A company’s online presence is now perhaps its single most prevalent indicator of success. After all, 81% of consumers look for companies online before even considering a purchase. Meanwhile, a failure to appeal to consumers across channels can result in as much as 10% losses in revenue. Those are big numbers, and perhaps unsurprisingly, they’re fuelling digital marketing efforts to the sum of as much as $34.48 billion.
What you do online therefore matters a great deal in terms of both reputation and returns. Increasing calls for omnichannel offerings, as well as a need to grow online presences as much as possible, especially mean that making a great website is no longer enough for success.
That’s not to say that you can skip steps with your website – we love great web design and the chances are that your customers do, too! It does, however, mean that you need to supplement those efforts across other online platforms wherever you can. Most notably, you need to join the 51% of small businesses and 85% of large businesses currently using social media to market themselves.
In this ultimate guide, we consider what social media platforms you need to pay attention to right now, and how exactly you can enjoy the full scope of benefits that each one has to offer for marketing overall.
Why Should Social Media Matter To Your Business?
As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate already without adding an entirely new marketing sideline. However, the 51% of small businesses already using these platforms aren’t doing so for fun. Instead, they’re enjoying a wide array of benefits that you could also access by developing your approach to social media marketing at last.
It’s especially worth considering the statistics that pretty much scream about the benefits of a strong social media presence for your business overall. For instance –
- 55% of consumers learn about new brands through social media
- 43% of consumers used social media to learn about new products last year
- 78% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand after positive social media interactions
- 72% of companies use social media data to inform business decisions
- 68% of consumers feel better able to interact with brands on social media
Taking all of this into account, it’s hardly surprising that 91% of executives intend to increase spending here in the next three years. By joining them, you’ll quickly see first-hand social media marketing benefits that include –
- Access to new audiences
- Increased consumer engagement
- Improved brand loyalty
- Affordable marketing solutions
- Higher conversion rates
How to Get Started on Social Media
The benefits of an effective social media presence largely speak for themselves, but companies already dealing with stretched marketing budgets or limited social media skill sets may still be at a loss as to how to get started here. Tips worth considering in this instance include –
# 1 – Understand What Everyone Else is Up To
The ability to easily check and learn from competitor profiles is a significant social media plus. Competitive analysis that considers content, interactions, and use of things like hashtags can especially provide a firm understanding of what works, and how you can adapt that to your needs.
# 2 – Decide which platforms are right for you
B2B companies will be best able to reach relevant audiences on platforms like LinkedIn, while retailers attracting millennial audiences would likely see significantly higher returns on a platform like Instagram and TikTok. Companies should therefore take the time to understand the right social media platforms for their needs.
# 3 – Get help from the experts
As well as making sure that social media fits seamlessly alongside existing marketing strategies, help from a dedicated social media management team can ensure efficient campaigns, automated posts at prime times, and a generally flawless, hassle-free social media presence.
5 Social Media Platforms You Shouldn’t Skip
As of January 2022, there were seventeen social media platforms with at least 300 million active users, meaning that social media marketing is no longer the one-horse race that it used to be. Instead, companies attempting to cater for the 90% of consumers who now expect omnichannel engagements need to consider marketing across multiple social media platforms.
Social platforms especially worth considering for both B2B and B2C brands right now include –
Facebook (2.91 billion users)
Used by 93% of social media marketers worldwide, Facebook maintains its standing as the top social media solution for brands looking to get ahead, with a diverse audience base that makes this a viable platform for the vast majority of business niches.
Facebook algorithms now rank business pages according to relevance indicators like informative content and keywords, while recent additions like Facebook’s live video feature has significantly enhanced the ability of brands to live stream to engaged audiences.
For companies looking to get ahead with Facebook, attention should especially be paid to –
- Posting at least three times a week: Regular Facebook uploads are the best way for brands to stay on the right side of Facebook algorithms, with statistics generally pointing to around three uploads a week to ensure prime engagement. The best posting days here have proven to be Thursdays, Fridays, and weekends – however this greatly depends on your audience.
- Boosting posts with target audiences in mind: Facebook provides the opportunity to boost your posts for direct delivery into the news feeds of relevant audiences. By understanding your Facebook niche, setting aside a portion of your marketing budget for this can dramatically increase engagement and your appearance in future relevant searches as a result.
- Making full use of Facebook profiles: While profiles on many social media platforms are now solely visual, Facebook profiles provide brands with the opportunity to include ample information, including brand name, industry specifics, company history, location, contact details, and more to keep consumers interested and informed.
Instagram (1 billion users)
Now owned by the same company as Facebook, Instagram is a photo-led social media platform that’s used by 78% of social media marketers. Algorithm ranking signals across the platform include priorities such as the relationships, interests, and timelines of users.
For marketers, community engagement that enhances followings and algorithm standing is therefore crucial for success, and can best be achieved through the use of Instagram techniques including hashtags, Instagram stories, and reels.
Building an Instagram following that ensures visible posts and appearances on Instagram’s search page especially relies on –
- The use of trending hashtags: Hashtags are keywords attached to Instagram uploads to both increase algorithm relevance and search appearances. Understanding and utilising trending hashtags with every post is therefore crucial for brands looking to expand their Instagram presence.
- Collaborations with users or influencers: Instagram’s leaning towards connections and interactions means that brands can also benefit from collaborating with other brands or influencers using hashtags or story uploads that make it possible to tap into entirely new audiences.
- Use Instagram analytics: Instagram provides business accounts with insightful analytics into things like engagement levels, audience demographics, and patterns of behaviour which can all lead to informed content strategies that more effectively tap into audience desires.
Pinterest (431 million users)
25% of social media marketers are currently using Pinterest, a visual discovery social media engine that revolves around the pinning and sharing of valuable brand content.
Pinterest is especially unique on the social media scene as it focuses on content that contains meaningful, actionable information that should rarely be overtly promotion-based. In this way, business accounts enjoy average conversion rates that are around 3.8 times higher than across other social media platforms, while 87% of pinners go on to purchase products.
Reliable Pinterest content strategies should especially make space for –
- Punchy pin descriptions: Pin descriptions can stretch up to 500 words, but the fact that only the first fifty words appear beneath brand pins means companies need to perfect punchy pin descriptions that capture plenty of keywords and relevant hashtags to keep traffic moving.
- Play with pin formats: Diverse Pinterest uploads typically receive the most attention and create the most appealing profiles. As such, companies should experiment with image and video pins, as well as text overlays and different upload sizes.
- Keep Pinterest boards neat: Ongoing Pinterest success is reliant on pins that consumers return to time and again. Brands who lose control of their boards eliminate this possibility, highlighting the need for clearly categorised pin boards that are always easy to find.
TikTok (1 billion users)
While only used by around 9% of social media marketers right now, the fact that a further 30% are interested in learning about the platform shows that TikTok is also worth the attention of companies looking to grow. This video-based app has certainly captured the hearts of millennial and Gen X users, making them ideal for companies looking to appeal to young audiences.
Chipotle, Crocs, and NFL are just a few of the brands already creating viral TikTok content that’s shareable across platforms, including regular and varied video content and influencer campaigns. TikTok challenges that receive huge amounts of views also offer an effective way for brands to spread their company message.
Creating a viral brand presence on TikTok particularly revolves around –
- Saving regular video uploads to your page: Viral videos don’t necessarily blow up straight away, meaning that brands should both upload regularly and save all uploads to their profile for long-lasting viral capabilities.
- Use songs or sounds: TikTok is all about big, eye-catching uploads. Brands should therefore make use of sounds including recommended feed songs that can often end up operating like hashtags in terms of the interest they create.
- Participate in trends: TikTok is a trendy place, and TikTok trends including challenges, dances, creations, and more are a key way to ensure that content is appealing, and has the potential to reach existing audiences on its own steam.
LinkedIn (810 million users)
While most commonly associated with business-specific interactions and connections, LinkedIn is used by 61% of social media marketers, particularly those looking to enhance the reach and industry standing of B2B companies.
In many ways, LinkedIn can be thought of as a kind of online business card where companies showcase their capabilities, credentials, and staff endorsements to professional clients seeking trusted services.
Content uploads here are displayed to relevant individuals through carefully tailored news feeds across industries. A strong company standing on LinkedIn can also lead to authority-creating connections and professional networks that enhance company reputations and sales opportunities overall.
Unique secrets of success for social media LinkedIn strategies especially include –
- Making industry connections: Far from just building social media followings, LinkedIn connections can create fantastic networking benefits, including company collaborations, increased opportunities within your field, and improved reputational standing. All of this is especially possible for companies who expand their LinkedIn interactions to industry-specific frontrunners.
- Looking into LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform: LinkedIn’s publishing platform provides users with the opportunity to publish informative, long-form content with ease. When paired with the benefit of hashtags that ensure relevant appearances in user newsfeed, this can significantly enhance industry standing and sales potential.
- Creating an authoritative profile: LinkedIn profiles are effectively professional resumes and therefore provide companies with an opportunity to become industry authorities when they take the time to list awards, industry accolades, and levels of team experience here.
The sky is your limit with social media management from Social Direct Marketing.
We understand that even these five platforms can be a lot to get your head around, and creating quality content across every relevant social corner without compromise is an almost impossible goal to achieve in-house. This is why countless companies now choose to outsource their social media marketing, and it’s why you could benefit from getting in touch with Social Direct Marketing today.
Our comprehensive social media management services certainly won’t let you down regardless of an omnichannel approach thanks to guaranteed oversight from our team of trusted professionals, who will work closely with you to understand what you want from your social media.
Start discussing your options by contacting a member of our friendly team today!