If you own a business and are not currently on social media, prepare to go and create accounts on all the major social media platforms as soon as you have finished this article. A social media presence is vital to your marketing strategy. Four of the most important social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Overall, the goal of these platforms is to engage with your customers, promote your products and services and to provide information to those who find you and your brand beneficial to their needs. Social media is also a major workhorse in driving conversations about you and your brand, which is a crucial part of a successful marketing strategy.
For business purposes, Facebook can be a very powerful tool. Facebook offers a variety of features for individuals to converse with friends and family members but it also allows businesses to create a page with updates and other information that is connected with the brand. When a customer hits the “Like” button, he or she will receive updates in their news feed that can be shared with their friends. Users can post on your page, which allows you a way to connect with customers and answer questions or concerns they have. Facebook also helps increase likability because you set the tone for your business as well as enhance and improve your reputation.
With Facebook you can actively market your business by creating coupon offers, advertise specials or sales, and keep users informed of upcoming product launches. In addition, you can network with other businesses by interacting with their pages. This is a mutually beneficial relationship that helps cross promote your products and services with theirs.
While Facebook seems to be losing some traction with younger users, it still has a strong youth base, with the 18 to 24-age range ranking the top demographic using the social platform at 87%. 73% of people age 30-49 use Facebook, while people age 50–64 use Facebook at 63%. Women tend to use Facebook more than men.
Twitter is a popular social media platform that is mostly used for broadcasting information. It is used to promote content to users with the goal of steering them to your website. A message is composed of 140 characters and uses hashtags to help the topic trend among the user base.
For business and marketing purposes, Twitter provides a platform for listening. It’s a place to have real-time conversations while also following the reactions of other users. This can help you gauge your target market to see what is currently trending with them, allowing for quick action to respond to their wants and needs.
Twitter allows you to highlight your business personality by adding a human voice to your brand. It is a very lively community full of users who are not afraid to speak up about any given topic.
In addition to driving traffic to your website, Twitter lets you update your followers with real-time information that is going on with your company to your entire network. For example let’s say you have a product recall, with Twitter you can announce the recall to many people, who then share that information with their own networks. In this scenario, it can help prevent potential harm or injury because the message was communicated quickly to a lot of users.
Twitter is highly used by a younger demographic, but not by a large margin. 37% of adults age 18-20 are users of Twitter, followed closely with 25% of users being 30-49. Twitter users consist of 24% of adult males and 21% of adult females.
Instagram is a mobile application that allows users to share photos and videos either publicly or privately with followers. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, you cannot provide links to your website in every picture or video you share, but you can place them in your user profile for easy access to your followers. This platform provides you a way to quickly share visuals of what you are doing and things you are promoting, which is an ideal benefit for business owners. You can add captions to your photos or videos that say anything about your business, directing them to your website link in your profile or just to say hello.
Instagram provides a wealth of benefits for business owners. One of its best uses is showing off your products or services in person. If you are selling a product, Instagram is a great medium to show off your most recent acquisitions; stylists can show off their latest outfit choices for clients and so on.
It can also provide a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes of your business, including how your products are made, ingredients or a tour of your workspace. This personalizes your business and allows followers to feel included in the process. You can market to Instagram users by providing special discounts or promotions just for them.
Instagram is one of the largest platforms for younger users. 53% of 18–29 year olds use Instagram, while 25% of 30–49 year olds use the platform. The primary gender using Instagram is female.
Among all of the social media platforms, LinkedIn is the most different. LinkedIn allows users to create a very detailed professional profile that includes all of your professional and educational information. It is standardized by profile headlines, experience and information about your company. LinkedIn is known as the “place to be found.” It provides a way to easily search and find almost anyone you are looking for.
To expand your LinkedIn network, you join different groups on the platform. All groups have their own informational topics, discussion boards and news groups that allow you to know what is going on with others with similar interests.
LinkedIn provides you with the capability to be recommended by your former employers, endorsing you for a particular skill set. These endorsements can be viewed by everyone you are connected with, providing you with an advantage to others you may be competing with for jobs or business.
The primary use of LinkedIn is career management. You can connect with others who are in the same industry so that you can network with them, access job posts, news about your industry and have conversations with others who can help you cross promote your business.
LinkedIn has grown significantly since its inception in 2003. 30-49 year olds are the most common demographic at 31%. They are followed closely by adults age 50-64 at 30%. It is almost equal between male and female users, with 28% of adult males and 27% of adult females using LinkedIn.