Social media is not just for cute animal pictures. Businesses can use the different types of social media platforms to engage, entertain, and inform their customers and future customers.
If your business has not embraced social media as part of your content marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a huge audience. 69% of people in the United States are using the different types of social media regularly. The biggest portion of these users are people 18-29, but you can reach audiences of any age.
Before you jump in and start sharing content, it’s important to understand the purpose of the different platforms. Each platform has a different purpose. You will reach a wider audience if you understand the purpose of social media platforms.
Professional Social Media Use: Where to Start
Before you pick the types of social media platforms to use, you need to do some research. Check out your competition and see what works for them. Also look at what’s not working for them.
Pay attention to the type of content that gets the most engagement. Look at the industry trends. Once you understand the content, create clear goals for your social media strategy.
Taking the time to do research and set goals will help you choose the best platforms. The benefits of social media for business are great if you take the time to plan.
Make sure you take advantage of the analytics tools available so you can continue to create a strategic professional social media presence. Just like any other part of business planning, your social media plan needs regular attention.
What Types of Social Media Should I Use?
The purpose of social media platforms for business is to increase your digital footprint. It’s next to impossible to get noticed without a digital presence. It’s also difficult to get noticed if you’re using the wrong digital platforms.
The types of social media platforms you choose to increase that digital presence will depend on what you want to share and how you want to reach your audience. Let’s take a look at the major social media platforms and how they are used effectively for business.
Facebook for Business
While other types of social media platforms are growing, Facebook is still the most popular platform available. Facebook has 2.23 billion users. While not all of these users will be your target audience, that’s still a lot of potential for your business.
To take advantage of the potential market on Facebook, you will need a business page. Facebook does not allow promotions from personal pages. The process to set up a business page is easy to follow and will give you access to several analytics tools to keep up with how well your efforts work.
Facebook pages are diverse. You can share industry or company news, how-to videos, links to blog posts, etc. Facebook gives you more characters to share content, so you can share lengthier posts than with other platforms.
The most effective content for Facebook is videos, especially live videos. With a click, you can share a live video with instructional material, behind-the-scenes, product news, or blog summaries.
Video isn’t your only option though. You can share upcoming deals and discounts. You can share exciting updates and news. You can even share press releases or featured articles.
To be successful with Facebook, you need to focus on building followers. Create content that’s interesting and easy to share. This will put your content in front of more people to build that following.
Make it easy for people to engage with your content on Facebook so you show up in more feeds. Photos, videos, easy links, etc. are all good ways to do this.
Twitter for Professional Use
Twitter is best used for customer interaction and feedback. This is also a great platform for driving potential customers to content on your blog or website.
Twitter is all about short updates, attention-grabbing pictures, infographics, and videos, and polls. Quotes and inspirational material get a lot of attention on Twitter. Stats, news, and questions also get good engagement.
To get the most out of Twitter, provide good descriptions to drive people to other content. It’s also important to share updates and news from others in your industry.
To reach a larger audience on Twitter, take advantage of popular hashtags. Do some research on trending hashtags in your industry to use in your posts. This will attract attention in searches.
It’s important to remember that the best types of social media marketing on Twitter is to provide a mix of information. Don’t just share your own content. Mix other industry news, quotes, questions, etc. with content links.
Instagram for Businesses
Instagram is all about high-quality pictures and videos. This platform is best for visual industries.
Pictures of products work well on Instagram. A business account also allows you to set up purchases directly from your Instagram pictures. You can also share behind-the-scenes pictures and videos, customer photos, and quote pictures.
Instagram stories allow for a little more variety. These are temporary updates, so they work well for short-term deals and discounts.
For Instagram, visual is key. Make sure pictures and videos are appealing and high-quality to get the most interaction. You can also take advantage of relevant hashtags for more interaction.
LinkedIn is about professional networking. If you’re in a business to business industry, LinkedIn is a great platform to use. Of the 146 million U.S. users on LinkedIn, 40 million of those are decision-makers for their companies.
LinkedIn as a professional social media platform gives you opportunities to reach the people who can make decisions about implementing your products and services. LinkedIn also gives you the opportunity to show your expertise in your industry.
To connect with people, you can search for the people in your target industry and connect with them. You can also join industry groups to share info and ask questions.
LinkedIn also gives you another platform to share content. You can post articles directly on the platform, or share links. This is more about sharing news than about promoting individual products.
Pinterest is another visual social media platform. Businesses can create high-quality visuals and infographics that link back to more detailed content. People save these pictures to their boards for later use.
To get the most out of Pinterest, pictures are key. Provide pictures and infographics that summarize the link, and create captions that grab people’s attention. You can also use hashtags to show up in searches.
Managing Your Professional Social Media Accounts
While these aren’t the only types of social media platforms, they are the most popular. To get the most out of your social media marketing, pick the platforms that work best for your industry and work on growing those before branching out to other platforms.
Growing and nurturing the different types of social media platforms does take time and work. Luckily, there are tools to help you manage these marketing efforts. If you need more help choosing the best platform, or if you need help getting the most out of your efforts, check out the social media management tools available.