred mobile platform and then your own personal account. Have a look at the instructions on their page to get started, click here to go straight to it

Summary – Good for businesses with products to show, avoid if you don’t have tangible products

Pinterest

If you’ve got a visual brand, then Pinterest is likely to be the other social media network you end up focusing on, along with Instagram.

Although Pinterest will appeal to the same kinds of businesses as Instagram, the way the social network is setup differs slightly.

In fact, because “Pins” on Pinterest link directly back to a web page, you can use the site to promote products directly. It’s great for things like clothing and jewellery.

There’s also an ad platform you can use to get in front of a new audience. It’s also reported that Pinterest attracts more women than the average social media site, so if your products particularly appeal to women, you may be able to reach them on Pinterest.

This guide explains how to promote your business with Pinterest.

Summary – Good for businesses with products to show, avoid if you don’t have tangible products

Twitter

Twitter has a habit of hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons, but it’s still an active community and many businesses use it to successfully promote themselves online.

Like Facebook, it’s something of an all-rounder, so as long as you can think of creative ways to use it to promote your business, you’ll find a home there.

Another reason to consider using Twitter is that it may be people are talking about your business on their already. So by setting up a profile, you can ensure that you can deal with any issues that people may be discussing.

As you might expect, Twitter has an ad platform, although the targeting isn’t quite as powerful as Facebook’s.

It’s also a fantastic customer service platform, you can monitor it using tool like Hootsuite to see who’s talking about you and answer their questions before it gets out of hand.

You can find out how to promote your business through Twitter here.

Summary – Good for everyone

LinkedIn

LinkedIn may not be the first site that comes to mind when you think of social networks, but it can play a useful role for some kinds of business.

Clearly, any business where you’re selling a product or service to a customer isn’t a good match for LinkedIn, if you’re focusing on business to business products or services, then LinkedIn can be a great platform to spread your work.

You’ll need to set up a business page (rather than a personal page), and you’ll also need to make sure you connect with people in the right way.

This means publishing interesting content and making good use of the LinkedIn ad platform, and not spamming the inboxes of everyone you think might be interested in what you do.

You can learn more about using LinkedIn to promote your business in this guide.

Summing up

It’s important to focus on the social media site(s) that you think will work best for your business.

Even if you want to use all the sites we’ve looked at above, don’t spread yourself too thinly at first.

Decide which one or two social networks you think will work best for your business, then focus on building up your presence there.

If you try to launch on all social networks at once, the chances are you’ll do a bad job on all of them.

Bonus: If you want to design images to use on your social media accounts, check out canva to design the images, or find a local business to support you, or if you want something cheaper, check out fiverr.

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