Social media platforms are an essential part of any business’ digital marketing strategy. Businesses can utilize social media to build brand awareness, become an authority figure in the field, and potentially increase leads and profits. Your businesses’ online presence through social media can be advantageous through free visual advertising, organic exposure, simplified shopping processes, and more! There are various social media platforms to choose from, so how do you decide which platforms are worth the time investment?
We’ve outlined 5 social media platforms that business owners should consider when trying to develop a strong social media presence.
TikTok is a video sharing platform that business owners can utilize to increase exposure, display company values, and locate user-generated content. Many small businesses have seen success by using TikTok for free branding and exposure but even large companies use the platform such as Nike and Lamborghini. Users are able to discover videos from users that they do not directly follow, or know online. Videos are fed to users through their “For You” page, determined by the user’s interactions with topics, users, or trending sounds. This discoverability through the “For You” page is one of the reasons why it can be profitable for businesses to use this platform.
TikTok succeeds as a video platform because it can be personable for viewers and encourage them to share their experiences with user generated content (UGC). One helpful tip for TikTok videos is to use trending sounds when filming videos. First, locate a trending sound or a viral video that you want to mimic to match your business and save/ bookmark it. Then, record your video with the sound and users can now discover your video through the sound. TikTok can be an excellent platform to connect with your audience, gather their UGC (user generated content), and show the company culture. Here is a great example of Scrub Daddy utilizing TikTok to advertise their seasonal subscription box.
Instagram is an extremely popular platform for sharing content through posts, stories, reels, videos, or the instagram shopping tab. Any size business can thrive when using this platform because there are multiple features that can help business profit. One of the features that guides online sales through the platform is the Instagram Shopping feature. This feature makes the purchase process easier for customers, and they can shop right from the application.
Businesses can also add a link to their business’ bio that may include a blog, website, survey, or other social media accounts for additional exposure. Instagram reels are similar to TikTok videos because users can discover new videos through trending audio and common interest threads. Instagram reels are another way to gain visibility and extend the reach of your posts. Instagram has excellent insights to analyze who is viewing and interacting with your content. These insights show your audience details, post reach, interactions, and more, so this helps determine who your target audience is.
Gymshark is a well known fitness apparel brand who utilizes Instagram effectively to advertise their 60% off Sale.
There are many pros to using Instagram, however, the downside to using Instagram could be that the mobile application functions better than desktop. Opt for using the mobile version of the application when creating an Instagram Reel.
If you’re ready to start planning your Instagram content, here are a few post ideas that businesses can use the platform…
- Display client work
- Product tutorials
- Customer reviews
- Creating hype around a brand
- Preorder announcements
- Advertising a sale
LinkedIn is a platform for business networking that is geared towards professionals in all industries. There are opportunities for all businesses to gain visibility and credibility in their field by building up a professional LinkedIn presence. LinkedIn may be especially beneficial for B2B businesses, or businesses that sell their services to other companies, instead of selling directly to a consumer. B2B businesses can take advantage of LinkedIn by connecting and building rapport with other companies. These connections can generate sales and increase brand awareness.
This platform can also be used as a tool for competitor and market research. Networking with other companies in the industry can be a useful method to evaluate where other companies are successful or unsuccessful. Businesses that are not B2B can still use LinkedIn to share industry news, employee appreciation, new certifications, or work-related events. Her Campus Media is one company that uses LinkedIn effectively to advertise their events, seminars, hiring opportunities, and company awards.
YouTube is one of the most popular applications and websites in the world! It is a mobile and desktop friendly video sharing platform that businesses can use to grow and expand their audience. YouTube is a cost effective platform that businesses can implement into their social media marketing plan to utilize the videos and expand their reach. One opportunity that YouTube presents is the potential to reach national and international audiences when content is consistently shared.
There is room for creativity on video platforms but if you aren’t sure where to start, here are some YouTube video ideas for a business!
- Behind the Scenes of a project or presentation
- Happy client or customer testimonials
- Demonstrate company values and ideals
- Create a hype video for a new service or product
- Advertise your business by demonstrating the problem your business solves
- Tell the story behind the business- How it got started and how it continues to grow.
A best practice on YouTube is to post high quality and consistent content that can bring in new visitors, then subscribers will return to your content because it is unique and interesting. In a recent poll, 77% of small to medium businesses concur that being on the YouTube platform helps customers find them. (United States of YouTube: Statistics by state – how YouTube works) YouTube can be a free alternative to using paid video ads, and interest in a service or product can still be driven by cost efficient videos. YouTube videos should still reflect your company values to help develop brand awareness and build trust for a consumer.
Pinterest is an idea sharing platform that allows users to share images, videos, and gifs through various pin boards. Think of this as like an online scrapbook. Users browse Pinterest for products, services, ideas, and inadvertently search for companies. This platform allows each “pin” to include a clickable link so this may be effective to drive traffic, increase sales, gain leads, or advertise your business. At Lau Marketing, we utilize Pinterest to advertise our blog posts as pictured below.
Begin by creating a “Pin” by using a captivating image with text to show what the post is about. Next, upload your image as a new pin, and write a headline and caption that includes buzzwords that relate to your post. Lastly, be sure to include a clickable link to your blog post, product, or website. Now, you’ve created a pin that can be discovered by users and your clickable link could drive more traffic.
Pinterest also offers visual search which is effective for product based businesses. Pinterest’s visual search tool allows users to locate similar products through their image search. For example, if a user sees a unique product they are interested in purchasing or learning more about, they can perform a visual search to find more about the product on Pinterest. Oftentimes, a photo with the exact product and a link for purchase will appear beneath the visual search. This is a valuable tool within the Pinterest platform that can benefit many product based businesses.
Use Social Media to Benefit Your Business
All in all, social media can be a great way for small businesses to attract customers, build brand loyalty, increase traffic, display your brand personality, and show visual appeal to customers. Each platform offers unique benefits through their features, and can potentially reach large audiences. A best practice when using social media is to diversify content and utilize multiple streams of social platforms. Each social media strategy should narrow down the platforms that are most successful and focus on building those. Depending on the consumers and the needs of the business, the designated platforms per industry may differ.
For a more in depth analysis, please contact us for a consultation.