We live in a world of social media; ever since 2004 and the launch of Facebook, new social media platforms have been popping up. As a business, any business, having a social media presence is necessary. For some, it is essential.
However the problem is which platform do you choose? Do you need to use the all? What is the difference between them?
It all comes down to who you are trying to reach and how. Do you provide the kind of content that each social media platform demands?Also social media is a big part of the world of ‘search’, so should feature in your SEO strategy.
Facebook is possibly the best known platform and one that is used both by individuals and businesses. Facebook Advertising is very good as it allows you to target your adverts to people, location, interests, sports etc.
Facebook is popular for sharing pictures, videos and news updates. It is also good for ‘checking in’ to a location, to show how popular you are to your followers. Businesses like restaurants find it helpful as you can post pictures of your dishes, your events as well as showing how many people ‘checked in’.
Twitter launched at a similar time to Facebook, and focused more on news updates. With Facebook you can write a post with as many words as you like, whereas Twitter restricts you to a certain number of characters.
The main user of Twitter is Donald Trump with his knee jerk Tweets; but celebrities also use the site for quick updates about their day to day movements. Twitter is used for traffic updates or warnings of impending doom. A completely different kind of social media platform to Facebook, but useful in it’s own way.
Linkedin is more of a networking website, allowing you to become or start a network or community. The website is different to both Twitter and Facebook in that it is not about giving updates or sharing pictures of your food, but is more B2B.
Linkedin is great for people that are in the B2B sector (like a sales manager for example) as they can do network marketing virtually as well as in the real world. A unique approach to your marketing on Linkedin is important for one very important reason – you only have one chance to make a good impression.
Instagram is a relatively new social media platform, owned by Facebook. It is mainly about photo sharing. Pictures of dogs, food, selfies are all popular on ‘the gram’ and it has grown very quickly among young people.
Instagram for business really depends on if your business has much in the way of pictures. An accountancy company would not really use instagram as they are accountants. A dog groomer would use instagram as they would show picture of before and after their grooming. Does your business have pictures to showcase? If so, instagram is a good platform to go on.
WeChat is a Chinese social media website (as China does not allow Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin) that is very popular with over 1 billion users. WeChat is growing quickly and could well take over as the dominant social media platform in 2020. Photo sharing, messaging and taking payments it really combines a number of UK & US based platforms. Developed by Tencent this is one to keep an eye on.
One popular misconception is that your UK company needs to be on all social media outlets. This is not actually the case, it is about choosing which platform suits your business model.
We will list a few examples, to give you as examples:
• Engineering Company – Twitter & Facebook
• Restaurant – Facebook & Instagram
• Personal Trainer – Facebook & Linkedin
• Bank – Twitter & Facebook
Do you get the idea? Social media is new, it is also developing. We in the business world are struggling to keep up and as social media continues to grow, we can expect to see new platforms popping up as we move through 2020.