The recent social media boom has caused business marketers to realize the vital importance of expanding their marketing campaigns to include a strong social media presence. The goal of this article is to help give you a social media marketing snapshot – a look at which social platforms you should use for your business and data on why.
Because 8 out of 10 internet users can be reached via social media networks and blogs, it’s no surprise that businesses across the globe have strategically adapted their use of this essential tool to help them meet their marketing goals.
Predictions are that social marketing budgets will double over the next 5 years. Also, statistics indicate that 87% of business owners confidently affirm that social media does indeed help their business. As marketer’s creative use of social media networks continues to expand, it’s time for all of us to get on board!
Popular Social Platforms that Smart Marketers Use
As an internet marketing company, we have an interior view of the most beneficial social platforms you should get your business placed in. Here are the platforms that we have seen garner the most leads, conversions, and increase to brand awareness.
According to statistics, 93% of adult internet users are on Facebook. Evidence of Facebook’s relevance to inbound marketing campaigns is abounding. Hubspot reports that “74% of all marketers say Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies.”
Begin your Facebook presence by creating a business page. This allows people to “like” your page as well as other items and updates that you post. When building your social media presence, pay attention to the layout of your page. The visual components of your page need to be visually appealing. Create a presence that people will want to “like.”
Facebook tends to be a friendly online environment where people go to hang out and chat. This casual atmosphere lends itself toward a light and friendly approach to your social media content.
Tips for Facebook:
- Keep posts and updates casual and friendly.
- Uploading photo’s is the most popular activity on Facebook. Therefore, it’s recommended that your business implement this popular trend as an element of your marketing strategy. Uploading photos to Facebook is one of the best ways to keep your friends interested in and aware of your business.
- The best times to post on Facebook are weekdays between 6-8am and 2-5pm.
Google + has arisen as the new Facebook competitor and now has over 300 million monthly active users, making it a prime avenue for business marketing. As its popularity continues to grow, its important to establish yourself as a prominent player within this network. Functioning within the same “casual” atmosphere as Facebook, Google + appeals to users who are out to just relax and have fun, but also to the professional environment as well.
Tips for Google+:
- Take advantage of Google+’s useful “circles” feature. This allows you to put your friends into “circles,” giving you more control over your social media presence because you’re able to share certain updates with some circles and not others.
- Post more specifically to appeal to their respective interests and personas.
- The best time to post on Google+ are between the hours of 9am-11am.
To find out more about using Google Plus, check out this article here.
It would be a mistake to underestimate the power of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is now responsible for 64% of all visits to corporate websites via social media networks.
LinkedIn is the most popular social media network for older, more professional users. Not nearly as “fun and casual” as Facebook and Google+, this network is used by those serious about business topics, industry information, and idea sharing. Therefore, it’s not surprising that LinkedIn generates more leads for the Business-To-Business community than Facebook does.
Definitely one of the most mature networks on the web, having a LinkedIn presence will plug your business into a quite different (and very useful) demographic of users.
Tips for LinkedIn:
Customize your LinkedIn profile URL.
Link to your LinkedIn profile from your company website. This opens the conduit so that your website visitors can view your LinkedIn page.
Include keywords in your page content. When designing your page’s content, make sure to include your keywords (the search terms you’re targeting) in your descriptions and summaries.
Add, remove, or rearrange segments of the page. You want your page to be a nicely arranged presentation of your business with the most important information near the top of the page.
The best times to post on LinkedIn are between the hours of 7-8:30am and 5-6:00pm.
This microblogging site has had one of the biggest user increases ever—900% within the past year alone. This network is designed for quick ‘short-distance’ communication between followers. It can also be an invaluable tool for the savvy online marketer, if you follow the correct procedures.
Tips for Twitter:
Complete your profile: Take the time to fill in all the fields (optional included) and personalize your profile with your company’s branding. You don’t halfway fill out tax forms or partially complete websites, do you? Consider Twitter an extension of your company, and fill in that profile.
Salesforce has found that tweets including one or two hashtags receive 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.
Increase your contact base. Start with those you know. Twitter allows you to import contacts from Gmail, Hotmail and whatever online address book you may have. Do so.
Find followers in directories or by adding good follower bases that you see actively participating in topics you’re interested in. A lot of them will follow you back.
Follow back people that have started following you (unless they are spammy profiles).
Only tweet things you’d be interested in. Twitter isn’t an ad column, so don’t bore your followers with constant sales pitches. Use discretion in your tweets and don’t tweet unto others, what you wouldn’t tweet unto yourself.
Twitter users are most active over the weekends, and research shows that tweeters are most engaged between 1-3pm or over the weekends.
Despite many businesses thinking that Pinterest is fad photo platform with little ability to impact their business, Pinterest is actually one of the greater resources for generating leads of the social platforms available. While it might not be the ideal platform for every marketer in every industry, it does offer a huge opportunity.
Pinterest has over 70 million users, and it continues to grow, especially internationally. In addition, Pinterest users spend the most money out of users on the various popular social networks—nearly double the amount of money spent by Facebook users and triple the amount spent by Twitter users. So, delve in; there are plenty of potential leads and customers waiting to spend their money on you.
Tips for Pinning:
Using your keywords is vital in each of your pins
Always include a link when pinning
Fully fill out your Pinterest profile. Too little information makes you seem like a spammer.
Try to keep your pin word count to 100-200 and use a shortened URL.
The best times to pin are between 2-4pm and 8-11pm on weekdays and on Saturday mornings
Use Google Analytics tools to monitor the type of traffic you’re garnering from Pinterest and modify your marketing accordingly.
Instagram is another enormous social media platform with over 130 million active users each month and at least 75 million daily users. Instagram is designed to be a down-to-earth network where businesses and white-collars can ‘loosen their ties’. Show consumers your personal side by adding humorous or interesting videos and images to your profile.
Instagram is best used to enhance the human value of your brand and create better brand awareness. Let’s take Michael Kors, the well-known fashion designer, as an example.
In November of 2013, Michael Kors posted the first Instagram ad, featuring a luxury watch nestled amidst a table of brightly colored macaroons. After analyzing the key metrics, Kors’ team assessed that this one ad had generated 33,000 new followers for Michael Kors. It’s speculated that the ad was seen by 6.7 million people.
That’s big brand awareness.
Tips for Instagram:
Instagram utilizes both the @ symbol and the # (hashtag), so direct your posts at your friends and hashtag to your heart’s content. Keep in mind, the best results are posts with 1-2 hashtags, so don’t get carried away.
Use images and videos that are a good representation of your company’s voice. Don’t get carried away with being too artsy or involved—keep your voice your own.
Share the action: take behind-the-scenes images with your fans
Know what your fan base is looking for. A group of white collar executives may or may not respond to a photo of a chainsaw. Post with your buyer persona in mind.
Don’t worry that your photo’s and videos aren’t professional grade (unless they are) because the nature of Instagram is laid back—people aren’t expecting perfection, but real life connection.
The best times to post on Instagram are between 3-5pm on weekdays and weekends.
At the End of a Day of Social Media Networking…
According to recent statistics, social media marketing generates almost double the amount of leads as do trade shows, direct mail, telemarketing, and PPC. Don’t miss out on this fantastic marketing avenue. Bolster your comprehensive marketing campaign by adequately emphasizing the importance of social media marketing and adjusting your budget accordingly. Based on these statistics, you won’t be disappointed!