Social media can be a phenomenal force for good in increasing sales, raising company profiles, promoting products and services, and driving traffic to websites.
However, many business managers still find it difficult to know what strategy to employ when it comes to social media – if that’s you, simply follow our 3 easy steps below and you’ll be well on your way to an effective and lucrative social media presence.
1. Choose your platform
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest are probably the best known social media platforms, but very few companies can spare the resources (or justify the time) to have a great presence on all of them. Generally speaking:
- Facebook is a must for every business, and has all sorts of features for boosting and targeting your posts to reach specific audiences (it has 1.28 billion active users monthly)
- Twitter is great for breaking news (with an estimated 320 million users)
- Google+ is owned by – you guessed it – Google, and so having a Google+ page and posting regularly gets brownie points for your website ranking (and with 359 million active users it’ll certainly be worth your while)
- LinkedIn is a must if you sell products or services to other businesses – it is officially the largest social network site for business people and professionals, and has a more serious, informative atmosphere as a result (LinkedIn has 400 million users and 2.7 million business pages)
- YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, and the fact it is owned by Google has to be a plus point for Google rankings! Reports suggest that videos are 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results
- Instagram and Pinterest are photo sharing platforms, and so if your products or services are very visual this is ideal for your business – bear in mind that these platforms are predominantly used by women
2. Decide when to post?
The optimum days of the week / times of day for posting differ between the social media platforms. Below are some broad guidelines; your own particular market may vary so keep an eye on the reach of your posts to see whether your audience follows the common trend.
- Facebook – Early afternoon, Thursday or Friday
- Twitter – 12 noon and 6pm, Monday to Friday (business to business) or Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday (general public)
- Google+ – 9am-11am, Monday to Friday
- LinkedIn – 7-8am or 5-6pm, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
- Pinterest – 8-11pm on Saturdays
- Instagram – off-work hours, any day
3. Credibility, personality, promotion
One of the keys to social media success is to vary the nature of your posts. A mixture of posts that show credibility, demonstrate personality (people buy from people, as they say), and promote your products and services will give a well-rounded image to your business and will engage with your audience.